Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on November 28, 1962) is an American liberal comedian, whose hosting of the Oscars in 2008 set the modern record for its smallest number of viewers: it "drew the worst ratings ... of the modern era. Whoever came because of Stewart was more than offset by those who tuned out."
Stewart appeared in several bad movies, including "Big Daddy," "The Faculty," "Half Baked," and "Death To Smoochy." Because his movies almost always do very badly (critically and financially) people say that there is a "Jon Stewart Curse" that he brings to all his movies.
Jon Stewart has described himself as "more of a socialist or an independent than a Democrat." Roger Ailes mentioned that Stewart told him he is an atheist. He is best known as the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and for his political satire.
Stewart was born in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1984, where he studied psychology and played on the men's soccer team.
Stewart lives with his wife Tracey Stewart (née McShane) in New York City. They have two children.
Stewart was known for being a funnyman in high school. He moved to New York City in 1986 and did not have the courage to perform at a local comedy club. When he did the following year, he adopted his stage name Jon Stewart and his act was relatively unsuccessful. Stewart became a regular at the Comedy Cellar, where he performed every night. In 1989, he landed his first television writing job, writing for Caroline's Comedy Hour. He began his work for Comedy Central in 1991, hosting Short Attention Span Theater. In 1992, Stewart hosted You Wrote It, You Watch It on MTV, which did not last on the air for long. Stewart was considered to replace David Letterman when Letterman left NBC in 1993, but Conan O'Brien replaced him. He then developed the talk show The Jon Stewart Show on MTV. It was the first talk show on MTV and was a hit, second only to Beavis and Butt Head at the time. In 1999, Stewart replaced Craig Kilborn as the host of The Daily Show. During Kilborn's tenure as host, it was generally more pop-culture oriented. However, when Stewart became host, the show adopted a sharply political focus.
Jon Stewart has co-written, with other writers of The Daily Show, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, which satirizes the American political system, and Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race. Both are crude books full of sophomoric humor such as swearing, vulgarity, tasteless sexual references, and objectionable Photoshopped pictures. Both contain a heavy liberal slant.
Notes and References
- Roger Ailes Says Jon Stewart Told Him He's an Atheist and a Socialist, Newsbusters.org, November 18, 2010