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Jon Stewart defends the freedom to be funny in Egyptian interview -- VIDEO

Going through Jon Stewart withdrawal? You’re in luck. The once-and-future Daily Show host — who is in the Middle East filming his feature-film directorial debut, Rosewater, while John Oliver keeps his seat warm — paid a visit to his Egyptian counterpart for a 20-minute interview that was equal parts serious and hilarious.

Bassem Youssef — who hosts his own satirical news show, Al-Bernameg (The Program), and is referred to as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World” — was accused in April of insulting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith and had a warrant issued for his arrest. Stewart jumped to Youssef’s defense and had him on The Daily Show at the time, and Stewart was happy to return the favor.

When Youssef pointed out that Stewart is “jobless” and asked what he was doing in the Middle East, Stewart responded, “As you know, my people like to wander the desert.” Stewart cracked plenty of jokes throughout the chat (at one point asking if Egypt had ever “considered traffic lights”), but he also fiercely defended Youssef’s right to satire. “If your regime is not strong enough to handle a joke, then you don’t have a regime,” Stewart said to loud applause. “A joke is a joke. There’s an expression — I don’t know if you have it — that’s ‘adding insult to injury.’ Yes, maybe [a joke] is an insult, but it is not an injury. A joke has never ridden a motorcycle into a crowd with a baton. A joke has never shot tear gas into a group of people in a park. It’s just talk.”

Watch the full interview below:

John Oliver ratings steady as 'Daily Show' host


The Daily Show‘s substitute host got off to a solid start on Monday night.

The launch of John Oliver’s 12-week takeover for Jon Stewart delivered 1.5 million viewers and a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating in the national Nielsens. That pretty much exactly matches Stewart’s average in the chair this year.

“Let’s all acknowledge for a moment that this is weird,” Oliver said to kick things off (video below). “This looks weird, it feels weird, it even sounds weird.” Oliver has been a corespondent on Daily Show for seven years. Stewart is taking a break to direct his first film, Rosewater.

John Oliver talks hosting 'The Daily Show,' his stress nightmares, and his dream guest

Tonight, John Oliver starts a three-month stint hosting Comedy Central’s The Daily Show while Jon Stewart is away directing his debut movie, the drama Rosewater. To hear the British comedian tell it, the decision was a no-brainer.

“Jon called me on the phone to say they’d got the money for the movie and then asked if I would host over the summer,” Oliver explained. “I said yes just automatically. I owe him so much I will do anything he wants, from temporarily hosting a show to disposing of a body. It was only on hanging the phone up that I suddenly thought, ‘Whoa. What have I just agreed to?'”

John Oliver's stint as 'Daily Show' host to begin June 10

On June 10, John Oliver will begin his run as guest-host of The Daily Show, while Jon Stewart takes a hiatus to direct his first feature film, Rosewater. Oliver’s first guest will be Seth Rogen.

Oliver has worked at The Daily Show since 2006. Later this summer, he is also set to host the fourth season of John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show on Comedy Central.

Oliver joked in the press release, ”Don’t worry, it’s still going to be everything that you love about The Daily Show, just without the thing that you love the most about it.” Stewart returns Tuesday, September 3.

Here’s a clip of Oliver’s stand-up to ease you into the transition:  READ FULL STORY

Jason Jones joins Andrea Anders in ABC's 'Divorce: A Love Story' pilot

Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones is taking another shot at primetime. He’s set to costar with Better Off Ted‘s Andrea Anders in the ABC pilot Divorce: A Love Story, in which the pair play a recently divorced couple who were bad together but discover they’re even worse apart. READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart to take summer off from 'The Daily Show' to direct a movie

Your topical politics jokes are getting a British twist this summer: Jon Stewart will be taking a hiatus from The Daily Show, and correspondent John Oliver will be filling in as host, EW has confirmed.

Stewart is taking the time off to direct his first feature film, Rosewater. He also wrote the script, based on the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival, which is BBC journalist Maziar Bahari account of his 118 days in captivity in Iran in 2009.

Deadline, which originally reported the news and says the hiatus will cover eight weeks of new shows, points out that Stewart’s interest in the project has a personal twist: After Bahari was accused of spying, one of the items used against him was an appearance he made on The Daily Show.

Check out a 2011 Daily Show interview with Bahari below: READ FULL STORY

DGA Awards TV noms include Lena Dunham, Louis C.K, and Bryan Cranston

Today, the Directors Guild of America announced its nominees for TV and commercials. Some of the shows involved are predictable (Homeland, Mad Men, Louie, Girls), while others aren’t (check out that Reality category!). The list:

Dramatic Series:
Michael Cuesta, Showtime’s Homeland, “The Choice”
Jennifer Getzinger, AMC’s Mad Men, “A Little Kiss”
Lesli Linka Glatter, Showtime’s Homeland, “Q&A”
Rian Johnson, AMC’s Breaking Bad, “Fifty-One”
Greg Mottola, HBO’s The Newsroom, “We Just Decided To”

Comedy Series:
Louis C.K., FX’s Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
Mark Cendrowski, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, “The Date Night Variable”
Bryan Cranston, ABC’s Modern Family, “Election Day”
Lena Dunham, HBO’s Girls, “Pilot”
Beth McCarthy-Miller, NBC’s 30 Rock, “Live from Studio 8H” READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart says Hugh Grant was worst 'Daily Show' guest ever; Grant agrees

Hugh Grant has responded to Jon Stewart calling him the worst Daily Show guest of all time in the Hugh Grantiest way possible: with winning self-deprecation.

On Friday, Stephen Colbert interviewed Stewart before a sold-out audience in Montclair, New Jersey as a fundraiser for the Montclair Film Festival. Their conversation was wide-ranging, covering everything from how Stewart almost quit The Daily Show shortly after being hired to the duo’s marriage advice. But one of the buzziest moments came when Stewart revealed that in the nine years he’s been with the show, his least favorite guest was the floppy-haired stutterer Hugh Grant. Here’s Third Beat Magazine‘s summary of what Stewart said:

Grant spent his time at the studio complaining that he had other places to be. “He’s giving everyone sh– the whole time, and he’s a big pain in the ass,” Stewart recalled. Grant also complained to the staff about the clip that was selected of the movie he was promoting, Did You Hear About the Morgans? Jon Stewart almost quit Daily Show over “asshole” coworkers — a clip that was obviously supplied by the film’s publicist. Stewart recalls Grant angrily asking “What is that clip? It’s a terrible clip.” “Well, then make a better f–ing movie,” Stewart said, adding that he would “never” have Grant back.

Grant apparently didn’t get wind of the comment until today. He gave a charming response to Stewart’s remarks via Twitter:


Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Daily Show' EP explains birth of Bulls#%t Mountain

Want to sum up the 2012 presidential election with a single handy turn of phrase? Try one that The Daily Show dreamed up in September, shortly after Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” video hit the Internet: “Chaos on Bulls#%t Mountain.” The term itself and the segment it introduced perfectly encapsulated the frustration many voters felt while watching cable news – while also making them laugh hard enough to forget all about the election’s pettiest moments. Here, Daily Show executive producer Rory Albanese — who’s “gotten a lot of gray hairs” while skewering the past four presidential elections — explains how Bulls#%t Mountain came to be, and gives a few hints about what we can expect from Jon Stewart and Co. in 2013. (Just don’t hold your breath for official Bulls#%t Mountain T-shirts… although Albanese admits they might be a “pretty hot item.”)

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.

As told by: Rory Albanese

During the election season, so much stuff’s flying in — everyone’s working at this crazy pace, and when something like [the 47 percent video] happens, you go, “Oh yeah, there’s going to be a lot of jokes about this.” You kind of know when you strike gold. Like when Clint Eastwood was yelling at a chair — I went home that night laughing. Sometimes, you’re just handed a gift. So that piece of footage garnered that same reaction, which was, “This is going to be a thing.” READ FULL STORY

Wyatt Cenac leaving 'Daily Show'

It’s no joking matter: comedian Wyatt Cenac is leaving The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, EW has confirmed.

Cenac’s last appearance will be Dec. 13, which is the last new episode of the show in 2012. “Jon and the staff wish him the best in his future endeavors,” a spokesperson for The Daily Show told EW. Vulture first reported the news of his departure.

Cenac has been with The Daily Show since 2008.

Read more:
Jason Sudeikis talks about playing Mitt Romney on ‘Daily Show’ — VIDEO
Jon Stewart on Petraeus scandal: ‘I am the worst journalist in the world’ — VIDEO
Election forecasting wizard Nate Silver takes a ‘Daily Show’ victory lap — VIDEO

'Daily Show' and 'Colbert Report' announce live election-night plans

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were a day late during the political debates, taping their shows before the evening festivities. But they’re not playing around when it comes to Election Day. Both shows will air live on Tuesday night, as the election results come in. The Daily Show is promoting their 11 p.m. ET coverage as “Election Night 2012: This Ends Now,” with Stewart leading his team in analyzing the state-by-state returns. At 11:30, The Colbert Report’s “Election 2012: A Nation Votes, Ohio Decides; The Re-Presidenting of America: Who Will Replace Obama? ‘012!” will welcome political pundit Andrew Sullivan for his take on the election results.

Both shows will also be simulcast on MTV’s Times Square JumboTron, stream live on, iOS and Android enabled devices, Xbox consoles and through The Daily Show Headlines App.

Read more:
President Obama visits Jon Stewart
Stewart and Colbert react to debate blooper

Sandy shuts down Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert

Mitt Romney can breathe a little easier tonight. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will not tape Monday evening.

The Frankenstorm has claimed both shows, the latest New York City-based TV productions to shutter today. The Comedy Central faux-newscasts have been in full-blast election mode in recent weeks. But with the media obsessed with Hurricane Sandy, it’s not like there’s a ton of on-air election coverage gaffes to mock right now anyway.

Comedy Central is taking a “wait and see” approach before deciding on whether to resume taping of both shows on Tuesday, or later in the week. Repeats will air instead. Here’s several other TV productions being shut down.

'Daily Show,' 'SNL,' 'Colbert,' and 'Fallon' writers assemble for New York Television Festival panel

“Live from New York…” is Saturday Night Live‘s proprietary catchprase, but those four iconic words might just as easily more broadly describe the best and brightest of American comedy — period. Within a three-block radius in midtown Manhattan lies the home bases for Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. So it only makes sense that during the comically fertile election season, the New York Television Festival is celebrating the talent behind those shows with a special discussion panel, “Long Day’s Journey Into Late Night: 2012 Election Edition – The Politics of Funny.”

Next Tuesday night at the 92Y Tribeca, NBC’s Willie Geist will welcome a Barry Julien (head writer, The Colbert Report), Steve Bodow (co-executive producer and former head writer, The Daily Show), Colin Jost (co-head writer, Saturday Night Live), and A.D. Miles (head writer, Late Night) for a lively discussion about their favorite moments from the 2012 campaign so far and their take on the current state of the late-night genre. (Tickets are free but will surely “sell out.”) READ FULL STORY


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