Book Review: The Daily Show (The Book) An Oral History

Pretty simple here, excellent book if…

If you are a fan of the Daily Show, if it had impact on your life, if Jon Stewart was truly your trusted source for news!


You work in a group environment, that’s creative in nature and want to know how they managed the in’s and out’s of the office dynamic while growing something from scratch!


You want a first hand account how one TV show changed not only the TV landscape, but how it also changed the media and politics in this country. A study on how using satire can express ideas, question authority, hold people accountable and shine a light on the way news organizations failed in informing the public.


If you don’t fit in one of those 3 groups, it’s very much “inside baseball”.

The book is written in a very unique style, it is long form interviews with Jon, the writing staff, producers, correspondents and former guests. Then those interviews are cut up and put in sequential order built around the history of the show and topics discussed. The author also makes observations in italics to let you know he is putting his 2 cents in. This style is great cause you get first person takes on issues at the show and they don’t always agree on what happened or why it happened.

They share growing pains, issues with race and female equality within the show, at the same time they were approaching those subjects on the air. They also tackle firings, Jon being a “bit of a control freak”, personality conflicts and even occasional dislike for one another.

But what makes it refreshing, is that it’s the actual people talking, including Jon, explaining about the mistakes they made, the blinders they had on and how they worked through real inter-working issues the show went through.

Why you want to read this book?

First hand accounts of The Daily Show the days after 9/11, Senator John McCain’s insight about his history on the show, how the bit “Me Lover’s Bread with Crazy Broad” (Trump and Palin eating pizza with a fork in NYC) came from one small conversation to a 7.5 minute but, The Bush/Gore election aftermath, the Crossfire incident and Jon’s passion and actions regarding his involvement with Congress and the plight of the 9/11 first responders.

It’s an amazing account of the process of how comedy can be used to inform, stimulate conversation and actually make the world a better place. The Daily Show’s legacy will be felt for years to come. One example, there was NO “fact check” of speeches before the Daily Show, was there?

I recommend this book!



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