Jon Stewart: No, I Didn't Change Tucker Carlson

Comedian, pundit reflects on career ahead of Kennedy Center honor
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2022 11:02 AM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2022 5:00 PM CDT
Jon Stewart: No, I Didn't Change Tucker Carlson
Jon Stewart in 2014.   (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Jon Stewart enters a comedy pantheon of sorts this weekend when he will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center. The accolade has prompted some in-depth profiles, including at the Washington Post and the Atlantic. Both trace the 59-year-old's career, including his recent return with an Apple TV Plus show and podcast. (The show's ratings are not spectacular so far.) And both recall his famous 2004 takedown of Tucker Carlson, when he accused Tucker of "partisan hackery" and said his CNN show was hurting America. Carlson's show was canceled a few months later. Today, of course, Carlson is the ratings king of cable news on Fox, and both pieces question whether Stewart's public criticism might have actually helped launch what the Atlantic calls the "origin story of Tucker Carlson 2.0."

After all, "humiliation is a powerful motivator," notes the Atlantic. Stewart, however, doesn't think so:

  • “There’s mythologizing as far as, like, a villain origin story,” Stewart tells the Post. “Not even close. Like that dude has been that dude forever and just found his place. It’s not that the crystal found the right home and suddenly the Fortress of Solitude was built. I don’t think he’s any different than he’s ever been.”
The profiles' headlines provide a sense of what readers can expect: "Jon Stewart cares less about his legacy than you do," declares the Post, and "What Happened to Jon Stewart?" asks the Atlantic. One unexpected nugget: In addition to running an animal sanctuary with wife, Tracey, Stewart has taken up drumming. "The fact that he drums for an hour or hours a day and didn’t mention it to you is a little bit odd,” Jimmy Kimmel tells the Post. (Read more Jon Stewart stories.)

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