STEWART & COLBERT Return! WGA Screwed?

jon stewart stephen colbert

As he often does, Jon Stewart ended off THE DAILY SHOW by checking in with his Comedy Central co-hort Stephen Colbert. Sporting a lengthy strike beard that would put Letterman’s to shame, Colbert remarked, “I’m very alarmed by how prepared you seemed.”

Needless to say, Colbert isn’t the only one.

As much as I was thrilled for the return of my traditional nightcap of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, this TV Addict couldn’t help but notice how ‘normal’ both shows seemed. Sure tweaks to both shows were evident, with Colbert interviewing 2 guests rather than his usual 1 and Stewart taking some not-so-subtle shots at the WGA leadership team for their side deal with LETTERMAN. The worrisome factor kicks in when one realizes that both THE DAILY SHOW and THE COLBERT REPORT still managed, emphasis on without writers, to combine for television’s funniest hour of political commentary.

Whether Stewart and Colbert can keep this up night after night is another issue entirely. Yet one can’t help but ponder the question that should be on everyone’s mind. Is their successful return not another nail in the WGA’s coffin?

  • Josh Emerson

    No, I don’t think so at all. Stewart and Colbert, no matter how great their shows are, are still a very small part of the WGA strike situation. We’re looking at a couple cable shows that get maybe a few million viewers. Combined, they still don’t reach the audience that Leno and Letterman do. Plus, you’ve gotta remember that the biggest effect the strike is having is on network scripted shows, and the talk shows returning aren’t going to change anything there.

    I’d be MUCH more worried about the success of American Gladiators and other reality replacements. If these do well, it means the networks can hold out even longer without suffering all that much. We already know Fox will be fine.

  • David Dean

    I also agree with Josh Emerson. Not that you need a run down…still…
    The writer’s strike is more than just late-night talkshows, and such…. it’s about WRITTEN material in general…..
    Award shows……Golden globes…..oscar…..acceptance speeches in somecases (not a big deal at all…but still part of it).
    Scripted series……Lost, Scrubs, Smallville, The Office… on….

    If Reality tv succeeds for 2008…which it very well could….and even if it survives till 2009….which it very well could…… will NOT continue….tv is not that strong as to hang on through reality television… failed in the past and it will not succeed when ALL THERE IS IS REALITY TV!

    people will stop watching tv REGULARLY!!!
    which therefore diminishes the ratings system and sponsors will drop!

    Once sponsors drop the network will HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!

    This whole thing would be faster if the WGA had a better strike…..huge media coverage, slogans (that are catchy) and get the people who don’t care motivated……

    all it takes is one real life lois lane, to tell some of the stories of these strikers….there are millions of stories….why not do a special on THIS, than another special on what Brittney did to a cash register….or what is the “New” new style for this year….

    Bring back the important news….get rid of more fluff……

    **Rant** lol sorry, BTW this is “David” from previous posts, just decided to write my last name from now on……

  • Great points Josh and David. Agreed the writer’s strike is more than just late night. But late night is a HUGE profit centre for the media conglomerates. Hollywood used to joke that NBC stood for ‘Nothing But Carson’ Having all the late night shows back on the air simply means that the networks can hold out longer. Oh, and America tuning into AMERICAN GLADIATORS isn’t helping either.

  • ewanspotter

    I’m not shocked people are gobbling up American Gladiators. There are STILL a ton of people who have no clue what’s even going on.

  • Ike

    I disagree — “A Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” don’t seem scripted at all. For the most part, IMO, they’re VERY off their game, and clearly doing a lot of improv. Clearly they’re working from a vague outline — which they’re allowed to do — and not a full script.

  • Mark

    The problem is … neither of the those shows Monday night were very funny. They’re clearly out of their element and not very adept at improvisation. Letterman, oddly enough, would be the best show on the air if he DIDN’T come back with his writers.

    Looking forward to seeing the Kimmel/Leno crossover episode tonight…

  • grumpyoldman

    Bring on Big Brother!!!! Here in middle America we are sick of all the new shows that sound and look just like other shows. It’s 30 degrees with freezing rain here. At least the writers get to picket in the sun of LA.