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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 03/ 3/2006

Memo to Jon Stewart

By Liz Kelly

Dear Jon,

I've been a fan for a long time. So has everybody... with good reason. You question authority, assumptions and unwitting public officials. And, I'm sorry, but you're cool and you hire cool people (see Corddry, Rob; Helms, Ed; Bee, Samantha; Hodgman, John; and my personal favorite Martin, Demetri). You quote the Simpsons and the President with equal ease. Maybe that's a bad example, but you get the point. You are a god to countless college students who just might vote in the next two elections, in part because of you.


With that in mind, I'm a little bit concerned about this Oscar-hosting gig. I don't think I'm too far off in saying this could be the first step in the mainstreaming of Jon Stewart. There is precedent here: Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal. Two roads are diverging in a wood here, Jon. Pick the right road. Do the right thing. Don't be swayed by the mountains of swag and silicone. Thumb your nose at Hollywood, much as you do the pork-filled legislation you so often lampoon on the "Daily Show."

I know you're short on time, so here are some quick tips you can print out and keep with you on Sunday:

1. No jokes referencing audience members with coordinated shots of said person cackling along with you, especially not Jack Nicholson.

2. No introductory montage in which you have been inserted into this year's nominated films. However, inserting members of the Bush administration would be dandy (Cheney in "Brokeback Mountain," Condi in "Crash," Bush 43 in "Syriana", Bush 41 in "Syriana").

3. No song and dance routine for you, but a little Stephen Colbert number might just work.

4. Do not let Robin Williams anywhere near the stage. In fact, why not limit presenters to Daily Show correspondents? Or just Lewis Black?

6. As soon as the show ends, get the red eye back to New York and mine this experience for some "Daily Show" gold.

For those of you out there who are not Jon Stewart, here's a new Q&A with him from today's Hollywood Reporter, in which he reassuringly says: "I'm hoping the Oscars will propel me to "Half Baked 2." Swell. Someone call Dave Chappelle.

By Liz Kelly  | March 3, 2006; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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