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Hey, Jon Stewart: Give back this Emmy for 'The Daily Show'!

August 30, 2010 | 12:10 pm

Pssst! Do you want to know what secret weapon Jon Stewart used to claim Emmy victory for "The Daily Show" as best variety series for an unprecedented eighth time in a row? Roland Martin's ascot. Yes, the neckwear donned by CNN pundit Roland Martin.

Jon Stewart Daily Show Emmy ascot

That was the focus of the episode of "The Daily Show" submitted to Emmy judges: No. 15065, telecast on May 10, 2010. In it, Stewart strenuously ridicules Martin's ascot. The rest of the segment submission is equally lame stuff: "Senior British Person" John Oliver rants about results of the British election, Jon Stewart rants about recent shenanigans on Wall Street and all viewers doze off while Stewart fawns over historian Jack Rakove as they coo over Rakove's new book about America's founding fathers titled "Revolutionaries."

That's it. That is what so wowed Emmy voters to choose "The Daily Show" over "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" (which submitted his historic, heart-tugging farewell episode), "Saturday Night Live" (the Betty White spectacular) and "The Colbert Report" (Stephen Colbert gets a visit via satellite from Barack Obama while Colbert entertains troops in Iraq).

Obviously, if such a tepid "Daily Show" entry can beat all that, then it's destined to continue winning its Emmy category … forever.

Why does "The Daily Show" keep winning? My theory: Stewart is so good at whipping up a lynch mob among TV viewers that Emmy judges (read shallow Hollywooders) can't resist his cry to arms even if it's ridiculous — or, worse, not funny. Many of his shows are brilliant and they deserve their accolades. But at his worst, his performance can be a mix of pop-eyed evangelist and playground bully (sometimes even whining "Nyah, nyah, nyah!" like a sneering child while wagging an angry finger at the screen) as he demonizes the targets of his rage. Granted, that often makes for great TV worthy of Emmys and I think he's deserved all the ones he's won to date, but, sorry, not this time. Stewart should give this Emmy back and Emmy judges should feel ashamed of themselves for being so easily recruited into a lynch mob to string up — not political monsters or economic threats — but Roland Martin's ascot. Heck, Stewart was so uninterested in receiving this Emmy that he didn't even bother to show up to accept it.

Note: There is a false rumor circulating the web claiming that "Daily Show" won thanks to an episode in which Stewart skewers Glenn Beck. Not true. That rumor is probably the result of this post at "The Daily Show" website referring to the show's "nomination reel." That was the DVD sent to all 14,000 academy members by Comedy Central months ago as part of the network's awards campaign. I have the actual DVDs that were weighed by the 200 judges in this variety category in recent weeks and can attest that they saw the ascot episode.

Photo: Comedy Central

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Come on.. The Daily Show deserves every single one of those emmys. I watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report religiously and use to watch Conan pretty often, but never got around to DVRing him. I was very disappointed that Conan joined TBS instead of Comedy Central (Guess there just wasn't a time slot?). Conan's show is on NBC so of course he can't be as edgy as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. But I'm definitely looking forward to his show on TBS. The three of them seem to be pretty good friends if you haven't noticed. They've appeared on each other's shows. Stewart and Colbert showed up at Conan's live show in NYC. The Daily Show deserves the win because not only does it entertain, but it actually educates on current events. However, I think Bill Maher also has a GREAT show. If it were up to me, they would all get emmys. I know this post is about the author thinking that Stewart didn't deserve the Emmy, but I'm a raging liberal and love all of these guys.

The real story here is the ridiculous notion that the award is based on a single episode for shows that each air anywhere from 20 to 300 episodes per year. The excellence of a single episode is not a proxy for overall excellence.

To the extent that this methodology is used in other award categories, then the emmys are a sham.

You're a moron who left out completely the first part of the episode. You highlight and mock the ascot segment, while the deservedly Emmy-winning part of the episode was the segment beforehand called "American Apparently," which was a brilliant takedown of every single politician in the country who uses meaningless phrases like "The American people want" and "The American people get it." But go ahead, ignore that whole segment because it doesn't fit in with your preconceived narrative of "The Daily Show."

@doc5467 - Were you reading another article, by any chance? Because this one wasn't even focussed on Conan. It mentioned him once, amongst the other nominees. The article didn't discuss Conan being "screwed", Jay Leno or ratings of any kind.

Next time try reading the content before hitting the Comment button and copy-pasting your formulaic anti-Conan response, okay? Or do you just post the same drivel on any article mentioning Conan, no matter what the actual focus? Either way, try making your strategy a little less obvious then you'll come off as less of a troll.

"Why does "The Daily Show" keep winning? My theory: Stewart is so good at whipping up a lynch mob among TV viewers that Emmy judges (read shallow Hollywooders) can't resist his cry to arms even if it's ridiculous — or, worse, not funny"

Why on Earth would Jon Stewart even give a rip about whether or not he wins an emmy? The man has seven already and in spite of this, he seems like a very down-to-earth guy.

Besides, in case you haven't noticed, Colbert is the guy who whips his crowd into a frenzy. The man has a toilet named after him on the International Space Station for crying out loud.

Yet another paean to the whiner and failure, Mr. O'Brien. He wasn't "screwed" by his network, and certainly not by Mr. Leno; he just wasn't good enough to keep Leno-level ratings for the Tonight Show. He's succeeded in getting a group of fawners--in and out of the business--to consider him some sort of victim.

Jon Stewart is a man far wittier, brighter and more clever than Conan O'Brien. His Emmy win is perfectly fine with me, but if it weren't him, it darn sure shouldn't be Conan; Colbert is next in line.

"Unlike the Oscars, where it is likely that many members might not have seen the film and therefore rely on the DVDs distributed for review, Emmy voters are likely to be regular viewers of the series they're voting on, so it's reasonable to assume that in many categories, the review DVD is not specifically what they are judging."

Emmy winners are determined by panels that represent a subset of ATAS members, perhaps no more than 300 people, judging by O'Neill's recent post about the Best Comedy series screeners. And according to that post, the panel members have to sign an affidavit affirming that they watched the submitted episodes, which are supposed to be the only basis for judging. So what you're suggesting is that the panel members lie, which may well be the case...

Tom, are the emmy voters mandated to limit their judgment based on that one single episode alone? I'm guessing no. If they saw the Glenn Beck episode when it aired or during the awards campaign, what would stop them from voting for TDS based on that?

Regardless of what episode they submitted, I thought TDS was deserving of the win this year. Close second is The Colbert Report but at least they won for Writing. And so what if Jon Stewart wasn't there to accept it? That doesn't signify disinterest, rather, it may be that he had other priorities like, say, I dunno... a friend's wedding. And he wasn't the only one who won. His team did, too, and they were there to accept it.

The Tonight Show was nowhere near as funny as TDS or TCR. Conan will have a chance to prove himself next year based on his show's merits and not just because he got screwed by NBC.

Pssst, Emmy guy: -- the Emmy screener you just rewatched was the campaign DVD (as the article mentions) , not the one used by judges to select a winner. I have a full set of those actual DVDs, have watched them and can attest that that Daily Show submitted the Roland Martin episode. I also have confirmation from Comedy Central and the TV academy's awards dept.

Psst! I just rewatched my Emmy screener for The Daily Show and it's the episode from October 12.

Listen, I can respect being disappointed with the choice, but why so much anger? jfc. Can you be more butthurt?

The 'Inside Track' on the Emmy's? That's a stretch, dude - you're just having a whinge cos Jo Stewart (deservedly) won, not reporting anything earth shattering.

No one's forcing you to watch The Daily Show. You may be more comfortable with Fox News.

Don't worry Tom, you won't have to give back the award you won't win for this turd you wrote. "Historic, heart-tugging farewell episode"?? You should be whipped with an ascot just for having written that.

Are you really arguing that this decision is appropriately made in a vacuum based on twenty minutes of tape? Regardless of how the voting works, Stewart's show is consistently the best and the best man won.

PS: I love Conan too.

Were you wearing an ascot when you wrote this tripe piece?

Or perhaps you are actually Roland Martin.

So you didn't like the episode. That's fine. Does that make it bad, or undeserving of awards, or unfunny? No.

If you didn't like the elected president would you demand that he resign and let the other candidate win?

As a comment below states, the irony of your own rant is truly lost on you.

On the bright side, you were level headed enough to proof read; an article this shallow and lame seems likely to have been written by a half-wit, but at least one that knows how to use f-7.

Oh, Tom, don't hate. That was a pretty damn good episode. Do you want me to send you an ascot or two? LOL

I wanted Conan to win, too. And I agree that the other submitted episodes that you mentioned were better than the submitted episode of the Daily Show. But I don't believe that EMMY voters only watched the submitted Daily Show episode. They are probably factoring in all the ones they saw, and I wouldn't be surprised if they watch the Daily Show more than SNL or Conan's Tonight Show and even Colbert Report.

So in your rage you accuse Jon of "whipping up a lynch mob..." and just a few lines later: " he demonizes the targets of his rage."

The irony of your comments are lost on you.

But not the Jon Stewart audience. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

I totally don't agree...that was hilarious.

The Emmys and indeed all (Hollywood) awards shows are complete jokes. The truly deserving winners being recognized is the exception not the rule. In fact, true greats are usually only recognized late in their career for inferior work (to make up for earlier snubs...). To anyone with even a remote understanding of the awards process, it is clear that (fair or not), far more than just the movie/current season/submitted episode is considered.

That being said, this is not a particularly egregious case. In fact, the Daily Show may even be the most deserving of the Emmy. While the submitted episode wasn't that great, the Daily Show still has fantastic material on a regular basis. Anyone who thinks the Daily Show is past its prime need only watch the August 23rd, 2010 episode.

The episode starts with an epic "gotcha" moment on Fox News. The Fox News commentators demonize a funder of the "ground zero terror mosque" who just happens to be the *second largest shareholder* of the company that owns Fox News! This leads into a hilarious debate between John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac whether Fox News is evil or stupid. After a brief segment on Iran the show closes with an awesome interview of the ex-Illinois governor/sociopath Rod Blagojevich. And this is only one example of many great recent episodes.

A little jealous and envious, huh?

Unlike the Oscars, where it is likely that many members might not have seen the film and therefore rely on the DVDs distributed for review, Emmy voters are likely to be regular viewers of the series they're voting on, so it's reasonable to assume that in many categories, the review DVD is not specifically what they are judging.

The Daily Show and Colbert have both had consistently superb material this year. Frankly, Colbert should've gotten it this year, but as Exec. Producer of Colbert, Stewart would've come home with a statuette either way.

Tom, you make a valid point and I agree with you. Based on the episode they submitted, any of the other nominees should have won. Even "Real Time with Bill Maher" submitted a magnificent and fascinating episode to the voters, but unlike with the other categories of the evening it seemed the voters just didn't watch the tapes for this category.

"The Daily Show" really has made a comeback in terms of quality this season though, and if voters were thinking of the overall season then it's clear why TDS took this one home again. However, knowing this is the Emmys, it wouldn't surprise me if voters were just picking it out of habit.

Interesting to point out though is that the other nominees submitted the same episode for both this category and the writing category, but TDS submitted the "Roland Martin Ascot" episode for the Variety, Music or Comedy Series award and the infamous "13 Minute Glenn Beck Rant" for the writing award. Any idea why they split up the episode submissions?

I'm not sure i get where this person is coming from. TDS won for best show overall. The Colbert report won on the 21st of auguest for best writing as they truly deserved. Under that nominations for the catagory that TDS won there is NO episode mentiond. There is however one listed for the best writing, which they did not win for. Its also mentiond above that that episode submited for the writing was about roland martin and not Glenn Beck. According to the website of nominies for outstanding writing catagory in a comedy series the episode listed is #15040. According to that episode, dated march 18 2010, begins with a 13 min spoof on glen beck. Again the daily show did NOT win in this catagory even though that episode was pretty funny --click march 18 2010

someone i think needs to check their info out

So, just because he interviewed an author whose book he enjoyed, that make it boring? What, would you rather see him interview some actor in a horrible movie and have to pretend it's funny? You think they shoul "give back the Emmy" because you didn't like the episode? Well, I personally really liked it, but I guess your opinion matters more for some reason.

Seriously... you have absolutely no right, none whatsoever, to tell Jon Stewart to return an award that was voted on by his fellows. He didn't schmooze it out of anyone, he didn't buy anyone off, or anything of that sort.

They submitted an episode, whether it's the one you mentioned or not doesn't matter, and his fellows found it more to their liking overall. He won based on what others though.

How ridiculous for you to go all Kanye on his award just because your opinion differed. Perhaps you could have said, hey, I felt someone else should have won. But return the award.

GTFO of here with that.




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