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10 Memorable 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert Report' Moments of 2010

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 14th 2010 4:00PM
Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart - 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear'Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the tenth day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... 10 memorable Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert moments.

Democrats vs. Republicans, Republicans vs. President Obama, Democrats vs. President Obama, Tea Party vs. the world, yada yada yada.

Forget them. Sign us up for the Stewart/Colbert ticket.

People magazine declared Jon Stewart 2010's most influential person -- over President Barack Obama and Oprah. This was a contentious year in politics, after all, and both Stewart and his late-night Comedy Central "partner-in-crime," Stephen Colbert, excel when the political landscape is in turmoil.

This election season certainly provided the pair with plenty of ammunition for their comedy arsenal, with the rise of the Tea Party, the preponderance of and the Republicans regaining control of the House of Representatives. But they don't limit their snark to the political arena, taking potshots at Apple, the news media and anything else that finds its way into the popular zeitgeist.

Both men are among this year's candidates for Time's Person of the Year, and the magazine has already declared 'The Daily Show' one of the greatest television shows of all time. Let's look back through the evidence and see those moments in 2010 when 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' stood out and demanded to be noticed.

1. Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart Agree About Glenn Beck
Both O'Reilly and Stewart, longtime friendly rivals, both had new books to sell in 2010, so they went on each others' shows in late September. The pair talked about the state of modern media and the "looney bin" that is Fox News. But when Stewart said Glenn Beck wouldn't have him on his show, O'Reilly joked back, "He doesn't know who you are!" While they fundamentally disagree, it was nice to see that both could be civil and even find some common ground.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill O'Reilly
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

2. Colbert's Vancouverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics
Stephen Colbert took the U.S. Speedskating Olympic Team under the powerful wing of 'The Colbert Report' and raised $300,000 to help send them to compete. Taking the official title of Assistant Sports Psychologist, Colbert joined them, broadcasting nearby NBC's coverage where he could rib Bob Costas and show him how to make sports coverage cool.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Vancouverage 2010 - Ed Colbert
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog March to Keep Fear Alive

3. Stewart v. Bernie Goldberg
While he was polite with O'Reilly, Stewart's interview with frequent 'Factor's' guest Bernie Goldberg turned into a heated debate on the state of the news media. Stewart took Goldberg and all of Fox News to task for making what he deemed irresponsible generalizations about the Tea Party, eventually telling Goldberg and Fox News to "go f*** yourself!" It went back and forth, culminating in Stewart's blast against Fox News for their "Fair and Balanced" tagline. "I know that I criticize you and Fox News a lot," he said. "But only because you're truly a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization."

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

4. Vice President Joe Biden Helps Stephen Colbert Honor Returning Iraq War Troops
To honor the troops coming back from Iraq, Colbert hosted an all-military edition of the 'Report,' offering the troops free hot dogs served by Vice President Biden. Biden would later give some credit to former President George W. Bush for his compassion and care for the Armed Forces. It was a moment that transcended comedy and proved that these shows could be important reminders of what really matters.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Joe Biden
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog March to Keep Fear Alive

5. Jezebel Attacks 'The Daily Show' for Sexism After the Hiring of Correspondent Olivia Munn
Earlier this year, 'The Daily Show' added Olivia Munn to its roster of correspondents, but the former 'Attack of the Show' hostess wasn't greeted with open arms by the writers at Jezebel.com, who suggested she was hired based on her looks, and alleged that 'The Daily Show' had a larger problem with sexism. Female staffers came out in defense of Munn and the show, where she still works. Stewart's only mention of the incident was a throwaway line that "Jezebel thinks I'm a sexist pr**k!"

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Kremlins 2: The New Batch
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

6. Stephen Colbert Uses the iPad to Make Salsa
One of the first media personalities to get his hands on Apple's highly anticipated iPad back in April, Colbert was initially less-than-impressed by its lack of features. He was outraged that it couldn't make phone calls, though joked that in that regard it was like the iPhone. But he did discover that it does a decent job of slicing vegetables and offers urine filtering.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Gets a Free iPad
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> March to Keep Fear Alive

7. President Barack Obama Appears on 'The Daily Show'
On Oct. 27, just days before the mid-term elections, Barack Obama became the first sitting president to appear on 'The Daily Show.' That he appeared as the Democrats were scrambling to hang onto their leads in the Senate and House was indicative of the power and influence the show has come to have over the political landscape. In an intense back-and-forth interview, the president defended his policies against Stewart's critiques and urged voters to remember that "it was change you can believe in, but we're going to have to work for it."

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

8. Stephen Colbert Testifies in Character before a House Judiciary Subcommittee
In one of the oddest moments of the year, Stephen Colbert was invited to speak before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Security. The offer came in response to a show segment with the United Farm Workers and their "Take Our Jobs" initiative, which offers Americans the opportunity to take on the agricultural jobs they complain illegal immigrants are taking from them. The organization is also looking to help legalize their immigrant workers. Colbert's appearance, in which he stayed in-character, was controversial and compelling, but he managed the hearing with class by balancing blowhard comedy with intelligent sincerity on the topic.

9. Rick Sanchez v. Jon Stewart
CNN host Rick Sanchez, a regular butt of Stewart's comedic ire, went on a bizarre anti-semetic tirade during an interview on satelite radio, calling Stewart a "bigot" who was against anyone who wasn't like him. Sanchez also said that CNN was run by people "a lot like Stewart," who is middle-class and Jewish, so there was no way the Jewish people could understand being part of an oppressed minority group. Sanchez was fired from CNN the next day.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hurty Sanchez
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

10. Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
Perhaps realizing they had real power to affect change, Stewart and Colbert put together a live public rally at the Washington mall for the weekend before the election. Begun as a spoof of Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally from August and Al Sharpton's Reclaim the Dream march, Stewart said he wanted to give a voice to the largest group of voters, those who aren't on the extremes of political culture and generally don't get much media attention. The movement grew as it drew closer, drawing the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who gave one studio audience of Stewart's show free tickets, and Arianna Huffington, who provided a bus to transport people to the event.

At the rally, Stewart spoke passionately about the power of the American people, and the irresponsibility of both government and the media. "The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen," he said. Or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the dangerous, unexpected flaming-ants epidemic! If we amplify everything, we hear nothing."

The rally elevated Stewart and Colbert to a new level of prominence, blurring the lines between satire and political action. Now it seems people are hearing the two Comedy Central stars louder and clearer than perhaps ever before.

Whether Stewart and Colbert are comfortable taking that power seriously is an open question. Regardless, it was nice to see someone out there encouraging people to "take it down a notch," and be reasonable about what's going on. Now they've got two years to figure out how to top the rally for the 2012 elections.

Yesterday on Festivus: 11 'Real Housewives' Feuds
Tomorrow on Festivus: 9 Unanswered 'Glee' Questions

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Thanks for the great post! I love a good excuse to sit and watch videos for half and hour. [URL="http://bitly.com/i65Mb7"]The Daily Show vs. The Colbert Report[/url]

April 03 2011 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know there probably wasn't room on here for it, or it happened after this was posted, but another moment that was definitely up there was when Stewart had the first responders from 9-11, calling out Congress for not yet passing the bill, and the rest of the media for not saying anything about it. Despite the fact that it did eventually get passed, he remains the sole person to call our government out on being the selfish morons they are and for not passing this immediately.

December 23 2010 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In "Moment #2", you state that Stephen Colbert raised $30,000 for the US Olympic Speedskating Team. The figure was actually $300,000. In "Moment #9", you mistakenly state "calling Sanchez a "bigot" ", obviously it should be say "calling Stewart a "bigot" ".

December 15 2010 at 5:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to James's comment
Jason Hughes

Thanks for the corrections. Can I blame it on the Festivus nog?

December 15 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best moment i think from Colbert's show was when he called Palin a F*cking Retard.

December 14 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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