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The Evening Paper - Media, Culture and the Modern Condition


Nov 5, 2020

 jon stewart signed a deal with apple tv.

stewart agrees to come back to TV in a much different world for comedy commentary—- than the one he left in 2015.

back then he was a mainstream yet novel voice in the space——  grabbing good viewership numbers and outsized acclaim for his work—-  for more than a decade—-

today—- his protégés— stephen colbert— john oliver—- samantha bee— and their less successful brethren have duplicated elements of his formula

as has most of late night tv. 

headlines are written about what these hosts think about politics.  many expect them to address hot button issues political issues daily—- often without a shred of funny

the novelty is gone—

 as is the appeal of a self proclaimed fake newsman——

even that phrase means something very different than it did a half decade ago—-

also gone is most of the power of cable tv. 

viewers have fled to streaming platforms like netflix—— disney plus—— youtube and parts unknown—-

hence stewart’s shrewd move—- joining apple’s overpaid—- little watched— roster of shows..

stewart like fellow returning—- cable tv mainstay keith Olbermann, finds themselves rebuilding in a world that overgrew their thrones. 

And I’m betting on Olbermann on YouTube more than Stewart on an obscure streaming network.

the barrier for entry is too high for stewart and he’ll likely get lost in the shuffle...



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