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Category: Jon Stewart

Everybody's sick of Jon Stewart winning the Emmy

October 25, 2010 |  4:33 pm

Especially David Letterman.


Stephen Colbert reveals dastardly plan to win Emmy next year

September 8, 2010 | 10:37 pm

"Last weekend I had hoped that honor would be restored to America, but instead they gave the Emmy to 'The Daily Show,' " Stephen Colbert sighed on "The Colbert Report." Then he blabbed his convoluted scheme to claim the golden prize for best variety series next year.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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www.colbertnation.com
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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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Emmy cliffhanger: What will that rascal Conan O'Brien do if he wins?

August 27, 2010 |  4:05 pm

If Conan O'Brien's version of "The Tonight Show" wins best variety series on Sunday — as some pundits like me think it will — expect all Emmy heck to break loose.

Consider the set-up. Not only will Coco get a chance to exult in reaping ultimate revenge against NBC for being fired from "The Tonight Show" while he appears live on national TV, his victory will occur on the peacock web, which telecasts the Emmys.

Conan o'brien tonight show emmys news

Now here's the inevitable plot complication. O'Brien can't trash NBC. He's not permitted to let loose against his former employer until Sept. 1 — that's three days after the Emmys — according to the terms of his $45-million buy-out pact.

But since O'Brien is a notoriously devilish comedian, he'll certainly find some way to inject mischief into the scene.

Will he win? His "Tonight Show" competes against "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which has romped home with the award for the last seven years in a row, but that juggernaut is likely to stop. Winners are chosen by Emmy judges who evaluate one sample episode submitted by each nominee. "Daily Show" entered its May 10th program featuring guest, historian Jack Rakove. Fine, but not good enough in this race where several mighty rivals loom.

"Saturday Night Live" has not won this category since 1993, but now it's a fierce contender because it entered the Betty White episode that just swept the Creative Arts Emmys. Speaking of the Creative Arts Emmys, "The Colbert Report" just won best variety writing there and, in the race for best series, it's overdue to beat the show from which it spun off in 2005. In that series contest, "Colbert Report" gave Emmy judges a doozy of an episode too — the one where Stephen Colbert goes to Iraq to entertain U.S. troops and gets a surprise visit via satellite from Barack Obama.

Continue reading »

Emmy prediction smackdown: Experts forecast who'll win

August 26, 2010 |  1:39 pm

Here's a roundup of Emmy Award predictions from the best pundits on the planet: Mike Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly), Kristin dos Santos (E! Online), Maggie Furlong (AOL TV Squad), Joseph Kapsch (Zap2It), Steve Pond (The Odds, The Wrap), Matt Roush (TV Guide) plus the Gold Derby/The Envelope team of Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria and me. Read category-per-category analysis here.

Emmy Awards predictions news

COMEDY SERIES
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Glee" — Dos Santos
"Modern Family" — Ausiello, Beachum, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"Nurse Jackie"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

COMEDY ACTOR
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Pond, Roush
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") — Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")

COMEDY ACTRESS
Lea Michele ("Glee") — Dos Santos
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine")
Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation")
Tina Fey ("30 Rock")
Toni Collette ("United States of Tara") — Furlong

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Chris Colfer ("Glee") — Kapsch, O'Neil
Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother")
Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family")
Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family") — Beachum, Dos Santos, Licuria, Pond
Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") — Ausiello, Furlong, Roush
Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men")

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Jane Lynch ("Glee") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Julie Bowen ("Modern Family")
Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family")
Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live")
Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock")
Holland Taylor ("Two and a Half Men")

DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad" — Dos Santos
"Dexter"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost" — Furlong
"Mad Men" — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"True Blood"

DRAMA ACTOR
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") — Ausiello, Furlong
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") — Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") — Dos Santos
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Matthew Fox ("Lost")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")

DRAMA ACTRESS
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights")
Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit")
January Jones ("Mad Men")

Continue reading »

Poll: Will Emmy's biggest loser Bill Maher ever win?

July 12, 2010 |  7:39 am

Bill Maher is already Emmy's biggest loser with 22 nominations and zero wins (Susan Lucci won on nom No. 19). Last week, he got a chance to add to that losing record with four more Emmy Awards nominations for writing and producing both "Real Time With Bill Maher" -- making its sixth consecutive bid for outstanding variety, music or comedy series -- and the variety special "Bill Maher: But I'm Not Wrong."

Bill_maher

More than likely, Maher will continue his staggering losing streak this year. "Real Time" is up against "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (which has won the last seven races in a row) as well as the record-breaking "Saturday Night Live" (which last won in 1993), four-time nominee "The Colbert Report" and sentimental favorite "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien".

Bill Maher's Emmy snubs date back to a 1995 bid for "Politically Incorrect" as outstanding variety, music or comedy series. ("The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" won that year for the only time.) Maher's show brought him a total of 11 nominations -- producing (eight), writing (two) and hosting (one).

His current HBO series had earned him nine nods before these latest ones -- producing (five), writing (three) and hosting (one). In addition, Maher had losing producing bids for his 2006 special "Bill Maher: I'm Swiss" -- that one lost to the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, no less -- and in 2008 for "Bill Maher: The Decider," which was beaten by "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project." This year's special is up against, among other entries, the 32nd edition of the Kennedy Center Honors. That annual kudocast has won this race five times, including last year.

As Maher's losses are mostly for producing and writing, Angela Lansbury's record of 18 losses as a performer remains safe for some time. In September 2008, Bill Maher told Gold Derby that he was cool with being the biggest loser of TV's top award. We had met up at the Toronto Film Festival to discuss his documentary "Religulous."

At the time of that interview, Maher had racked up 19 defeats at the Emmys. During our discussion of this topic with "Religulous" director Larry Charles (a two-time Emmy winner for "Seinfeld"), Maher couldn't help but show he was a tad miffed. Maher mentions that his Emmy losing streak might not matter if he wins an Oscar for "Religulous" as best documentary but -- uh oh -- he was snubbed by the motion picture academy.

Below is the portion of our chat where I ambushed Maher to get his view of his Emmy fate. In the past, whenever I had submitted a formal request to interview him on the subject, it had been ignored. So I decided to seize this opportunity while being granted time with him to discuss "Religulous." Normally, it's Maher who puts people in the hot spot. Oh, what fun it was to do so to him!

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Photo: Bill Maher publicity still. Credit: HBO

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My fearless, 100% accurate Emmy nominations predictions

July 6, 2010 | 11:35 am
Emmy Awards 12

Here's who I predict will score bids when Emmy Awards nominations are unveiled Thursday morning:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad"
"Damages"
"Dexter"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost"

ALTERNATES: "Big Love," "Friday Night Lights," "House M.D.," "Sons of Anarchy," "Treme"


BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

ALTERNATES: "Community," "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage," "Nurse Jackie," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Weeds"


BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Simon Baker ("The Mentalist")
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")

ALTERNATES: Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Peter Krause ("Parenthood"), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), Bill Paxton ("Big Love"), Wendell Pierce ("Treme"), Kiefer Sutherland ("24")


BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU")
January Jones ("Mad Men")
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife")
Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy")
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")

ALTERNATES: Sally Field ("Brothers and Sisters"), Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), Holly Hunter ("Saving Grace"), Melissa Leo ("Treme"), Anna Paquin ("True Blood")


BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")

ALTERNATES: David Duchovny ("Californication"), Joel McHale ("Community"), Thomas Jane ("Hung"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men")

Continue reading »

'Glee' and 'Modern Family' lead Gold Derby TV Award nominations

June 29, 2010 |  7:37 am

Over the past few weeks, our forums posters have been nominating their favorite TV shows and programs from the 2009-10 season for the Gold Derby TV Awards. Voters have until Aug. 6 to vote for the final winner in each category.

Two freshman shows lead the pack: "Glee" with 13 nominations and "Modern Family" with 11, followed by the final season of "Lost" with 10 and "Mad Men" with 10. Fired NBC host Conan O'Brien received three nominations (variety series, variety performance and performer of the year). Although eligible, two of last year's winners ("The Office" for comedy series and Neil Patrick Harris for comedy supporting actor) were not even nominated in those categories this year.

We have been holding these awards since 2004.  Special thanks to Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Andrew Pickett, Robert Licuria and Matt Noble for helping to count ballots.  Below, this year's nominees. To vote for the winners, register in our forums by clicking on the link marked "Login/Join."  After registering, go to Boomer's profile here, then click the link to "send a private message" and send him your votes that way.

GoldDerby Award

COMEDY SERIES:
"Community" (NBC)
"Cougar Town" (ABC)
"Glee" (Fox)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"Parks & Recreation" (NBC)
"30 Rock" (NBC)

COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS:
Courteney Cox-Arquette as Jules Cobb on "Cougar Town"
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton on "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on "30 Rock"
Lea Michele as Rachel Berry on "Glee"
Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on "Weeds"
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on "Parks & Recreation"

COMEDY LEAD ACTOR:
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock"
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on "The Office"
Larry David as Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski on "Chuck"
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger on "Community"
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory"

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy on "Modern Family"
Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesley Halpert on "The Office"
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on "30 Rock"
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester on "Glee"
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on "Modern Family"
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow on "Nurse Jackie"

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on "Modern Family"
Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel on "Glee"
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on "The Office"
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on "Parks & Recreation"
Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir on "Community"
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker on "Modern Family"

Continue reading »

Emmy battle of the 'Tonight Shows': Conan vs. Jay (plus watch out for Jon Stewart -- AND Mo'Nique)

May 21, 2010 |  9:39 am

Two TV shows produced by NBC Universal are curiously missing from the Emmy campaign DVD mailer the studio recently sent to voters: Jay Leno's disastrous foray into prime-time ("The Jay Leno Show") and the program that took its place later each night ("The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien").

But that doesn't mean both will be missing from the Emmy ballot. No, "The Jay Leno Show" hasn't been officially submitted for best variety series, but — surprise — "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" has, and it will compete against "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" — plus "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," starring the host of the Emmy ceremony on Aug. 29.

"In the DVD campaign packages, typically we do not include shows that aren't returning," says Curt King, senior VP of Universal Media Studios. "In the race for best variety series, Conan decided to submit 'The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien' and we decided to enter 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for Jay.'"



Conan O'Brien Jay Leno Mo'Nique Tonight Show TV news 2

All of those programs will compete against three formidable foes, which have all submitted official entry forms to the TV academy: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," which has won the category for the last seven years in a row; "The Colbert Report," which is overdue to win (it's got an excellent chance to prevail this year thanks to an episode it plans to submit to Emmy jurors — Colbert's hilarious trip to Iraq); and "The Mo'Nique Show," starring the "Precious" actress who swept the last film awards derby (New York Film Critics Circle to Oscars) undefeated.

All of the above-mentioned programs will compete against one show that they don't need to worry about: "Real Time With Bill Maher." Not only has it failed to win a single Emmy, even in the crafts categories, but Maher is the new Susan Lucci — the biggest loser in the history of TV's top award, with 22 defeats and no wins for producing, writing and performance.

It took Conan O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before the show landed its first Emmy bid in the variety comedy music series category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully in that race for five years, always losing to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," which O'Brien will now face head-on in the ratings when he launches his new chat fest on TBS. In both 2008 and 2009, "Late Night" lost its slot in the list of nominees to the resurgent "Saturday Night Live," while "The Daily Show" kept winning.

O'Brien and his scribes finally won an Emmy in the writing category in 2007 after being also-rans every year from 1996 to 2004 and then again in 2006. That was the only Emmy won by "Late Night" out of 29 nominations, including two more bids for writing in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, the "Late Night" writers lost to the team behind "The Colbert Report" and in 2009 to the scribes for "The Daily Show."

Prior to "The Daily Show" owning the series category, "Late Show With David Letterman" won that award five years in a row beginning in 1998. The CBS late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman has competed in the top Emmy race every year since its debut season in 1994, when it won. In addition, it has taken three technical Emmys for a total haul of nine awards out of 64 nominations.

Compare that with the track record of Jay Leno, who returned to the "Tonight Show" in March. While he may be beating longtime rival David Letterman once again in the ratings, don't expect Leno to contend anytime soon at the Emmys. After all, he and the show were snubbed by the Emmys for his (first) farewell tour last year. The last nomination for Leno's edition of the NBC staple was in 2005, when he contended for the now-defunct individual performance prize, losing to Tony Awards host Hugh Jackman.

Continue reading »

Inside Comedy Central's Emmy box: Stephen Colbert declares war on Jon Stewart

May 2, 2010 |  9:24 am
Comedy Central Jon Stewart1

Looks like Stephen Colbert will finally get the last laugh over his former Comedy Central mentor at the Emmys. Although "The Colbert Report" managed to beat "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" for best writing in a variety series in 2008, no program's been able to beat "The Daily Show" for best variety series over the last seven years. ("The Colbert Report" was nominated against it four times.) In August, "The Colbert Report" could win both trophies based on what's inside the Emmy campaign box recently shipped to the 14,000 members of the TV academy.

Campaign episodes tend to be the same ones submitted later to judges who determine winners. "The Colbert Report" just launched an Emmy weapon of mass destruction: its visit to U.S. troops in Iraq, where Colbert went through boot camp. It's not only hilarious, but it also features guest appearances by President Obama and Sen. John McCain. Best scene: Commander-in-chief Obama orders Gen. Raymond Odierno to give Colbert a buzz haircut. You can see the result in a photo below, where Colbert sits with soldiers in the audience.

See the full "Colbert Report" episode here, which is located at Comedy Central's FYC site. What's odd is that the site features a different episode of "The Daily Show" than the one inside the Emmy box. Which one will "Daily Show" ultimately submit to judges in the Emmy war over best variety series? We've asked the network's Emmy chiefs and await response. And what do Emmy-watchers think of the race? Read the reax of our forum posters.

"Lean and mean" is how Comedy Central describes this year's Emmy box. It's just like last year's package (two DVDs in one slender plastic case), which was far more modest than the one sent to voters in 2008.

Current contents:

DISK 1:

"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" -- Oct. 12, 2009 (Mike Huckabee guest)

"The Colbert Report" -- Stephen Colbert entertains troops in Iraq

"The Sarah Silverman Project" -- When Sarah grows a mustache, her sister tells Sarah that she was born a hermaphrodite.

"Important Things With Demetri Martin" -- "Attention"

Continue reading »

Can Oprah Winfrey squash Conan O'Brien AND Jon Stewart?

April 13, 2010 |  3:23 pm
Oprah Winfrey Conan Emmy TV news

Now that it's official that Conan O'Brien is heading back to TV with an evening gabfest, it means that he's returning to the Emmy derby — where he may run smack dab into Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey just announced that she'll launch a new one-hour evening show, "Oprah's Next Chapter," on her new TV network OWN next year. That means she'll be eligible to compete at the prime-time Emmys. She may decide not to join. She quit the Daytime Emmys in 2000, allegedly because she'd won so many times that she wanted to step aside and give the glory to other shows. Granted, she had won nine times earlier (the most in Emmy history), but Oprah also had just lost twice in a row to Rosie O'Donnell's program when she pulled her show from competition. Some Emmy-watchers believed that Oprah was so furious about the double loss that she refused to endure defeat again.

Whatever the truth was about what happened to Oprah at the Daytime Emmys, she may choose to join the Prime-Time Emmy derby in order to hike the industry profile of her new show. If so, she may not have to worry too much about Conan O'Brien as competition.

It took Conan O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before the show landed its first Emmy bid in the variety series category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully in that race for five years, always losing to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which O'Brien will now face head-on in the ratings.

"The Daily Show" will surely turn out to be Oprah's toughest Emmy rival. Over all, it's won best variety show for seven years in a row. Last year, Jon Stewart was asked by reporters if he plans to "pull an Oprah" and pull his show from the Emmy race so other shows can win. He roared, "No!"

Photo: Oprah appeared as a presenter on the Emmys in 2008. Credit: ATAS.

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Why does 'Amazing Race' keep winning the Emmy? Why doesn't anyone gripe about 'The Daily Show's' romp?

September 22, 2009 |  7:32 pm

Amazing race jon stewart

There's a cruel double standard applied to the repeat Emmy victories by "The Amazing Race" and "The Daily Show" — both of which have swept their categories (best reality program, best variety series, respectively) seven times in a row.

When "Race" prevailed, amazingly again (it's never lost this category in the seven years of its existence), there was grumbling back in the press room. No one suggested it didn't deserve to win. The harrumphing was all about, "Oh, it won again? Isn't enough enough?"

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst even had the lousy manners to say, "Maybe 'Amazing Race' should do what Oprah did and pull itself out of competition." Moments later "Amazing" producer Bert Van Munster was asked by reporters if he'd do just that. He replied, "I'm going to discuss it with my committee here, but it's unlikely."

Jon Stewart Daily Show

However, when "The Daily Show" won again, none of the journalists seemed to mind, and nobody mentioned the Oprah option. Why?

The answer's obvious. Journalists think Jon Stewart is cool, so no one has the guts to suggest — out loud — that he should bow out. Daring to utter such a thing would risk instant ambush, flogging and crucifixion by peers. But if the basis for complaining about repeat victories is monotonous repetition, then both shows should be held to the same standard, shouldn't they?

If you wish to argue that "The Daily Show" deserves to win and "Amazing Race" doesn't (and no one I know has made that argument publicly), then consider this: A good case can be made that "The Daily Show" didn't deserve to win this year. It beat a nominee that was universally acclaimed to be one of the most relevant, important and brilliant programs of the past TV year: "Saturday Night Live" not only had a superb season, creatively speaking, but its riffs on U.S. presidential politics starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the water-cooler talk of the nation. Did "The Daily Show" really deserve to beat that? Of course not. So how did it happen?

There are quirks of human nature that can be routinely observed as factors behind who wins Emmys. Let's start with Stewart's category: best variety series. Programs with multiple hosts seldom win Emmys. We see that all the time at the Daytime Emmys, where just a few weeks ago, for the first time in this TV award's history, a show with multiple hosts ("The View") finally won best talk show. That same voting bias hurts "Saturday Night Live." The show hasn't won this category since 1993 and that may be one of the reasons. Showbiz awards are all about hugs. When voters look over a ballot, they're more inclined to want to wrap their arms around one person than lots of people.

But there are four solo people emceeing the other four nominees in this category. One of them is just too mean. Even as much as he's liked and admired, no one, let's be honest, wants to hug Bill Maher. In fact, he's Emmy's biggest loser, with 22 defeats, no wins. David Letterman has always been a bit mean, but he's warmed up through the years. He used to win here frequently, but he's been pushed aside ever since Stewart emerged as the new Letterman, the new cool dude with snarky 'tude sitting behind a desk on TV.

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