Culture

On The Bandwagon: “The Daily Show”

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Every week within On The Bandwagon, Marissa Morales runs down all the TV you really should be watching by now.

I don’t want to live in a world without The Daily Show.

I remember my dad watching it when I was younger, back when Craig Kilborn was the host. We weren’t always blessed with Jon Stewart. Not to say that Kilborn wasn’t a decent host, but I guarantee at least half of you are going “Craig who?”

It’s hard to begin with why I think everyone should watch this show, and to be completely honest, it still floors me when I find out that there are people who don’t. I know not everyone wants to get involved with politics and blah blah blah. Guess what, though? They’re important! You should at least have basic knowledge!

The beauty of the show is its diversity. Don’t worry, conservatives and Fox News aren’t the only ones falling under the writers’ microscope; liberals and MSNBC are prey as well. The sheer stupidity that is American politics is poked and prodded, and underneath the humor is the most real talk you will get on the topic. Often you’ll watch a segment, crying tears of laughter, and then immediately slam your fist on the table screaming “Goddamnit they’re right!”

Stewart is an incredible host, voicing what his audience is thinking, and holding his own against various guests. (YouTube Robert Pattinson’s last appearance on the show for Cosmopolis, and thank me later.) Stewart can chat with anyone from Bill Clinton to Kristen Stewart. Recently Malala Yousafzai was a guest; you may recall she was shot by the Taliban on her way to school, and I have to say that I think the interview should be required viewing for everyone. This show isn’t just funny, it has heart.

Stewart’s contributing staff is an incredibly talented roster that includes Jason Jones, Aasif Mandvi, Al Madrigal, Larry Wilmore, John Hodgman, Kristen Schaal, Jessica Williams, John Oliver, and my personal life inspiration Samantha Bee. Past news team members include Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert, who you may have heard went on to do his own show.

Oliver also took a turn at hosting this summer while Stewart was directing a film based on a segment from the show. Oliver did a wonderful job, and didn’t try to be Stewart, instead bringing his own English charm. While the show paints itself in the light of satire, it makes so many larger points.

It’s wonderful to watch the show skewer everyone, and I mean everyone. No politician is safe, nor are any guests. Bill O’Reilly is a frequent guest on the show, and watching he and Stewart go head to head is always the highlight of my day. (And also a great way to fuel a deep-seeded loathing for O’Reilly. His new book is called Killing Jesus – I mean HONESTLY.)

The show also touches on global politics, which is another topic on which most Americans seem lost. I know I sound like a broken record, but it truly is important to know what’s going on in the world. The show touches on goings on in the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere in the world making waves. The beauty of it is that you’ll get a good laugh as your anger meter rises.

Election season is always a wonderful time to follow that show, and luckily for us Americans, election season essentially begins the day someone is elected. (Seriously, we’re already prepping for the next one less than a year later.) Stewart & Co.’s analysis of the mudslinging that happens during elections is pure gold; they’re even having a good time looking at New York City’s mayoral race.

With the current government shutdown, the show is churning out pure gold. I know that people hate talking about politics, but wouldn’t it be nice to at least know what people are talking about? And this show is like a gummy vitamin: It has all of your essentials and goes down so much better.