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Colbert vs Stewart

Forget the ongoing primary fight between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.). The primary that really matters is the one between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for the hearts, minds and, yes, even the eyeballs of America.

Stewart, the progenitor of political news coverage with a comedic twist, and Colbert, the new kid on the block who starred so famously (or infamously) as the keynote speaker at the 2006 White House Correspondence Dinner, have become major players in the daily hustle and bustle of the 2008 campaign. Candidates clamor to appear on their shows and political junkies tune in night after night.

So, who's better? A new poll conducted by Harvard University's Institute of Politics gives us some answers about how the young set -- ages 18-24 -- come down on that very question. (You can view the poll, which provides a fascinating window into the minds of young voters on a range of issues, on the IOP website. A word of caution: the poll was conducted entirely online, a still somewhat new methodology that is not yet broadly accepted within the polling world.)

Stewart led the way as the preference of 30 percent of those tested while Colbert checked in at 26 percent. Roughly three in ten chose neither while a shocking 16 percent said they had never heard of Colbert and Stewart. Who are these people? Are these the same people uninterested in the unveiling of the official Fix t-shirt?

Going inside the numbers, there are some fascinating differences within the 18-24 year old crowd when it comes to the Colbert-Stewart conundrum.

Males tend to favor Stewart (38 percent to 31 percent) while women go narrowly for Colbert. Democrats are Stewart people (43-31) while Republicans are part of the Colbert Nation (49 percent to 21 percent). Those who say they are following the campaign closely opt for Stewart by a 46 percent to 33 percent margin; those not following the race all that closely prefer Colbert 31 percent to 25 percent.

Perhaps the most fascinating divide in preference is age. Eighteen and 19 year olds prefer Colbert solidly (41 percent to 25 percent) while those between 22 and 24 are Stewart supporters by a similar -- 43 percent to 26 percent -- margin. The swing group appears to be 20 and 21 year olds; they split relatively evenly between Stewart (33 percent) and Colbert (32 percent).

Where do you fall on the Stewart-Colbert question? The comments section awaits.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 26, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Stewart easily for me. but Colbert is good. but when it comes to deeper humor i prefer john.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BECKINC | May 2, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm way too old for the original poll, but I go with the younger set. I've never seen anyone as quick witted as Colbert. The guy's hilarious most of the time. And he's got the most vocal of the right wing mouthpieces down cold.

Posted by: AmmoBob | May 2, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I am a Baby Boomer, and I love them both. I especially like Colbert's song ("Stephen, Stephen") written by The Apples in Stereo's lead guy. (And if you don't know who the Apples in Stereo are, then you're not so cool yourself.)

Posted by: LadyJustice | May 1, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Do conservatives who like Colbert not understand that he is a parody of conservative talk show hosts? If so, that would explain some things. Limbaugh and O'Reilly seem a lot like parodies to me, too.

Personally, I believe Colbert is the most brilliant satirist of our time. Stewart is great, but Colbert takes it to a whole other level.

Posted by: metame | May 1, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Both of them are funny but Stephen Colbert is the best.

Posted by: LindaGr | May 1, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

If you're a Republican kid enjoying Colbert, you must be a masochist, because he's making fun of you mercilessly and repeatedly

Posted by: edsbowlingshoe | April 30, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Colbert Nation

Posted by: cw2028 | April 30, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm not at all surprised that Republicans prefer Colbert. Stewart is unabashedly liberal and unapologetically critical of the administration. Colbert tilts liberal, but you have to watch the show consistently to get that because he is more than happy to run with jokes against liberals if they will get a laugh.

I prefer Colbert because he is an equal opportunity opportunist. He finds the laugh and goes with it; he's almost as likely to a shot at a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as he is John McCain (who is OLD!) or George W. Bush (great president or greatest president).

However, I give Stewart credit for being a fantastic interviewer and doing an excellent job with his show as well.

Posted by: scott032 | April 29, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart has some off nights, and when it goes downhill I just turn him off. However, I am more than happy to tune in each night to check him out. I am 66 and think Jon is hot! Stephen Colbert does too good a job sounding like a Bushie . . . scary!

Posted by: Pat from Stoney Ridge | April 29, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Man - I can never get it right! Why am I always so off in the polls? I'm 24 and I prefer Colbert and Hillary Clinton - so not my age status quo. I guess I should change my mind to fit national polls ... or I can just watch Tonight's Word ...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I, a 32-year-old female Democrat, vote for Stewart. I enjoy Colbert, but I regularly bust a gut laughing (and crying) with Stewart. My husband, a 32-year-old male Democrat, likes Colbert a little bit better. Mostly because of the infamous Correspondence Dinner where he told off Bush in Person.

Posted by: Woods | April 29, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

This type of poll is not scientific, so don't get too upset about the results. They are both funny, but Stewart is a brilliant interviewer. Many a mainline pundit could learn a lot watching him. Maybe he should moderate the fall debates, so we can have real questions asked instead of irrelevant ones.

Posted by: Nora | April 29, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I prefer Stewart most of the time, but when Colbert is on he is on. I watch both along with Kieth Olbermann every day. There is more real news on in this 1 hour and a half than all the other news programs combined.

Posted by: jimwalksdogs | April 29, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm 61. I prefer Stewart, but watch both religiously. I consider it a one hour block. Let's not forget that Colbert was a Daily show correspondent for quite a while before he got his own slot. I watch Olbermann, but he's not appointment tv for me, as he's not a comic...he's more of a pundit.

Posted by: fayj | April 28, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I am a 81 year old female and love both Stewart and Colbert but please do not put Stewart and Colbert' name in the sentance with Olbermann who is shamelessley in the pocket of Obama.

Posted by: sarah ina | April 28, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

John Stewart is great. My biggest complaint has to do with his interviewing - he'd sucks at it. I know he'd be the first to admit his skills are mediocre at best, but jeez is he long winded! By the time he finishes rambling off another verbose question I'm ready to strangle him. Hey John, how about keeping the questions basic, short and simple. I know you like to throw some big words in there to highlight your intellect; but honestly, we don't care. I guess if I had to choose my favorite, it'd be Colbert. I love how he uses himself for comedy. His music video battle with Rain is something I could watch everyday and still laugh at. Colbert is silly, quick-witted and fun!

Posted by: Marie | April 28, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I stopped recording Colbert awhile back for no apparent reason. But I look forward to each new Stewart. What's the diff? The cast on the Daily Show are hilarious. Rob Riggle is insane. Oliver is a hoot. They all shine.

Posted by: Mike in Garland | April 28, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"Vast amounts of money are flooding the world's commodities markets, driving up prices of staple foods like wheat and rice. Biofuels and droughts can't fully explain the recent food crisis -- hedge funds and small investors bear responsibility for global hunger.

Not long ago, Dwight Anderson welcomed reporters with open arms. He liked to entertain them with stories from the world of big money. Anderson is a New York hedge fund manager, and as recently as last October he would talk with enthusiasm about his visits to Malaysian palm-oil plantations and Brazilian grain farms. "You could clearly see how supply was getting tight," he said.

In search of new investments, Anderson sends dozens of his employees to visit agricultural regions around the world. Back in New York, at his company's headquarters on the 27th floor of an office building high above Park Avenue, they bet on agricultural markets from Peru to Vietnam.

But in the towers above Manhattan's urban canyons, it's easy to lose touch with the ground. Hedge fund manager John Paulson was recently celebrated for achieving a record annual profit of $3.7 billion (€2.3 billion). Those who work in this environment have only one rule: Don't disappoint profit-hungry investors."

-- from Der Speigel 'Deadly Greed - The Role Of Speculators in the Global Food and Energy Crisis'

Note, Dwight Anderson has donated the maximum allowable amount to the Obama and McCain campaigns. "Associates" of is company have done likewise. John Paulson, Greg Warner, et al are solidly Republican, but have provided huge donations to the Clinton campaign. It is apparent that the various Obama, Cltinon, McCain partisan's here are committing suicide.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Depends on your preferemce -- comedy versus farce.

I find the Republican bent towards Colbert humorous. I would love to see those numbers if the same group had to watch his 2006 White House press diner performance -- which only demonstrated how thin the line between farce (Colbert) and tragedy (Bush) can be.

I'm 39, and I love them both. Unfortunately, the 2 and 7 year olds keep that sort of viewing activity to a minimum. I glean youtube for the "best of" moments.

Posted by: Dave | April 28, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm for Colbert.

And just so the fix knows, I'm 25, male, a Republican, and I am following the Presidential race very closely.

Just something for the Fix to parse!

Posted by: Haners | April 28, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe many of the Republican Colbert fans are true Republicans who are upset that their party was hijacked by the Neo-Cons.

My 80+ grandmother certainly enjoys Colbert (and, trust me, she gets the joke) and she's a cradle-Republican who nevertheless hates Bush.

Posted by: Jennie | April 28, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

45- I think they're both really funny, I see Stewart as more politically savy, and Colbert's wit as irony in the way he professes to be a narrow minded right winger, and yet allows the truth to be expressed by making himself the brunt of the joke.
I'm not surprised republicans prefer Colbert, as Stewart is certainly anti-right wing, but it does reflect a lack of understanding / insight; but go figure they put Dubya in for two terms.

Posted by: Paul | April 28, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

How can you choose between the two? Colbert is somewhat of a continuation of the Daily show with a great sarcastic twist. Colbert scored during the week leading to the PA primary by going to Phily and getting both Obamas, Hillary and John Edwards to appear. The question is how do the Republicans favor Colbert when he is making such fun of them?

Both are probably the best source of real commontary on this long running primary season. Nothing PC about it - just common sense with a great sense of humor and irony.

Posted by: PolWonk | April 28, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

svreader - Another bloated and whining beta male for Clinton? Look, no male with their privates intact will support Clinton and, based on the hysteria and shrill voices of the Cltinon Peanut Gallery, no male will ever again support anything like a "women's issue". You people wanted a divorce. You got one!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 28, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

If it hadn't been for John Stewart, I would not have survived the Bush years...particularly in the beginning! Even better when Stewart expanded the time to launch Colbert on his own. Shrewd and strategic move. Now balanced perfectly to reach a vast, diverse, aware, critical audience.....witness all the posts. Cheer! Either show could stand on its own, but I think Stewart has a stronger footing. Oh, I'm 82!!!

Posted by: Irene Gilbert Hiscock Gibson | April 28, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm just waiting for the Jon Stewart fad to pass so Craig Kilborn can return to the throne and bring back 'He said, Winstead.'

Party like it's 1997, Craigers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is more in tune with the greatest national security threat we face--Bears.

Posted by: JNoel002 | April 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

As funny as Stewart and Colbert are, I think Bill O'Reilly is even funnier.

Posted by: Rosie | April 28, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The Fix's official t-shirt looks like an official soccer crest... could The Fix be a soccer fan?

Posted by: LBrock | April 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm in my early 50's and love them both! If only we could have two quality choices like this in November.

Posted by: UTMark | April 28, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm 61 and I watch them both faithfully. Colbert does a great job of staying in character, but I wouldn't pick between them. Jon needs to giggle less and say "settle down" less and be nice to Williom Kristol et al, less. But it's a tougher gig because Colbert is freer to be over the top in interviews because O'Reilly is so super-hyperbolic.

Posted by: Richard Waddell | April 28, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"They are comedy shows, not real, who cares? You can't find something relevant to write about in this changing by the hour atmosphere?"

Considering they are two of the most watched political commentators of our day, and probably more trusted and respected than most mainstream media outlets precisely because of their critical bent, I would argue they are incredibly relevant. Therefore, as worth writing about as any of the other ridiculous crap that the mainstream media finds worthy of endless coverage of on any given day of the week.

Posted by: Katie | April 28, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Stewart easily. Colbert has some great lines written for him and is a great parody of a conservative. But in the end it is just a gimmick that gets tiresome, Stewart has a distinct flexibility advantage which includes a pretty decent supporting cast that can be changed to keep the show fresh. Colbert's gimmick is constraining. Maybe the reason for the age shift is simply that after two or three years of the same shtick on Colbert, those used-to-be 18 year olds have internalized the Colbert shtick so well it just isn't that funny anymore, but Stewart as ring leader can get by with 2 minutes of jokes, 5 minutes of interview, and 15 minutes of material by his ever-changing band of "correspondents".

Posted by: Tony C., San Antonio Age 51 | April 28, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

After watching Colbert on the Daily Show for years, I still find him more hit and miss then Jon. And I am ancient, 46 years old. I HAVE to see The Daily Show but I find Colbert easily missable. Both have done amazing things...Jon is an excellent interviewer, Colbert is an excellent fake interviewer!!

Posted by: Larry L | April 28, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I prefer John Stewart. Sometimes Stephen Colbert is so hung up on his "look at me be a fool" ac that he loses touch with reality. Meanwhile, John Stewart is always in touch with reality, mostly changing the vantage point slightly to give us a comparatively better view of what really is happening. he helps us laugh at our own politicians , ourselves and our society by re-examining what may be considered to be rather mundane run of the mill happenings in society and making them interesting and laughable. To fully appreciate Stewart, though, it helps to have some knowledge off the actual news as stated in the mainstream media.

Posted by: majorteddy=== | April 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

forget Colbert vs Stewart, how about Howard Dean vs. Clinton and Obama?

Dean said Monday, either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama "must drop out of the Democratic presidential race after the June primaries."

The Dem Nominating Rules are apparently a "living breathing document". They made the rules, but won't follow them - because they don't like the results.

At this point, no one in the party wants to be the one responsible for picking the nominee. Dean's answer - one of them should commit suicide.

This entire debacle of a process has been an outstanding illustration of the how poorly liberalism works to accomplish anything.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 28, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree with it being an apples and chairs comparisojn, I like them both for different reasons. I like Jon's Humor better, but I enjoy the fact that Colbert actually has many republicans fooled into believing his facetious act. The thing to also remember, Jon Stewart produces the Colbert Report, so I am sure the writing staff is fairly much the same, its just a different approach. A satrircal anchor, and a O'Reilly-esque hyperbole.

Posted by: PainXtreme | April 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Stewart vs. Colbert? That's like having to choose beteween Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. In a target-rich environment for political satire, both conduct what amounts to little more than a nightly smirkfest. By the way, Chris, isn't it the White House Correspondents Dinner, rather than "Correspondence"?

Posted by: Bob Sanchez | April 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I agree with it being an apples and chairs comparisojn, I like them both for different reasons. I like Jon's Humor better, but I enjoy the fact that Colbert actually has many republicans fooled into believing his facetious act. The thing to also remember, Jon Stewart produces the Colbert Report, so I am sure the writing staff is fairly much the same, its just a different approach. A satrircal anchor, and a O'Reilly-esque hyperbole.

Posted by: PainXtreme | April 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm 23... almost 24.

Colbert, by a mile. He's smarter, quicker, sharper, and funnier. Any Republican who likes Colbert either doesn't get it or is self-loathing.

Posted by: TMo | April 28, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Sunday called Democratic rival Barack Obama insensitive to poor people and out of touch on economic issues."

the guy who married the $100 million buck beer heiress calls the black guy raised by a single white mom 'insensitive to poor people and out of touch on economic issues.'

you can't make this sh(t up. but yes, republicans are dumb enough to fall for it. which is to say, really really dumb.

Posted by: Hilarious | April 28, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"The right course of action is to make preparations as quickly as possible to bring our people home. It does not mean as soon as order is restored to Haiti, it doesn't mean as soon as Democracy is flourishing in Haiti, it doesn't mean as soon as we've established a viable nation in Haiti. As soon as possible means as soon as we can get out of Haiti without losing any American lives.

"Now there may be different interpretations of this Resolution on the other side, but it is my view---and I want to make it clear and I think the majority of the American people's view---that as soon as possible means as soon as possible. Exactly what those words state."

---McCain in 1994

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

John McCain: 100 years in Iraq? No problem!

But in Somalia? Not so much:

"The American people did not support the goals of nation-building, peacemaking, law and order and certainly not warlord funding. For us to get into nation-building, law and order, etc, I think is a tragic and terrible mistake. But the argument that somehow the United States would suffer a loss to our prestige and our viability, as far as the No. 1 superpower in the world, I think, is baloney. The fact is, what can hurt our prestige, Mr. President, I'll tell you what can hurt our viability, as the world's superpower, and that is, if we enmesh ourselves in a drawn-out situation, which entails the loss of American lives, more debacles like the one we saw with the failed mission to capture Aidid's lieutenants, using American forces, and that then will be what hurts our prestige."

---McCain in 1993

Posted by: flipflopper | April 28, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Gas going up AGAIN -- keep laughing america.

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Oil prices hit an all-time high near $120 a barrel Monday after a weekend refinery strike closed a pipeline system that delivers a third of Britain's North Sea oil to refineries in the U.K.

The shutdown comes amid supply outages in Nigeria that have helped to support oil against a strengthening dollar.

In the U.S., retail gasoline also hit a record for the 13th straight time. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded rose to $3.603, up four-tenths of a cent from the previous day, according to auto organization AAA.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Republicans choose Colbert for this simple reason. Laughter. What else can you do when you look at your president and his daily shenanigans? Where would Colbert and Stewart be without all this cannon fodder? If your not laughing, your crying - and when your administration has caused you to spend $80 filling your tank and caused your home's value drop $25 K TODAY - would you rather watch some satire about it, or would you prefer the eulogy? At least Colbert pretends to feel thier pain. Even if he doesn't.

By the way - Colbert all the way. He doesn't pull his punches, and the man has bigger cojones than anyone here will ever have. John Stewart hosts awards shows. Colbert roasts the President of the United States while standing 10 feet from him and on national televison at the cost of losing all future invitations to such events. Colbert will sacrifice his reputation to spout the hilarious truth. Point taken sir. Point taken.

"My family motto: Not in the Face."

Posted by: Bigboy | April 28, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Now that the mainstream media has seen fit to come out of pocket and violate the sanctity of the church, where can we go to speak our mind without having to answer to white people? There is this very colonial motif of having to filter black free voices through a sieve of white ignorance and paranoia. What you say--and what other black people in your vicinity say!--has to be state-sanctioned and approved by people who have no idea what you are talking about, and you'd be a fool to explain it to them. "Negro Tour-Guide" is an under-paid position with lots of work, but no benefits.

All indications are that The Rev. Wright is unapologetic. And Thank God for that. Because The Wright Question is, if you can't speak freely and plainly in church without consequence, where are you free? What is your freedom worth if you are not entitled to an opinion you can share--in any matter you like--among friends?

Posted by: Jimi | April 28, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

he Post goes above the fold with a four-click must-read by Eli Saslow, who sketches the scene at a North Carolina voter registration office. He profiles an ex-felon (drug charge) who learned he could register as long as he'd completed parole, a high-school senior registering for the first time, and an ex-Marine switching from the GOP so he can cast a vote not so much for Hillary Clinton but rather against the newcomer he calls "Embowa."

"From what I can tell, if he becomes president he will refuse to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and we will leave Iraq unprepared," he says. "I'm not going to sit at home and let that happen."

Posted by: a country of morons | April 28, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart for President!

Posted by: Stewart Fan | April 28, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

In a case indicating that the world is going completely insane, or simply a something reminding one of the stage prop incident in Spinal Tap, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd arranged for a giant pig to fly above an outdoor concert this weekend urging people to vote for Obama however on the side, the pig said "Don't be let to the slaughter."

We report, you decide.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | April 28, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"Stewart, the progenitor of political news coverage with a comedic twist,"

Because Saturday Night Live and Chevy Chase never did it. Sheez.

Posted by: Huh? | April 28, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm a 35 year old woman, so clearly way too old for my opinion to matter.... but I fall solidly in the Stewart camp. Colbert is brilliant, but frankly his pundit parody is just too well done - it makes me uncomfortable, although I know it's satire. I prefer to watch the dead-on satirical but fairly accurate reporting on The Daily Show.

And anyone who dismisses either as liberal leftists who just bash the right has NEVER watched the show. They bash stupidity on both sides, they bash inept and foolish politicians on both sides, and they bash (beautifully) the sad state of media from CNN to Fox News. There is no bias there. (It just happens that the Bush administration has been particularly fruitful in comedy material.)

Posted by: Muse | April 28, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

What a pointless poll.

I live in Europe at the moment and all I get is 25 minutes of of John Stewart every Sunday on CNN. We only get Comedy Central half the day (evening/nighttime) and it's filled with South Park reruns, Scrubs, and Teachers... each shown several times a night.

You just learned about as much useful information from my post as from the entire poll.


Posted by: Alex van Ommen | April 28, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Colbert makes me laugh more!

Stewart is my "in-the-know" guy...he brings my attention to things I might not have already learned during my Fix day :)

I prefer Colbert a bit more.

Posted by: mch42 | April 27, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

one of them believes in himself and his opinions, the the other believes in the idea of himself and his opinions. Big difference: colbert in a landslide

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

madhatter wrote:

"Both are far-left liberals who get their canned laughs mostly by bashing Bush and our country."

They don't bash the country -- they respect this country enough to recognize that the ideals upon which this country was founded have been ignored and/or perverted by Bush & Co.

And as far as their politics are concerned, both Jon and Stephen are pretty moderate.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I feel a little guilty every now and then when I laugh hysterically at Colbert's wicked humor. Guilty because I love Stewart. Objectively i.e. setting aside my love for Stewart (I got my mom in India to watch Stewart on CNN International), I am 31 and I think Colbert's humor is sharp and incisive. He is on character every second of the show, although now and then the megalomania is a little off-putting. But in terms of new information, the ability to be thought provoking and conducting interviews, Stewart's my man and always will be. And who the heck are those clueless 16%, pray tell?

Posted by: bibi | April 27, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

To all those progressives here who daily praise Senator Obama the following quote from Senator Obama turns my stomach and has convinced me that I and hopefully many of my local attorney friends will come to appreciate:

"Obama also cited a vote on tort reform that angered trial lawyers attorney"

And he is proud of that, why?

I will wait to hear an Obama supporter tell me why we should be proud of that position he was apparently so excited and quick to tell Fox yesterday.

Perhaps his friends in the insurance industry will greatly appreciate that he sides with them.

Posted by: Lecihtman | April 27, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Both are far-left liberals who get their canned laughs mostly by bashing Bush and our country. To the far-left audiences they both have, this is consitered funny. I'll stick to a truly funny guy, Dennis Miller.

Posted by: madhatter | April 27, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is always funny and Stephen Colbert only has some funny moments. I like the Daily Show better b/c it mixes both humor and some serious topics in as well. It's also more informative than the Colbert Report. Jon Stewart also has much better interviews.

Posted by: kytexan | April 27, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Well they are both so great! Like Nicole, Jon has always been "hotter" than Stephen. I prefer Jon because he truly cares for his country. That is very evident if you go on youtube and click on his interview on hardball. Stephen is brillant in his own schtick. Agian check out his interviews with O'reilly and pure brillance. Of course, theWashington Press roast is the ultimate!

Posted by: jeanmarie | April 27, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Stewart panders to his audience like crazy. He barely bothers with satire anymore, he's content to take shots at Bush and have his audience cheer him on.

And I'm a Democrat.

Posted by: Simon | April 27, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm 17 and like Stewart more. I used to think Colbert was better, but I'm kind of tired of his act by now, and think that sometimes his show just isn't funny, while the Daily Show is always pretty funny and very insightful.

Posted by: VaDem | April 27, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I have primary fatigue - there ought to be a law.............

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | April 27, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

it has got to be js for who is the best for commentary however sc is hilariously funy and i think does a better joib of making the audience feel like they are right there in an intimate conversation with him.

but js wins

Posted by: andy from philly | April 27, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If you look closely at Mr. "I am Change" Obmaba he is the most status quo politician of the three candidates running. He has been part of the affirmative action plan for his entire life, he get big government backing him (see Kennedy Kerry. I am sick of him more so that Reagan.

Posted by: Robinhood | April 27, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I find Colbert much more clever, and his funniest bits are funnier, but there's such a harshness there, that it can get draining night after night. (Holocaust docs should be draining--comedy shows . . . I don't want to be drained every night.)

Colbert is also much more narrowly-focused. I get a better view of the political situaion from Jon.

I tivo both every night, and watch about 75% of them, but find myself going to Jon first most of the time these days.

Posted by: Dave Cullen | April 27, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse


If you're not doing it already, can you do a piece on the GOP Nevada Convention?

It seems as if Ron Paul converted his second place into a win, but the entire proceedings were shut down?

It puts the Democratic mess (sorry, campaign for nomination) in some perspective.

Posted by: wondering... | April 27, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What isn't a joke is that the superdelegates are not ending this race.

The Superdelegates are selling out the party for some lame personal considerations.

The truth is the superdelegates are afraid of the consequences of making a decision - most are superdelegates by virtue of other positions they hold, only the add-on superdelegates are not - it is time that they just face their constituencies and offend whoever they feel they have to offend.

Look at the bright side, the rest of the country gets it off their televisions.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | April 27, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Are the Republicans who love Colbert so much missing the fact that he's making fun of the right wing position...or is the right wing media just as ridiculous to them as it is to me (a democrat...and Stewart fan).

Posted by: Chris | April 27, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Stewart "made" Colbert and is still king but Colberto (during the writer's strike) was one of the funniest bits I've ever seen.

Speaking in Spanish with subtitles to Lou Dobbs, Colberto asks, "Let's talk about the war on the middle class. How do we beat those bastards?"

Brilliant. My 15 year old son and 18 year old daughter both about fell off their chairs.

I'm impressed and confused by Colbert's popularity among conservatives. I guess at some level most enjoy getting lampooned but still you have to wonder.

Posted by: Dave | April 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

49% of Colberts' audience is Republican? Oh my word, that means how many of them don't get he is using the extreme to showcase the Right being off track

He is brilliant but here is a great question. What does he do when Obama or Clinton wins? His premise falls apart.

Fortunately, he was funny before his extreme version of his act became mainstream. Comments?

Posted by: mike | April 27, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The average Republican is ultra-rightwing. They have driven the moderates out of the party. I like Stewart a lot, but I think he's far too kind to Republicans he has on his show, especially McCain. He could actually point out some of McCain's great many hypocricies, flipflops, and lies...

Posted by: James | April 27, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Reply to Allison:
What a thoughtful comment. I must say, I now feel much more confident in the future, knowing that our youth is so engaged and intelligent.

Posted by: Steve | April 27, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If you don't fall in this age group, does your vote matter? Do the republican youth who prefer Colbert understand that he is just as or maybe more liberal than Stewart?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm 20 and I've been watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for about a year. Which show do I enjoy more? Probably The Daily Show. I like the combination of news sources and correspondents Stewart uses in his program (John Oliver and Rob Riggle really are doing it for me right now, for some reason). Though I love Colbert, sometimes I find myself thinking, "but man, that's a lot of him!" Often I also appreciate the topics of Stewart's content more, but I guess that's a matter of my own political interests.

Which guy do I find funnier? Probably Stewart. Again, Colbert's character is a great representation of the conservative ideologue that so many of us have come to fear in American politics and I give Colbert himself major props for acting that I do not believe Stewart could bring off. But since Stewart isn't working behind the mask of a character, on some level it makes him seem more accountable for what he's saying and his sentiment more genuine, even though I'd bet the two of them are quite similar politically. I kind of wish they were still on the same show, because I think playing Colbert's character against Stewart's straight man really works to both their strengths as comedians.

But which guy do I admire more? That I cannot begin to tell you. I jumped on the bandwagon kind of late in the game, and I'd seen Stewart's interview on Crossfire and Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner before I watched either of their shows for the first time. It was these appearances, far more than either The Daily Show or the Colbert Report, that captured and held my interest in these guys. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a walking stereotype of my generation who gets her news from Comedy Central -- I go to some combination of The New York Times, NPR, and the Daily Kos for that -- but I don't look to Stewart and Colbert for pure comedy, either. These guys have given voice to what many Americans feel, but will not, or cannot, say on the public stage. That takes a lot of courage, and I hope they keep sticking it to the MSM over and over again.

Posted by: Allison | April 27, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Both shows are brilliant and I seldom miss either of them. I agree with the comment above ("apples and chairs") that suggests that direct comparisons are not really possible. Each show has a different mission, and fulfills it very well. I am rather pleased to learn that Republicans favor Colbert, however. I'm hoping that it doesn't mean that they are as blind, tone-deaf, and self-aggrandizing as Colbert's character, but rather that they see Colbert's O'Reillyian fatuousness for what it is. It's a little too scary to think that they might be mistaking "truthiness" for truth. I was also a fan of "All in the Family," but was astonished to learn that, for every person that laughed at Archie Bunker, there was another who was laughing with him.

Posted by: Mum | April 27, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious that Republicans like Colbert any more than Stewart, statistically speaking. The ones who do just might not realize he's doing his schtick tongue-in-cheek. (Tune in to his Correspondents' Dinner performance two years ago, if it's too subtle for you on the ...Report.) To me, it's Stewart and Colbert are two halves of the same show.

Posted by: Scott Kern | April 27, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm a 60-year-old white woman. If I count, I'm with Stephen Colbert all the way because he is a fellow South Carolinian. More Republicans watch Colbert because they are generally pretty stupid and don't understand that his show is a satire.

Posted by: Lilly1 | April 27, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm 39 and don't see any reason to prefer one over the other. I find Stewart indispensable and Colbert charming--though his shtick gets a little tiresome. With these two, I think Olbermann rounds out the trinity of humor, sanity and real political satire.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

For sharp wit with a hefty dose of reality - both Stewart and Colbert win out over Bill Maher. For innuendo, gutter talk, bias, and miscogny, Maher hits the jackpot.
For outright stupidity and free for all circle jerk - Matthews, Schuster, Olbermann, Scarborough, Abrams, O'Reilly, Hannity & Colmes. . .

Posted by: Tess | April 27, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

When I do (which is rarely) watch Comedy Central, I watch Stewart. Colbert just takes his act way too far and isn't funny for me. Stewart, on the other hand, still has a bit of normality about him, and gives the impression that he really is a sane, human being, someone who realizes its all an act, a show. Colbert comes off as nearly psychotic to me.

Posted by: JDkolassa | April 27, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Colbert hands down

Posted by: Merrick | April 27, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to you, Chris, for a very very very welcome break from the endless slog. In a similar spirit, I liked the recent night that both Stewart and Colbert essentially boycotted covering the Democratic contest and covered the world food shortage instead. That was good programming. And kind of amazing they found a way to cover such a topic ironically but respectfully. Good stuff.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | April 27, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

For the record: I'm a 20 year old Democrat and prefer Stewart.

I don't think all Republicans are naive enough to not understand Colbert's jokes. I think many enjoy him more (a) because Stewart grills his [Republican] guests more and (b) because they may view Colbert as mocking more ultra right-wingers rather than the average Republican.

Posted by: schmeg04 | April 27, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

So, do those Republicans (49%) realize that Colbert mocks them on a nightly basis?

Posted by: bbbfst | April 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Are these the same people uninterested in the unveiling of the official Fix t-shirt?"

No, there's a hell of a lot more of us in that category.

Posted by: rita forte | April 27, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

As a 54 year old, I love them both. Stewart covers the news more thoroughly. He also manages to interview his guests respectfully, even when he completely disagrees with their point of view and shows it. I find his correspondents, particularly Wilmore and Oliver, usually insightful.

Colbert is cutting edge. He is inventive. He has done things with audience interaction and the Internet that no one else has done. He talks about ideas through The Word and his choice of interviews in a unique way. He may be the smartest man on television. I should mention that his writers seem to deserve most of the credit for The Word, since while they were on strike, The Word also did.

Colbert has his weaknesses. He can be sophomoric. He often cuts off guests and makes them look foolish. He never seems to pull his punches. The much lower level of big name bookings on Colbert's show reflect this tendency.

Posted by: Debbie | April 27, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Here in the UK we can only get Stewart, so the question's moot.
And we can't even vote in that other election...

Posted by: fatuous platitudes | April 27, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

God Bless the F.B.I.It's time for a national/international data base.We need to break down Zion into it's individual components.Synchronize your wrist watches.

Posted by: Alto | April 27, 2008 3:21 AM | Report abuse

I think Colbert is funnier and more absurd (in a good way) but Stewart is more relevant. Both of them are far more intelligent than 99% of the talking heads on the MSM.

Posted by: carrie | April 27, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Stewart wins. Colbert is annoying. Someone said that Colbert is like Pee Wee Herman, but Pee Wee Herman does a much better impression of Republicans than Colbert. For example Pee Wee's impression of Jeb's male companion Congressman Mark Foley (Republican, Florida) is much more convincing than Colbert's impression of the RPOF backroom insiders.

Posted by: Singing Senator | April 27, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

In reply to those who are just ridiculing both Stewart and Colbert, they just reveal how little they understand the predominantly Liberal reaction to Talk Radio and the changing national media. Talk Radio is dominant for an older conservative generation. The internet and CC are two major reactions to talk radio. And the younger generations are tuning out to talk radio and watching shows like the Daily Show and Colbert Nation.
I prefer Colbert for his jokes on FOX News and Stewart for his political interests.
Both could have been much better debate moderators than most given the opportunity in the debates.

Posted by: AWG | April 27, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: SPARTACUS | April 26, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

The Daily Show has funnier sketches and supporting players (not surprising, since Colbert's on-camera supporting team is much smaller). But Steven Colbert is a far more incisive and effective interviewer than Jon Stewart, who has a tendency to take it easy on his guests.

All in all, The Daily Show is marginally funnier, but Colbert is more biting and newsworthy. But both shows are funny and great.

If I had to vote for one of the two for President? Colbert. His in-your-face speech at the 2006 White House Correspondence Dinner was one of the most impressive acts of political courage that I've seen in the past twenty years.

Which is, I'll admit, a sad commentary on the state of American politics: that a truth-to-power speech by a comedian to a criminal President and criminally negligent Washington press corps ranks as a major act of courage. Nonetheless, it does.

Posted by: Quasit | April 26, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I set my Tivo to manually record Jon once a day, four days a week, since otherwise it gets confused by Comedy Central's multiple showings of "new" episodes. But then I set it to record for an hour, since Steve follows Jon.

Who needs to choose? Watch them both.

I'm glad so many 18-24 are watching. That gives me hope for the future.

I wish both shows were on 5 nights a week.

Posted by: pgomes | April 26, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

President Barack Obama of the USA!!

Because America wants the Barry best!!

Hillary Clinton is a neocon kamikaze sent out by Cheney, Rove, Murdoch and Mellon-Scaife with the purpose of destroying the Democratic party.

This, my friends, is the Republican strategy for stealing the 2008 election.

We are SICK of the phony manipulation of facts by ad agencies and moronic think takers in order to "fool" the people. They are the fools. That ad will cost McCain everything. It will cost the repubs more seats in the congress and open up repub candidates for the same "independent citizen action groups."

Posted by: Rubiconski | April 26, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I am 82 years old, full of life, fun with a terrific sense of humor and I truly enjoy both Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert. And I am an intelligent, retired MD. Count me in among the educated and a bit wiser than the young in your polls. We both enjoy Stewart and Colbert but I am a Hillary Clinton democrat.

Posted by: MD nel | April 26, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

My husband and I, political junkies raised in the 60's, prefer Jon Stewart. And I agree, it's the best source for news around.

Posted by: nmreader | April 26, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

It seems clear to me that someone is behind this promoting of comics. I wonder if by promoting these guys into big time, it will happen that their promoters will make big time bucks. You are being duped to root for these guys so you will watch them like your favorite ball team. My God.

Posted by: Malachy | April 26, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I prefer John Stewart, though his politics is waaaaaay LIBERAL!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | April 26, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm 147 years old, so I still like Mort Sahl, dadgummit!

Posted by: John | April 26, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I love both. Colbert's comedic timing is priceless though.

Posted by: Good Debate | April 26, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@ tiger: Nice to see that some Republicans fully discern what Colbert is doing and still have a sense of humor. He is a caricature of the loopiest wingnut version of the GOP. There are still thoughtful and intelligent Republicans, though their numbers seem to be dwindling, unfortunately. I happen to be a liberal-leaning Independent, but the only people I demonize are, well, demonic--no matter what their politics are,

Posted by: IceNine | April 26, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I am 17 years old and I love both shows. I have nothing but respect for both Jon and Stephen. That said, I do prefer Jon.

Stephen is a wonderful performer, there's no doubt about it- it's clear that his character is the product of a tremendous amount of work and thought. I admire what he did at the White House Correspondent's Dinner because that took some serious cojones but, my loyalties lay with Jon.

Jon Stewart is a voice of reason amidst the madness of the world. His show is not a vehicle for a performance but for honest political satire. He is a friendly face, one who doesn't grate on the nerves as "Stephen" has a tendency to sometimes do (remember his recent interview with REM? Awkward.). He is witty and smart, calm and rational, and- forgive me ladies of the Colbert Nation- in my opinion, far more attractive than Stephen. Yes, his correspondents aren't as good as they once were (save John Oliver and Demetri Martin who are brilliant), but can he help it if the best ones keep leaving him to become stars?

Posted by: Nicole | April 26, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm 59. Colbert rules. (He's also got a LOT of range: Remember his portrayal as the expert forger on Law and Order?) I like his social conscience: Providing a vehicle for wrist-strong donations for injured veterans, and school-aid contributions for SC and Penn. His turn as the Press Club emcee is destined to become a classic of American political humor (and--indeed--an illustrative footnote in American political history). I think he's flat-out brilliant. (I do wish, however, that he would dial it back some during the interviews...)

I like Stewart. Some of the ensemble work on his show is first-rate. He is, in general, a better interviewer than Colbert. I loved the way he utterly dismantled and exposed Chris Mathews. I literally applauded at home during the interview. I was wonderful to watch Tweety being taken apart in neat, surgical slices. (But he is uneven; the Clinton interview prior to Texas was dreadful--leaden and obsequious.)

Posted by: IceNine | April 26, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

My three demographic groups all go for Colbert, so I guess it is no surprise that I am completely favoring him! I could go on for paragraphs about how great Colbert and his show are, but I won't, at least not here.

I'm surprised that so many people think that Republicans enjoying Colbert are tricked or confused. I am both a Republican and daily viewer of the Report. Colbert still comes across as the "well-intentioned, poorly-informed high status idiot" that he sets out to be. Remembering that he plays a character works both ways, so I'm sure you all know that conservatives don't actually reason and behave like Stephen Colbert!

Posted by: tiger | April 26, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Also... to answer why Stewart and Colbert are so important now, I will tell you this:

A few days ago, the story came out the nearly ALL Top Administration Staff chaired torture meetings in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. You'd think this would be news? HA!

Only Helen Thomas pursued this topic. Everyone else ignored it. At the end Helen could be heard asking. "Where is everybody?" to a room full of reporters.

Posted by: Aldous | April 26, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

FYI... Jon Stewart is a Libertarian.

Posted by: Aldous | April 26, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the biggest(Immense even) Joker of them all, the one who must be the the best Dead-Panner out there, the one NO-ONE should ever take SERIOUSLY;

Little Keithie Droll-Bermann! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 26, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Colbert's much more talented than Stewart, on both a comedic and charismatic level.

Posted by: mahmud010 | April 26, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the biggest(Immense even) Joker of them all, the one who must be the the best Dead-Panner out there, the one NO-ONE should ever take SERIOUSLY;

Little Keithie Droll-Bermann! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 26, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

three questions:

#1: how many of those polled knew that Colbert's show is a spin off from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart? (my guess: less than 50%.)

#2: will either of them accept the 2nd spot on the ticket behind the other? (I think Colbert could live with a Stewart-Colbert ticket more than Stewart could live with a Colbert-Stewart ticket. But don't blame me, I voted for Bill and Opus.)

#3: who is going to tune in to watch whether Fonzie jumped the shark?

Posted by: old man | April 26, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I used to think that Stewart was better and that Colbert was repetitive, but Steven has really stepped it up. I think both shows are excellent now and Tivo them both.

Posted by: Tristan Yates | April 26, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert is the person I will write in for President if Hillary Clinton wins the democratic party nomination.

Posted by: Barbara Guetti | April 26, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I like both for different reasons, but prefer Stewart. However, Stewart sometimes makes sexist remarks that are quite offensive.

Posted by: Steve | April 26, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

While either can be very entertaining, I think it's a tad delusional to think of them as a real source of news. I might agree that "The Daily Show" is one of the better television news programs, but that really isn't saying anything.

The full script of any 30-minute American news program is comparable to what you might get from perhaps half of the front page of a typical newspaper. Of course, it would only take 5 minutes to read that much print, and you wouldn't be subjected to commercials, and good grief does Comedy Central pile on the advertising.

So as entertainment, fine. As news, piffle. The bandwidth is insignificant. And do you honestly think "The Daily Show" is a superior news program to, say, "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer"?

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm 30 and I watch em both if I can. If I don't have time I'll skip Colbert, but theres not a difference in who's good or bad, it's all good entertainment. Both cover the news, both are funny. It's also not really fair to compare Stewart - who has a team of correspondents to bounce off of - with Colbert where it's just him.

The one difference I see in their style is that Stewart will get into serious, productive interviews and analysis that you wont hear on Colbert. The conversation - especially with Republicans - seems more .... important. So I look to Stewart as a real news commentator, preferable to most of the bozos we have on the "real" news networks. As a result I watch him more regularly, because I expect the news of the day from him. I may miss some entertaining spin on the news if I skip Colbert, but if I miss Stewart I feel like I miss an actual news story that could be covered up by other networks.

So when do we see the newest poll of Stewart vs O-Reilly where they see who's audience knows more about current events?

Posted by: Grimmix | April 26, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Well at least they don't tear each other down all the time, right, Hillary?

Posted by: tony | April 26, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Love 'em both, but prefer Stewart who sticks better to the news. Colbert can get off on tangents, but I do enjoy his role-playing; Has O'Reilly caught on yet?

Like to know how the 65+ group of which I am a member votes. Probably 80% would ask, "Who are these guys?"

Posted by: Roger Simpson | April 26, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice break from the mind bending campaign Chris, thanks.

Well this 48 year old NYC native lives for them both, when they are on break the only good thing is I get to catch up on some sleep, having to get up early for work.

I find they both have a different approach to handling their satire. Stewart tends to stick to irony, while Colbert's spoof of O'Rielly can wear a bit after a while. Still I love them both.

Funny how a survey last year found that people who read 1-2 major newspapers or watched Comedy Central were more knowledgeable than those who watched the local news or FOX.

By the way, younger people in the poll may like Colbert more, but when I saw him live the average age was much higher.

Posted by: patrick nyc | April 26, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

dumbest post ever

Posted by: john | April 26, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

they compliment each other, and i don't compare the two.

no one makes congress squirm like stephen colbert, i can only think about senator barney franks first appeance. then there's the final question, "george bush: great president or the greatest president?".

registered non-partisan forty-three year old male here.

Posted by: egalitaire | April 26, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I am not one of the kids who are most represented. In Sept. I will celebrate(or
at least acknowlege seventy-six years.) Often I have the best chuckle of the day with Jon Stewart. I honestly feel that the surge in young people voting is directly related to Stewart--he cuts through all the garbage that pretends to be serious reporting but amounts to a bunch of egos trying to outshine each other in front of the camera. For serious news I never miss BBC World News on Public Broadcasting and Stewart provides the humor behind it all.

Posted by: Elisabeth | April 26, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm 61 and I love them both. I watch both every night considering both of them as a package. I revel in th 11:00 to 12:00 Political Satire Hour.

There is always so much truth in satire from Gulliver's Travels to Mark Twain's works. I consider this hour a modern visual form of the art.

Posted by: Charlie | April 26, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad to see other oldies chiming in here. I'm 54. I love both Stewart & Colbert but must go with Stewart. I think he is more insightful; I love the way he tweaks the MSM. I would rather miss regular news than the Daily Show. And also, he is cute.

Posted by: Dee | April 26, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I used to like Jon Stewart better than Colbert. However, he has become less of an equal-opportunity basher and seems biased towards Obama. It takes the fun out of watching his show. However. Colbert keeps a very even hand and his insight and therefore his comedy is more piercing. By the way, I am a 63-year-old woman. They don't just have a youth audience.

Posted by: CaitlinOfABQ | April 26, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

either one, just keep Conan off the airwaves... he's NOT funny at ALL

he jumps on the stage, says nothing and the crowd goes wild for him.... is his audience all graduates from the geo.w. bush school of communication?

Posted by: Dan... portland, oregon | April 26, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm well beyond the age demographic of interest, so take it for what it's worth. I think Stephen Colbert is 30 minutes of unbelievable cleverness. How he has managed to stick with his O'Reilly persona for so long is truly a mystery. He's got the best writers on TV, no doubt about it.

Jon Stewart is hilarious, except when he's not, and that's when he falls back on his pecker jokes. Colin Firth must be scratching his head, trying to figure out how his whole interview focused on that part of his anatomy. Having said that, he (Stewart)picks up on stuff that the MSM just refuses to. And he does it in a way that attracts younger people. Finally, I love that he has smart people as guests, and actually (seems to) read their books! And he goes toe to toe with McCain (even though he has him on too much and is too cozy with him).

Posted by: alicel | April 26, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a 40s+ WF and I watch both religiously. However, if I were absolutely forced to choose just one, it would be Jon. I laugh (usually, though I don't love all of the correspondents)AND I learn something. It has helped me remain sane through the awful Bush years.

It would be nice, however, if JS could find a truly funny female correspondent. Samantha Bee isn't without talent, but I usually tune out whenever she's on. In fact, Jon's lost his best correspondents the last few years (Colbert being among them) and the show has suffered a bit. But I still wouldn't miss it.

Posted by: gargoylz | April 26, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I think that the joke is on the mainstream media. Who would have thought that the best news show (Stewart) and the best news commentary and analysis show (Colbert) would be done by comedians? I mean the ABC debate was a pathetic, lame joke, but that is not what I mean.

Entertainment and gossip have become the main reason for "news" I get better analysis and better scoops from these two shows and the blogs than I ever get from the newspapers and the networks. Is it any wonder that more people are turning to the new media rather than the old media for news?

Perhaps this is why newspapers are closing all over the place and network news ratings are dropping. Maybe if you guys hired someone from these shows we may get to the real story.

My best wishes to these two gentleman. Like the fool in King Lear, they are the only ones telling the truth, not repeating truthiness.

BTW, I am 45 years old.

Posted by: Yerba Buena | April 26, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a Republican, I sincerely doubt Republicans prefer Colbert over Stewart because they "don't get" that Colbert is a parody. If you think that, it's probably because you are the type of person who loves thinking that all Republicans are ignoramuses, so you choose to believe something that supports that.

I much prefer Colbert over Stewart. My reasons are based more on styles of humor (I just think Colbert is a much smarter form of humor), but if I had to pinpoint a reason why more Repubs prefer him over Stewart -- and let's not forget we're extrapolating from an unscientific, online poll -- it's because, even if it's only in character, Colbert takes a lot of shots at liberal policies and states, however bloviatingly, a lot of ideas that, well, Republicans agree with. Furthermore, when he has liberals appear on his show, he asks them awkward questions that typical hosts -- whether on the Daily Show or actual news shows -- don't/can't ask, because they're afraid of seeming too un-PC or otherwise not getting other guests on their show. Because Colbert's character is an act, he can ask really tough questions that make liberals squirm, even if it's all a joke. And conservatives get a kick out of seeing liberals squirm.

Another reason I think Repubs prefer Colbert over Stewart is because of the nature of the jokes and the studio audience reactions to them. Stewart's jokes are more straightforward and just making fun of conservatives (usually), which causes the overwhelmingly young/liberal crowd to hoot and holler. Colbert's humor, even though it makes fun of conservatives, is subtler and more sophisticated, and the same type of audience doesn't always get the jokes (particularly when, in character, he makes fun of a liberal policy), so there's less derisive laughter from the gallery.

Posted by: Ted | April 26, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Political music is back:

Posted by: Cara Prado | April 26, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I am a 73-year-old female college grad who loves both and never miss their broadcasts!!!! If I must choose, I guess I would favor Stewart, but consider Colbert to be an incredible genius!

Posted by: Naomi | April 26, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Colbert has forced Steward to step up his game. Both are brilliant and among the only sane voices dealing with political matters. Thank goodness for them.

Posted by: JesseB | April 26, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama, free us from the "Clinton Machine" -- all those blue-collar, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, gay, middle-aged-woman and senior citizen manipulators who sit around in smoke-filled rooms forcing their "old politics" onto America.

Obama help free the Democratic Party of the tyranny of these "old Democrats". Free the left-wing, affluent white elites and college students from this oppression of diversity!

There is only room in the rainbow for two colors: black and an elite, cool white. (That would be a bluish or lime white, not one with peach, bisque or eggshell tones in it.)

What America needs in 2008 is a change in STYLE and TONE, away from all these dumpy "old Democrats" with their "old politics"!

We need unspecified change brought about by someone who acts and talks cool!

Posted by: Oppressed by the Clinton Machine | April 26, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

union member, on the article subject itself, based on when I used to watch these shows, I would say I always enjoyed Colbert, but more in the smaller doses he used to come in on "The Daily Show". A full half-hour of that character tends to get a little old for me, and the sycophantic tone of his audience is also a little grating. Yes, sometimes "The Word" is clever, but in general I find it doesn't merit the riotous applause it usually receives. "The Daily Show" also benefits from a more varied format, whereas "The Colbert Report" seems a little too constrained to the talking-head-followed-by-abusive-interview plotline, IMHO.

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse


Much as I've enjoyed Oliver's work in the past, I'm afraid I just don't what you're disputing in my prior statement. Yes, he purportedly couldn't strike because of his work visa. So what? Bottom line is that he chose to work in a way that undermined the WGA. If he technically wasn't a scab, it might be perhaps because he was already on staff, and didn't come in after the strike began to take a previous writer's job. But I don't see how anyone could pretend that his action was harmless.

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart RULES! His political and media commentaries are essential watching. Indecision 2008 is the best political show on TV. His interviewing has improved - and I, too, treasure the memory of those skewerings of Bolten and Chris Matthews.

He gets really interesting authors, many of whose books I have bought after hearing them on The Daily Show. One of his best was with Kurt Vonnegut.

The Colbert Report wears thin fast. "Adorability" is not a quality I enjoy, having known too many others who think they have it. But his talk at the Correspondents' Dinner was solid gold.

Posted by: Senior Lady | April 26, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Colbert, the new kid on the block who starred so famously (or infamously) as the keynote speaker at the 2006 White House Correspondence Dinner???

It was famously and you know it. Man, your such a tool!

Posted by: Wil Burns | April 26, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

antibozo and girldreams:

My biggest point with my first post was really simply this: Why re-open the strike wounds? It was a complicated situation, without a clear right and wrong.

Everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinion about it, of course, but the controversy surrounding Stewart's return is really not so pressing that it should be brought up every time a passing reference is made to the strike.

So I'm done on the strike subject. But back to the subject of this post (Jon vs. Stephen), gun to my head, not sure who I'd choose. Why should I have to choose: they're both talented, intelligent, and witty, they're on the same network, they clearly admire one another, and one show follows the other. No need to pick -- just enjoy.

Posted by: union member | April 26, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse


I didn't assert that Jon didn't discuss union issues in the first week. I pointed out that this discussion became increasingly desperate and culminated with his featuring of a guest no one had heard of that happened to be an expert in labor.

If I seem flippant about "collateral damage", I assure you I am not. But I don't see how you can argue that "The Daily Show's" violation of the strike didn't harm a lot more people than it helped. If you can, please do.

I certainly have not asserted that it "would have been easy for Jon" to do anything. Please don't put words in my mouth. I recognize the difficulty of the situation. Nor am I pressing the point on anyone else; I was having a discussion of fact with union member. If you feel I have misrepresented any facts in this discussion, please point out where specifically (without, please, claiming I said something I did not). Believe me, I'd be delighted to know I'm entirely incorrect and that "The Daily Show" staff were just as supportive of the writers' strike as were the staves of any of the other shows I watch.

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I laugh more with Stewart. Colbert is smarter. Like 'em both...

I'm 45 ...too old to comment?

Posted by: Michael | April 26, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse


First of all, you've already stated some facts incorrectly. Jon didn't spend a "week of lameness" floundering before discussing the union issues. He discussed them on the first show on air during the strike.

Secondly, he didn't turn John Oliver into a "scab." Oliver works with a green card, and was therefore not permitted to strike with the WGA.

Thirdly, I really have a problem with the easy way folks toss around the term "collateral damage" during a strike. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report have 30 writers between them, tops. At the same time, they have 200 technical and support staff, none of whom were allowed to strike in sympathy with the WGA by their own unions. I'm glad you think it should have been easy for Jon (or any late night show) to release them to the unemployment lines after the networks fired them (which they clearly threatened to do).

I appreciate your right to feel it's morally wrong to watch the Daily Show. But I think it's wrong for you to press this point on anyone else here.

Posted by: girldreams | April 26, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

>>On April 26, 2008 2:34 PM StreetSense wrote (quoting me): "Like Colbert, I have a refined sense of irony that gives me an overarching vision from which I can look down on others and dissect behavior so that people can laugh at them." Ms. Keller, I hope you're overtly kidding in this remark! ...It works for him, but to praise Colbert by imitating his persona's judgmental superiority is no more than "monkey see monkey do""

StreetSense, I suppose that is a critical review of my wit! Since I am a longtime student of the "monkey see monkey do" school of improvisational comedy (thanks to my snappy mirror-neuron circuits!), I take your criticism as a compliment.

Thanks for your comment, and here's a pitch (I wrote this one without imitating).

Keep the "Clinton Machine" in the Money!

Look, $50 helps keep the "Clinton Machine" cigar-filled-back-room filled with those blue-collar, Hispanic, middle-aged-women and senior-citizen power-mongers that Obama wants to save the Democratic Party from.

You can stop Obama from freeing left-wing, affluent white elites and college students from their oppression by these "old politics" Democrats!

Please send a small donation (even $10!) Clinton's way at

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Republicans like Colbert because they like to consider themselves middle-of-the-roaders and it's hard to be to the right of Colbert's character.

Personally I think the middle of the road is the perfect spot for Republicans and I can't wait to catch one of 'em there.

Posted by: tomdc | April 26, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

union member: "It wasn't just his own personal needs: he had the needs of his non-writing staff to consider, staff who are for the most part (other than the producers) not as well paid as the writers, and who had nothing to gain from the strike."

Certainly. The entire television industry had varying interests. But if the non-writing staff of "The Daily Show" suffered as a result of the writers' strike, that would have been the fault of the media companies for refusing to negotiate with the writers, not Jon Stewart's, and some collateral damage is the inevitable consequence of any labor action. And I don't mean to single out Stewart--all of the writers on "The Daily Show" should share the responsibility.

The simple fact is that "The Daily Show" staff's failure to respect the strike undermined the union's position, effectively reducing the pressure on the media companies to come to the table to work out something with the writers. This prolonged the strike, and, while the non-writers on "The Daily Show" may have fared a little better in the short run, the non-writers on all those *other* shows that didn't cross the lines were unable to work for even longer as a result.

If instead, after a week of lameness, Stewart (and Colbert, for that matter) had made a public statement that he couldn't continue without his writers, and would have to refrain from producing any more shows in the interest of quality, it might have had a clear impact on strike's visibility and done a lot more good, even for his own staff, in the long run, than turning John Oliver into a scab and ultimately degrading the respectability of his entire show. And I can say he lost at least one viewer in the process.

Look, I wasn't happy to have to stop watching "The Daily Show"; I enjoyed the show immensely and I doubt I had missed a single episode in at least three years before the strike. And I still miss seeing the show. But when Stewart & Co. showed their true colors, I had no choice but to stop watching "The Daily Show". If you feel comfortable watching the show knowing all this, that's up to you. But I don't see how anyone who supports labor can in good conscience continue to watch this show.

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

We watch and love them both -- an antidote to living in conservative South Dakota. Colbert gets my vote for being cleverer and my undying eternal admiration for having the balls to say what he did at at that White House dinner. Heroic, in my book.

Posted by: noGOP4me | April 26, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I watch both daily and prefer Colbert's POV though enjoy both shows equally. It's interesting to see how Republicans prefer Colbert. Either they don't realize that he is making fun of them or they like laughing at themselves. Hopefully it's the latter.

Full disclosure: W/F/53

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Understand that I agree the writers' demands were absolutely reasonable. And no, I don't think that a disagreement with leadership gives you the right to cross a picket-line. I was merely pointing out that Jon's criticism of the WGA was warranted.

I, too, wish that the hosts had stood their ground and not gone back, but I don't blame them for making the choice that they did.

Posted by: union member | April 26, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

First: whoever loaded your 'unveiling' video to YouTube (that Indiana politician who couldn't spell 'potato', perhaps?) can't spell 'debut'. It doesn't have an 'e' at the end. Fix, fix it!

As for choosing between stewart and Colbert, why choose at all? It's like choosing between Burns and Allen. Laurel and Hardy. Abbott and Costello. Gleasona nd Carney. Cillizza and...never mind.

Posted by: Tom J | April 26, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The Rolling Stones or The Who?

Some nights Colbert brings his A game when Stewart brings his C game; other nights it's the reverse.

On balance though on most nights both bring some good laughs and biting commentary -- they help to put the absurd and useless world of cable news journalism into perspective.

Both shows have their place.

Posted by: JP2 | April 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't just his own personal needs: he had the needs of his non-writing staff to consider, staff who are for the most part (other than the producers) not as well paid as the writers, and who had nothing to gain from the strike.

Hosts are in a uniquely difficult situation, because (1) they are BOTH management and labor, responsible to both their employees and their fellow union-members, and (2) the powers-that-be of the big media conglomerates have determined that talk show hosts are capable of going on-air, unscripted (or at least without writers), even though that's arguably a violation of the rules, which contemplate no new creative material (whether technically written or not). The result is that big media (Sumner Redstone, etc.) expects the talk shows to come back and forces them back by threatening to fire non-writing staff members.

That's a situation I don't face. When I go on strike (and I've been involved in one strike), I only have my own personal needs (and those of my family) to consider, and no one expects me to cross picket lines until the strike is over. Everyone knew the hosts would come back -- it was just a matter of when.

Posted by: union member | April 26, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jon, hey Stephen, if you're the real deals, why don't you prove it? Since anyone could post a picture of 'you' next to their posts, the only way to settle this is by groinal comparison. As a right-wing groupie, I can vouch for the implacable size of the tumor on Stephies' member, and Jon (as a Jew, must i spell it out) must have some coupons stapled to his. Let's see who's the real prick, pricks.

Posted by: joes | April 26, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is a satirist like Pope or Swift. More biting and witty than Stewart.

Stewart does too many funny voice and bad language jokes, low brow.

Posted by: farkdawg | April 26, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The Colbert Report is more enjoyable to watch than The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Both men provide a funny, satirical view of the world, but Colbert doesn't rely on a supporting cast as Stewart does (and Stewart's supporting cast just isn't what it used to be, when Colbert, Carrell, Nancy Wall, and Mo Rocca were on the show). Otherwise, both would be equally enjoyable to watch. Also, Stewart, we get it, Dick Cheney is evil and Bush is stupid...come up with something new...we've heard it for the last 6+ years now.

Posted by: WHC | April 26, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"...why Colbert is so funny. Like Colbert, I have a refined sense of irony that gives me an overarching vision from which I can look down on others and dissect behavior so that people can laugh at them."

Ms. Keller, I hope you're overtly kidding in this remark! All of the opinions expressing "Stewart is lame and unfunny, Colbert is a rapier wit and we're such smart it-getters because we understand and appreciate him," is the least attractive facet of the fandom Stephen Colbert has inspired. It works for him, but to praise Colbert by imitating his persona's judgmental superiority is no more than "monkey see monkey do" -- a joke many of his most fervent supporters here don't seem to get.

Posted by: StreetSense | April 26, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

union member:

First off, I don't care what Letterman would have done, since I find him more or less detestible. But Letterman already had a deal when the strike began, and there was nothing unethical about his behavior regarding the strike.

As to Stewart, yes, he was in a tough position; that's the point of a strike, after all. How someone behaves in a tough position is exactly how we find out the content of their character. Stewart caved to Viacom and Comedy Central, instead of showing solidarity with the same union that has been protecting him and his writers for years.

There's nothing difficult to understand about any of this. Stewart put his own personal needs ahead of the collective needs of the artists that make his job possible. You can apologize for the difficulty of the situation that makes you feel better about watching the sellouts on the Daily Show. Or you can do as people who understand the importance of unions in protecting the interests of the people--artists in this case--do, and boycott the shows that didn't respect the strike.

The writers had a legitimate dispute here: increasingly scripted material is being offered in its entirety over the Internet, and within a few years, this may well become the primary mode of distribution, largely replacing DVD boxed sets. The writers were not being compensated for this new delivery mechanism. No doubt an ephemeral offering such as "The Daily Show" suffers less than, say, "Lost" or "24" in this scenario, since, comparitively speaking, "The Daily Show's" watchability declines rapidly with time and repeated viewings. So, draw your own conclusions.

As a union member, would you say that, if you are angry with union leadership, crossing picket lines constitutes supporting the union nonetheless?

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait, republicans favor Colbert? Is the meaning of parody completely lost on them?

Posted by: corinthian | April 26, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Please send a small donation (even $10!) Clinton's way at

And $50 helps keep the "Clinton Machine" cigar-filled-back-room filled with those blue-collar, Hispanic, middle-aged-women and senior-citizen "old politics" power-mongers that Obama wants to save the Democratic Party from.

You can stop Obama from freeing the left-wing, affluent white elites and college students who back him from our oppression!

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

union member, I'm with you.

Stewart and Colbert are the Bogey and Bacall of political media satire, and have been ever since Stephen's correspondent days on The Daily Show. Hits and misses aside, they are both essential.

Posted by: girldreams | April 26, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Please send a small donation (even $10!) Clinton's way at:

And $50 helps keep the "Clinton Machine" cigar-filled-back-room filled with those blue-collar, Hispanic, senior citizens and middle-aged-women "old politics" power-mongers that Obama wants to save the Democratic Party from, freeing the left-wing, affluent white elites and college students who back him from their oppression!

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse


Get over it. Jon, like the other hosts, was in a tough position. You don't think Letterman would have come back without writers if he hadn't been able to work out the deal with the WGA? Please: he came back to work during the last strike in the 80s -- without a special deal.

And Jon and Comedy Central did try to get a deal with the WGA (for both the Daily Show and Colbert Report), but the WGA wasn't interested unless ALL Viacom shows were willing to make a deal. Letterman was only able to make a deal because he fully owns his and Craig Ferguson's show.

He wasn't being anti-union, he was just mad at his own union, which he had a right to be. I've been mad at the leadership of my union before, but I still support it. Intelligent people can disagree about how to handle a given situation, and intelligent people occasionally get angry at one another. What's so difficult to understand about that?

Posted by: union member | April 26, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

They are both great. Stewart says it like it is, e.g. when he ripped hillary's win in PA and showed her up for the hypocrite that she is. Colbert is a parody of the right wing and satirizes the absurdity of it all. Stewart and Clobert rule!!!!

Posted by: Amy from Washington | April 26, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

To those who comment that the writers' strike demonstrated Colbert and Stewart's differing improvisational abilities, I would say the writers' strike demonstrated clearly that Jon Stewart has no respect for unions, since after less than a week back on the air he was using written material. Initially, he started exploiting a loophole by giving scripted parts to John Oliver, who ostensibly couldn't participate in the strike because of his visa requirements. At the end of the embarrassingly lame first week, Stewart invited a labor expert as guest in order to pretend to be supportive of the strike, while, cognizant of the special arrangement the writers union had with Letterman, pleading "What can someone do when the union won't negotiate an exception with someone who wants to work with them?" The following week we were watching a fully scripted video segment by Samantha Bee, in clear violation of the strike.

Can't say whether Colbert did the same, as I wasn't watching him at the time. But I swore off Stewart permanently after his craven yeah-I'm-so-supportive-of-the-writers-but-screw-them-anyway performance. And so should you.

Posted by: antibozo | April 26, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

That Republicans watch Colbert only proves what we all knew -- they are born lacking of sense of humor and don't know they're being mocked.

I can't choose between Colbert and Stewart though, both are required viewing for this 40+ year-old couple. They are SO much more informative and thorough [and yes, credible!] in their news coverage than the rightwing, corporate self-important sheep in the DC press corps and MSM.

They both do a great job -- but let's face it -- they have so much to work with. Political discourse in this country has become a parody of itself. You really couldn't make this sh*t up.

Posted by: Brenda | April 26, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I like both of them, and rarely miss either. Stewart is more insightful, while Colbert is more a master of parody. I laugh harder at Colbert, but Stewart hits closer at reality. Both of them can be hit or miss at times, but thats the nature of having a daily show. I'd have to call it a tie.

Let's not be dour about the need for laughter. Humor is an essential tool for coping, as well as being an excellent tool for stripping away the spin and rhetoric.

The only place I saw any mention (on T.V.) of the recent Pentagon pundit relevations was on Stewart's show. Of course I watch little of the T.V. news anymore. The outlets are no longer relevent to me. But Stewart and Colbert offer a different viewpoint on a television media that is becoming more and more out of touch with actual issues.

Posted by: Jeffer | April 26, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I think they're both great, but in Australia and the UK (where I now live) we only ever get the Daily Show. If you want the Colbert Report you have to find it online.

Yes, they are both great, but I prefer Stewart. Colbert does a fantastic job but it's just not quite my taste. I think Stewart is especially good as the news anchor, the first 5-10 minutes is a must see. His correspondents could be better though. I really like Aseef Mandvi and John Oliver is also quite good, but not a big fan of the others.

However I think the Daily Show hasn't come back as strong since the writer's strike. It's still great, but not quite hitting the spot as it used to. Last year it was fantastic, especially the series on Dick Cheney ("You don't know Dick") - exposing his absurd suggestion that he's not part of the executive branch.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 26, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

They are truly a great pair, a duo! Hand in glove.

I can't pick.

Posted by: HenryDavid | April 26, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Prefer them both over everybody else in late night circuit. With these guys you get comedy with real events not haha jokes from Jay Leno or Letterman. Reality is people who watch Stewart and Colbert are more informed than rest of the public, we go read newspapers, follow media new and old, and form our own opinion. Where as Leno's audience follow only Bill o'Riely on fox and make his opinion of the world their own and Letterman audience watch Charlie Gibson and Blitzer to make up their minds.

Posted by: Najam | April 26, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"AND, in the News today;

The "Chevy Chase" Wannabes,

are STILL,

Just Chevy Chase WANNABES!

Jane..." ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 26, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

As has been said before, but can't be said enough, you're comparing two totally different styles of comedy. I tend to prefer The Daily Show because Colbert starts to grate after a while, but they're both totally genius and completely different. You an say who you prefer, but as to who is "better?" That's a question absolutely no one can answer.

Posted by: Anne | April 26, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

All that is needed for evil to persist is for good men to do nothing. (e.burke)

Editors: just joke around and do nothin while the US keeps plowing the wrong way.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the young people miss alot of what is funny about the satire. I think alot of old people miss alot of what is funny about the satire. Too bad that some of both mistake satire for fact. Too bad politics is so inane that the only appropriate place for it is as the brunt of comedians.

Posted by: nclwtk | April 26, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"It is a sad day for our nation, however, when satire and parody provide the most insightful commentary on our condition."

True, but to a certain degree, it has always been true. Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, etc. were all important, influential satirists who provided insightful commentary that has stood the test of time primarily because it (1) was, indeed, insightful and intelligent, (2) was entertaining, and (3) was so rare.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are following in their footsteps and serving the same function today, albeit through a different medium. They are legitimate participants in the national conversation, with legitimate influence.

That said, the media's preoccupation with them is pretty sad. If the media really respected Jon Stewart in particular, who has shown great concern over the laziness of the media, reporters and editors would spend more time focusing on reporting and analyzing stories that really matter.

Posted by: Jennifer | April 26, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I cannot immagine that all the people, of all ages, who are laid off, fired unfairly, looking for another job, paying off obscene college loans----that really give a damn about comedy while the multi millionairs and billionaires and greedy get richer. Hell, the US has nothing but money, but it just keeps going to the rich; in unbelievably priced multiple condos, homes, boats etc. Yesterday, a lawyer was on his way to the Bahamas in a sail boat as his client was found guilty. We are a sick, sick country.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Stewart has broader range as a comedian. Colbert was stiff and shticky in his first year. Sidekick spin-off shows rarely work.

Posted by: 52 and proud | April 26, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Nice piece however let's get back to the race

I want to advance this one thought - the superdelegates should know what they are doing - this race has been pretty much predictable since March 4th -

At this point, and probably from a point about 5 weeks ago, the damage to the party is the fault of the Superdelegates.

The Superdelegates could have ended this a long long time ago.

They can end it now.

They can end it tomorrow.

The Superdelegates are prolonging this battle which is doing untold damage to the democratic party and threatens its viability on out.

I am not being too extreme in that statement.

The Obama people should take notice of this: The Superdelegates are more concerned with CYA than then they are about your candidate's chances in November.

The Superdelegates are selling out the Democratic Pary just like Hillary is.

If one thinks about it, I am right - I am completely right.

Obama people take notice - this is what your party is really all about.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | April 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the "get a life" category. You get paid for this?

Posted by: Bajsa | April 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you are not old enough to know how many important things are still not investigated by our cerebral press.

I am with those who say "who cares". Why are you not out there finding stories that will help Americans?

A friend just had to pay $6000. for dental repairs, a friend who doesn't have that kind of money. Why are there not more dental and medical colleges? Did you ever wonder about that, or is your health not fragile enough yet?

Politicians have promised us shorter campaigns. Another lie.They have promised a simple, one page tax form instead of one to make money for special interests. How about delving deeply into how the CEOs are getting not millions, but billions in their paychecks --and stopping it. Is there not a Teddy Roosevelt mentality amongst you, or do you not recall him? Gov't employees at all levels are involved in govt cheating, stealing. Have you been to the bars in DC? Go find your story. What kind of Editors do you guys have? Who cares about a couple of comedians, other than the people who are trying to promote them thru you? How about investigating how Japan and Ireland have essentially free education thru college and free health care for all--while you guys keep reporting that the US doesn't have money enough. Thats a good joke. You, the Press/media make a more laughable show. Investigate who controls your newspaper and all the other big ones, and that might give some insight as to how come such stupid assignments. Go find out why that corrupt Senator who built the bridge to nowhere right in front ot the cerebral press is still in office and not brought into court as the criminal that he and so many in Congress/Administration are?

Posted by: Malachy | April 26, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm 59 and a democrat, but I like Stewart but really enjoy Colbert who's incredible ability to lampoon is unequalled. His PA gig was just fantastic.

Posted by: Parrish Jones | April 26, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I watch both, but prefer Colbert, who is just a hair better than funny Jon Stewart. It's hard to believe Colbert is acting at times, with his severe hard-staring eyes and his charts which demonstrate his lecture topics. Stewart is more relaxed, sometimes almost leaning over his desk. How I need a laugh and they provide it!

Posted by: Annette Reed | April 26, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Because neither Dick Cheney nor Robert Novak like either Stewart or Colbert, both must be great. It is a sad day for our nation, however, when satire and parody provide the most insightful commentary on our condition.

Posted by: Jay | April 26, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: FebM | April 26, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is better. Stewart thinks too much of himself.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The Post needs to re-think why it needs a politics blog if this is considered worth paying a reporter to do....

Posted by: Tom | April 26, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Colbert wins. Some of his shows contain some truly cleaver, intelligent writing. One must listen carefully and have lots of political and cultural context ready to apply.

I often laugh to tears with Colbert. Seldom with Stewart.

Posted by: Sons | April 26, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Please let me explain, to those of who to whom the intricacies of political comedy is a little intellectually challenging, why Colbert is so funny. Like Colbert, I have a refined sense of irony that gives me an overarching vision from which I can look down on others and dissect behavior so that people can laugh at them.

Many Republicans are filled with overwhelming angst and disillusion this election season, after seeng their most sacred visions and high goals for remaking the State has come to such a low, ignominious and ridiculed end that a cheated-on woman and an under-qualified, charming black man are fighting each other for who is going to take over the country and dismantle everything boy-genius Rove, Darth Vader, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and other Masters of the Universe failed to build properly under the relentlessly vacuous leadership of Bubble Boy Who Cuts Brush While Iraq Burns.

Conservatives look back over the past 8 years and see, not a lasting Republican legacy, but something that looks peculiarly more unreal than a season of the Simpsons, voice-acted by the people whose public leadership played out more like cartoon-character caricatures than that of world leaders.

The phrase is "cognitive dissonance", and each in their own way, Republicans are either (1) depressed, (2) spent 2008 sneaking out rallies for litmus-tested, right-wing candidates, to put on hooded sweatshirts to go vote for McCain, Obama or Clinton, (3) drinking heavily, (4) bitterly clinging to God and praying for a miracle this Fall, (5) gambling their savings on commodity futures (yes, you can bet it's them causing that problem, too!), (6) laughing with maniacal, unhealthy glee at the Clinton-Obama slugfest, not realizing the GOP won't win in the Fall anyways, and (7) trying to exist from day to day, just on this side of hilarity.

The absurdly distressing angst of the Republicans creates a situation is ripe for the self-ridiculing, parodying improvisational humor of Stephen Colbert. His political comedy is the cultural synthesis of this year, and these times in America, in the way that other iconic pop figures can become.

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is a brilliant comedian. Truly brilliant, imo. And vastly more talented than Stewart. But Stewart is a better interviewer. I love them both -- Stewart for the interviews, Colbert for the biting satire.

Colbert edges out the "win," in my book.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm for Stewart because I love the first half of his show. I often tune out at the interviews though unless its someone interesting.

I like Colbert too, but often I cant make it past the screeching eagle flag waving intro which harshes my zen. I think Colbert might just be too much Colbert... he deserves his own correspondants like stewart has.

Posted by: pdxgeek | April 26, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"He is a terrible interviewer and is always much more contrarian to Dems than Republicans. I refuse to believe he is nothing but a Republican supporter. I seldom watch him because of the annoyance factor"

Please Dear, PLEASE tell me you're joking. You do know that his whole right-wing shtick is all a total act, right? RIGHT?

Colbert is an ACTOR. He is in no way that much of an idiotstick. No one could be that much of an idiotstick and SURVIVE, much less have their own tv show.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure of the importance of this 'insight.' But for what it is worth, there are plenty of us much older than the groups questioned who watch Jon Stewart. He cuts to the core of important issues quickly and so much better than the network and cable pros--what a slavish lot.Colbert is generally funnier, but is no match for Stewart on insight into a matter or an issue.

Posted by: al | April 26, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

At age 75 I am thankful for my DVR so I can zap the neverending dumb ads(Thank you ads for funding these shows) and Colbert's repeating nightly ticks. However both of their approaches are novel as compared to most TV comedy of the past fifty years and when they lapse into serious interviewing some amazing things happen. Chris Matthews' meltdown comes to mind. If I had to watch only one I'd watch Stewart but they both are truly a great phenomenon in this era of "real" news letting the establishment get a free pass.

Posted by: bob tichell | April 26, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I have two words for egc52556: Ti Vo.

Posted by: RealCalGal | April 26, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

One thing that should be mentioned: Jon Stewart was the *ONLY* person I saw on TV to address the NY Times story from last Sunday which meticulously documented the Pentagon's efforts to plant military "experts" on/in all the MSM shows, articles, and radio programs to simply parrot pre-planned, officially-sanctioned Pentagon talking points which gave a white-washed, inaccurate picture of the situation in Iraq. It's really sad when a comedian cares more about the integrity of the MSM than anyone actually *in* the MSM.

Posted by: Dan | April 26, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow, hard to choose. I TiVo Jon every night, but only watch Colbert when I can. Maybe I need to re-add him to the TiVo. I love them both, but whoever wrote the description of standup comedian vs. comedic actor was spot on. I prefer standup comedy and, therefore, prefer Jon.

And I like bears.

Posted by: P Diddy | April 26, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Optymist channeled my answer.

Any Republicrat who watches, understands, and likes Colbert is an interesting specimen who should be studied closely. Is there hope for some registered with the Greedy Old Party?

Posted by: RealCalGal | April 26, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

They both have their good nights and great nights and not so good nights.

One that stands out for me was April 23, 2008, after the PA primary.

That night, Jon was on fire...he was the only "news anchor" who I heard address the real spread in was 54.6% - 45.4% = 9.2% and that was a big deal because the hype had double digits as the over/under. It was a little embarrassing, I thought, that Stephen, on right after Jon, used the 10 point erroneous spread...they should think about coordinating their stuff so one of them doesn't seem clueless.

I thought that Stephen's White House Press speech a couple of years ago was brilliant.

I think Jon has a tighter group of writers or perhaps it's easier for me to get what Jon is trying to do. However, Stephen has really grown recently in that his show seems to have more depth.

And by the way, I'm a 63 yo (white) woman and believe that if Barack Obama wins we'll have a chance to achieve a sustainable path.

I worry that Hillary Clinton has some of the same defense mechanisms that have made GWB so dangerous these last 7 1/2 years. And that if she wins, the presidency will be more about her and her connections than about the country.

I think Barack Obama will focus on trying to achieve what's best for our future and attract the best people to do this. I love Columbia economist and Nobel prize winner, Joseph Stiglitz because he understands how policies affect the lives of the most vulnerable and has a moral center. I was pleased that he just endorsed Barack whose speech on the economy,Stiglitz said was brilliant. transcript:

And back to Jon and Stephen, what makes them different and better than "real news" is that they allow themselves to focus on ethics and morality in government. Whereas, traditional journalists seem to find it hard to be outraged by government policy...except for Helen Thomas who has been speaking out against torture.

Go Jon, Go Stephen.

Posted by: evelync | April 26, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Amanda - what is your IQ?

Posted by: Dave | April 26, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is a comedic genius. Jon Stewart would be good at the Laugh Factory.

Posted by: Dave | April 26, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Amanda wrote: "With [Colbert] it always end up about HIM!"

That's the whole point. I can understand being annoyed by the character, but I really don't understand how you fail to grasp the character. Do you think Stewart would produce Colbert's show if Colbert was nothing more than a neo-con shill?

If even Daily Show fans are confused about his shtick, it's no hard to see why Republicans are confused.

Posted by: Fanbase | April 26, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This survey is skewed towards people on the coasts who are more likely to watch both guys from 8:00-9:00 than those in the midwest who have to tune in from 7:00-8:00 (Central time).

Here in the midwest, where (as you coasters seem to think (assuming you think about the midwest at all)) we're not done slopping the hogs and bailing hay and mowing our baseball field... er, CORN field until 7:30 at least. So we're unlikely to see either show. Heck, by the time we put Maw and Paw in the wheelbarrow and roll them to and from Bingo it's nearly our bedtime of 9:00.

You may laugh, but midwesters are the new supplier of your fuel oil and if the think the oil barons in the midEAST are bad you ain't seen nothin' yet. We're bitterly clinging to our arms and religion AND we've got Iowa that tells the rest of the country who's allowed to be the nominees.

P.S. Don't go telling us about VCRs or TiVO. We don't go in for that new fangled tech stuff.

P.P.S. Go Obama -- he's already won, but Clinton doesn't know it yet.

Posted by: egc52556 | April 26, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm 64 and watch both Stewart and Colbert every day.

Posted by: Gordon, Fresno California | April 26, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

while I enjoy both, Stewart consistently provides more rollicking laughs. His correspondents are this aspect he is FAR ahead of Colbert. Moreover, Colbert's schtick often falls flat, especially during guest interviews.

Posted by: Richard | April 26, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Colbert is the most annoying person on tv. I get so tired of his yelling at the viewers, finger-pointing, arm waving and and ENDLESS self-promoting stunts and jumping around on the set.
With him it always end up about HIM!
He is a terrible interviewer and is always much more contrarian to Dems than Republicans. I refuse to believe he is nothing but a Republican supporter. I seldom watch him because of the annoyance factor,
Jon Stewart on the other hand is an excellent satirist and more, it's hard for me describe how important his much needed and very intelligent and cutting satire is, without his show to see through the lies, hypocrisies and crimes in our govt. and in the media, television would be a vast, rightwing wasteland.
He is the super intelligent hi-brow to Colbert's buffoonish, low-brow noisy shtick.
There is no comparison at all between the two shows, Stewart's is so superior.

Posted by: Amanda | April 26, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

On April 26, 2008 11:01 AM Myriamh wrote: "Jon and Stephen: A debate between the two of you would be great. Go for it!"

Oh, I do want to debate, because every time we have a debate, his ratings tank.

Here's something most people don't know about Jon: He won't debate me because the last time we had a debate he spilled his water on himself to cover up his confusion during a question about the gay/lesbian transsexual facial massager he's been going to for 10 years.

But then he forgot about the water spot and came out from behind the podium after the debate, and it looked like he p***** himself during questioning.

Now, it didn't make the news because we all know that Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd and their minions all have "man-crushes" on Jon (Oops! Did I let it slip that FoxNews has uncovered that Maureen Dowd is a gay man? My bad!). But since that debate, Jon's tagged as "the left-wing liberal Democratic comedian who can't hold his water under fire."

He's weak, weak. And viewers want a comedian who's a tough improv.

Posted by: Stephen | April 26, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Stewart or Colbert? Thankfully we have both and don't have to choose.

Posted by: someguy | April 26, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse


That shouldn't stop you - as you well know, you don't have to answer the questions they ask you, so you can keep dodging. As far as who is more buff, that would be a lot more excitng than policy and ideas, maybe you should have a bathing suit competition after one of the breaks.

Posted by: Myriamh | April 26, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I've always wondered if the Republicans think Colbert is for real; I seem to recall reading somewhere that many of them do. WP--could this be another poll?

My vote is for Jon Stewart; Colbert's character is a bit too overplayed for my taste sometimes, but perhaps that's why he appeals to Repubs.

Posted by: kroshka | April 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that you would waste your time, our time, and the Post's precious web space on such a trivial question, especially when there is so much of import going on in America these days! The only thing worse are the people who actually waste their own precious time posting a comment to complain about what a waste of time all this is. I mean, don't these people realize how really stupid they......wait a minute.....oops. Sorry everybody.

Posted by: KP in MPLS | April 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Republicans like Colbert even though they know he's faking it, because they also know most higher echelon Republicans are also faking it. Colbert just does it better. He's more honest about his total hypocrisy. And if a left winger on the airheaded side goes on Colbert, Colbert in character rips him apart more effectively than any presumably "real" right winger could.

Posted by: Jim | April 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

How many of the republican Colbert fans think its a real show, and not a satire?

Posted by: Davey | April 26, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm 31 and prefer Stewart, whose political humor is more insightful and ironic. Colbert is silly, which is why he's preferred by the kids.

Posted by: Behan | April 26, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, as a 58 year-old, where do I fit in? I try not to miss either. I've watched political satire since the 60's That Was the Week That Was. I am still a liberal Dem, who is supporting Obama in spite of my not fitting into his demographic either.

Posted by: susan | April 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

These two are really two sides of the same show. Stewart is the setup man for Colbert, just as he is with the rest of his "Senoir Correspondents" (is Samantha ever going to give birth?). The Colbert Report is Ron Riggle on steroids (don't tell Congress), without Stewart he would not be able to maintain the stream on satire nearly as well as he does.

(does that just about cover it Jon? You got my money? And if you see Lewis can you tell him I'll see him at the pub.)

Posted by: Fade | April 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Colbert and Stewart are both rather predictible and tedious. The fact that our youth is addicted to them shows how ignorant our youth really is.

Posted by: candide | April 26, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Love 'em both, but I gotta voice up for my man Colbert (though at 25, I'm just older than relevance!) Colbert and his writers continually show the best instinct for satire in contemporary comedy. Stewart is great, but while I may not go as far as Tina Fey and say he doesn't make people laugh, I will concede that the show does occasionally veer into clapter. Clapter of importance without a doubt, but clpater nonetheless.

Posted by: PinkoPatriot | April 26, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

On April 26, 2008 11:01 AM Myriamh wrote: "Jon and Stephen: A debate between the two of you would be great. Go for it!"

Myriamh, it's not that simple.

Firstly, I happen to know media would try to sandbag me with those Botox-forehead-shots questions I've been dodging for the past six months. Secondly, there's very little air between Colbert and myself, so a debate is unnecessary to know where we stand on issues.

Lastly, as the analysts have learned from dissecting the past 20 Democratic losses for 8 months, we all know from the 2000 Gore-Bush contest that the electorate would rather vote in an iconic figure with nice ass over a President with "plans".

So if we do debate, I want a no-podium stage so that the voters can get a look at us from the waist down! Old four-eyes can't compete in the buff department. I can strike cool poses while he gets specific about "policy" and "ideas".

Posted by: Jon | April 26, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I find Colbert to be much more entertaining and Stewart to be more than a bit stale. Stewart's constant frustration and bitterness are grating. Colbert, on the other hand, is just a delight to watch. He is incredibly clever, and his skewering-by-satire is second to none -- and frankly, more effective. Plus, as others have pointed out, the writers' strike demonstrated that Colbert is clearly the superior wit.

It kills me, though, that as these shows have become more and more popular, many people mistake both of them for sources of actual news when in fact they are meant to be comedy romps. What's even worse though is that the Daily Show especially has itself fallen victim to this trend and come to view itself as a part of the conversation, when in fact it is not. Trying to wear these two hats (comedy show and news medium) often makes the Daily Show unsuccessful on both fronts; it's no longer ragingly funny, and it's not an insightful look into the day's news.

Posted by: Alexi | April 26, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Stewart is boring and predictable, and his personna is utterly puerile, playing, of course, to his target audience. His writers deserve much credit for their occasional nailing of deceitful and self-absorbed political and media hacks.

Colbert, on the other hand, is spot-on with his clueless, deadpan character, and I doubt that there is a comedian alive today who is faster on his feet.

I'll leave Stewart to the just-out-of-political-diapers set. My vote goes to Colbert for sheer talent and remarkable, audacious inventiveness. But for real meaty news I turn to Keith Olbermann.

Posted by: Palladin | April 26, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I find it absolutely hilarious that Republicans claim to prefer Stephen Colbert. It seems to be impossible to underestimate the intelligence of Republicans (I mean, they did vote for George W. Bush -- TWICE, fer cryin' out loud) no matter how hard one tries.

They are too dense to recognize the unusually obvious fact that Colbert is always, constantly, forever being SARCASTIC.

God almighty but those right-wingers are DENSE!

Posted by: Woody Smith | April 26, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I really on find the first 5 minutes of the Daily show funny, then I break for twenty-five minutes and come back for Colbert. I think that in the next few years we are going to see more and more people turning to Colbert. The 20-21 statistics are telling: I am 17 and prefer Colbert. Frankly, he's funnier and actually seems to care (Ex: Jon Stewart's interview with Chris Matthews).

Posted by: Dave | April 26, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ferguson is hilarious. Colbert is outrageous and so is Maher. Stewart has an agenda. Letterman and Leno are predictable. Conan is pretty funny most of the time, he's great at standup. His St. Patrick's day exchange with Leno (Youtube) on the tonight show was riveting.

Posted by: David | April 26, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I favor Colbert because he is very funny and he interviews his guests much better than Stewart does. I find Stewart at his best when he is mocking the political buffons in his news reports, but feel he falls flat after his opening segment.

Posted by: janet | April 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Jon and Stephen: A debate between the two of you would be great. Go for it!

Posted by: Myriamh | April 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans are part of the Colbert Nation (49 percent to 21 percent)."

This is a very strange statistic. Don't they realize that he spoofs right-wing egotistical zealots?

Posted by: steve clark | April 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

it is not just young people who love stewart and colbert -- i am a 61-year old woman and watch both of them faithfully -- along with maher and letterman, they are the best political commentary around -- oh, and olbermann too

Posted by: greta calabrese | April 26, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

As 74 year olds, this couple find both entertaining, with Jon Stewart edging out Colbert as our favorite. After watching the evening newscast on ABC, we turn to Stewart and Olbermann to get the "rest of the story"!

Posted by: Mary & Phil | April 26, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

its Bill Maher and Jon Stewart. The rest is 2 notches down.

Posted by: yacopale | April 26, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I think Republicans are generally Colbert people because many Republicans don't realize that it's an act. They think he's actually that conservative. Case in point: I went to see The Colbert Report about two years ago and met a group of Republican guys from Kentucky who explained to me why he was so real. And why Stewart wasn't funny at all.

Posted by: Ryan | April 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Gun to my head, I'd rather die than choose between Jon and Stephen. They are both equally influential (and adorable) in my eyes.

Posted by: Caitlin | April 26, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

It's Satire vs. Parody.

Stewart says, "Look at what an idiot that guy is."

Colbert says, "Look at what an idiot I am. (And I don't know it.)"

Parody is harder, and ultimately funnier.

If they both wanted to make a stronger commentary on the news media, they would ban their studio audience. Without a live laugh track, we'd really see how much they resemble reality.

Posted by: Brendan | April 26, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

On April 26, 2008 10:42 AM Jon wrote: "Bitter, Stephen?"

Dear Jon. Read the article. I got the babes & Wall Street types and you've got a lot of college juniors & seniors.

That's why people jump your parties and sneak into mine.

That's right! Your staff writers are coming around to sniff my Pinot when you're pushing Red Bull during Spring Break!

Why don't you debate me, face man!

Posted by: Stephen | April 26, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Why do we need to choose? They're both great and complement each other well.

Posted by: lkwlj | April 26, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Colbert really packs in a lot in his half hour. The Word is usually hilarious. Even though it's a joke, the Me me me act can get old. The first few minutes of Stewart are not to be missed. His author interviews are pretty good. Sometimes I don't understand Stewart's little mannerisms or noises...Anyway, they are different, both great.

Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, then Stephen Colbert have helped me survive the Bush years. I thank them all. That is funny about the Republicans and Colbert!

Posted by: Myriamh | April 26, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

We are in our 60s and watch both shows. They are "must see" at our house, even though it forces us to stay up past our bedtime. How else would we get an honest assessment of the news of the day? We certainly can't get it from the MSM anymore.

Posted by: chlind | April 26, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Tough one. I haven't been in that 18-24 demographic for several years (I'm 30), and I love both Colbert and Stewart.

On the one hand, Colbert is the more talented performer -- his ability to stay in character even during confrontational interviews is impressive. I agree with some of the other comments that the interviews can be frustrating, although I think he has vastly improved over the past couple of years. When he's at his best, he is wickedly, insightfully funny. There's a dark edge to his comedy that is all the more effective because he delivers it with such glee (a trait which also made him, in my mind anyway, the all-time best of the correspondent on the Daily Show: his "So You're Living in a Police State" remains a true classic).

That said, I love Stewart. He's an incredibly sharp interviewer, who asks deceptively simple, incisive questions that elicit real, substantive responses. And if you've ever seen his appearance on Bill Moyers or his Q&A at the Oxford Society, you know he's very intelligent, he's very well-read, and he's thought long and hard about the things his show concerns itself with.

Posted by: Jenn | April 26, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Bitter, Stephen?

Posted by: Jon | April 26, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I am a solid Colbert fan. His material is so much better than Stewart's and his delivery is same. Stewart's material too often falls flat or is just "over the line".. like when he asked Obama about what he is doing to ally the fear that whites have that the blacks will take some kind or revenge if they win the white-house.. what kind of funny is THAT?????

Posted by: old geezer | April 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I do want to see Stewart & Colbert "Go Nuclear Option" on each other.

I bet Colbert could do a "Tonya Harding" on Stewart and Stewart would send college kids to pester Colbert with questions about his mother's sexuality!

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

now you're talking...would that we could have a debate monitered by stewart...i think they are both brilliant in their own right...this last week has been a stellar one for both, but i lean towards digging stewart more, as he tends to cut closer to the bone...colbert's character is one huge squeal, but the fluff factor is a bit to much for me at times...

Posted by: jazzgrrrl25 | April 26, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What is sad is that if you really want good analysis and discussion of Today's news The Daily Show is one of the best places to get it from. Especially when they go back in time and show you how an individual's or group's policies have changed.

Colbert is funny, but pound for pound The Daily show gives you better news information and analysis (and like many of you my comparison news sources are the WAPO, NYTimes, economist, NPR, etc).

Posted by: David M | April 26, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I love them both. Can't I love them both, why do I have to chose one?

Love your John and Stephen

and I am going to be 60 on my next birthday

Posted by: lucci8 | April 26, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

These are two idiot comedians. Who cares!

Posted by: captain3292 | April 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Women tend to go for Stephen Colbert more because he's so hot. If you see him, you can give him my email address.

(Just kidding, don't want to post my email address here. I get enough offers for penis-enhancing products that will help my wife love me more than our landscaper again.)

(But you can get him to contact me by giving him my Hillary Clinton donation fund-raising link:

If he uses it to make a donation, he will discover who I am. Well, actually, donating won't give him any info about me, and my name is posted here, anyways.)

Hey, he can use my donation link anyways because it will help Clinton continue her campaign, thereby providing him with ratings-firing material! He can give us a show broadcast from Fort Wayne, IN.

A lot of small online donations add up, and even $50 helps keep the "Clinton Machine" and its legion of cigar-filled-back-room, blue-collar, Hispanic, Asian and senior-citizen-women manipulative power-mongers in the money!

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I liked Jon and watched every night until he got into politics,he like MSNBC and CNN have hurt their viewing public.I talk to many people who say they don't even turn them on anymore.They all sound like Chris Matthews and I have always been told "You can tell a real man by the way they treat a woman".Wonder if we now have alot of closet queens the way they fawn over another man!

Posted by: ggranny21 | April 26, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm with many others - the shows are apples and oranges.

The Daily Show is chaired by Stewart, but is actually a collaborative effort of many performers. It usually starts with Stewart running headlines, usually with a "senior correspondent" commenting somewhere in there. Then, unless they have a very important guest (who gets allotted double interview time), the middle act is usually a pre-produced piece by one of the contributors to the show. Finally, there's an interview - sometimes serious, sometimes collegial (forget George Clooney actually hawking his movie when he comes on - usually it's 6 minutes of the two of them giggling over stuff).

At no time is Jon Stewart anything but a former stand-up comedian who helps shepherd the show along. He is a personality with a sense of humor. He is nothing but himself, a sort of everyman for the educated middle class with liberal leanings, which is what makes the show work. He voices the hypocrisy in real news coverage by mocking it on his fake news show.

On Colbert, it's Colbert (as "Stephen Colbert") commenting on the daily headlines, usually with "The Word" thrown in there somewhere. Sometimes there's a mini-interview on a topic he's pulled from the headlines. The middle section is Colbert doing some sort of piece where the character of "Stephen Colbert" does his ultra right wing conservative thing. And finally, there's an interview where "Stephen Colbert" can sometimes be patently annoying when he's got a person on with a topic I'd like to hear more about, when they have to constantly be on the offensive instead.

At all times, The Colbert Report is a satire of right wing commentary, and Colbert - who is an improvisational comic by training - does not break character. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it makes me turn off the TV and go to bed early. Depends on the night. He is more cult of personality than anything else, now.

And of course, the fact that Colbert is an improv comedian is why he did do better during the strike than Stewart - he is faster on his feet. That just means he's an improv comedian - not all comedians are.

I prefer the Daily Show, because it is collaborative and tends to cover more topics. I sometimes get tired with Colbert because he never stops being "Stephen Colbert", which gets old.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 26, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Tough call. Without Stewart, there would be no Colbert. Stewart gives slightly more *actual* substance, whereas Colbert requires a person to know a little something in advance in order to get the satire. Colbert is definitely more wickedly funny, but his show also takes a lot more energy on the part of the viewer to watch.

I find it curious that Colbert earns the preference of most Republicans since his comic guise is essentially that of a bombastic commentator from the right. But then Republicans have always had a better sense of humor than Democrats would like to admit.

Really, though, why do we have to choose between Stewart and Colbert? It's not like Leno or Letterman where a person has to watch one or the other.

Posted by: blert | April 26, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Being a Senior I shouldn't be declaring my preference.

Anyway, I think Jon Stewart is funnier with his staff of "senior correspondents" who are extremely hilarious.

Colbert is funny too but somehow too clownish, too finger pointing and becoming childish with his running and cheering to meet his guests.

Posted by: j.moreno | April 26, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

As a member of the retired and loving it crowd I find them both equally amusing and insightful. As a matter of fact they cover the news in a more honest fashion than the Washington Post or most MSM. Cable news is cluttered up with partisan hacks mostly right wingers who shout and shill for their political patrons and corporate sponsors. These ozone breathers have driven the political discourse in this country so far to the lunatic right that a John Bircher like Ron Paul now sounds like a leftist. Cable news is farce so the likes of Stewart and Colbert have transformed farce into the nations only credible news source.

Posted by: Redman | April 26, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

1. How many 20 year-olds even understand Colbert since his references are before their time?

2. During the writers' strike Stewart was awful, the semi-illiterate MSM comedians were off the air, while Colbert was as good as ever.

3. The real comedy (sadly) is the MSM's empty talking heads who seem to have the intelligence of centipedes.

4. I would certainly vote for Colbert for almost any office but think his calling is certainly as a literary genius.

5. Kudos to the inventor of "truthiness". That one new word not only justifies the Peabodys that Colbert has gotten but possibly a Nobel.

Posted by: tomdc | April 26, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

You're asking me to choose between chocolate and peanut butter here. I won't do it.

Posted by: aleks | April 26, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Also, want honey and piknik baskets.

Posted by: Bear | April 26, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for all those who think Republicans favor Colbert because they "don't get it": When Jon Stewart takes an occassional shot at Democrats (collectively, not just individuals), do you laugh or frown? The studio audience often boos and hisses. Maybe some of those Rs see the brilliant irony of Colbert and how he is a collection of all right-wing talkers because they're more familiar with those he mocks. If it's done well, those closest to it will enjoy it most.

Posted by: laugh at yourself | April 26, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

well, Colbert's "interviews" with singers like Willie Nelson, Tony Bennett and John Legend can't be topped, but he's never done anything as impressive as completely decimating Ambassador Bolton and every single one of his arguments for a unitary executive to his face.

I hate it when someone is really trying to explain what they do and Colbert incessantly interrupts to get a laugh, because it's usually, at that point of the show, the same couple jokes.

Him and John Legend doing MJ though was priceless!

Posted by: mrfett | April 26, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Do we really have to choose? They both bring some really interesting dialogue to the political table.

That being said, I think news often gets the idea behind the fan base of both shows wrong. While both shows are driven by news of the day, Stewart thrives on pointing out the irony and silliness of the day's news, while, quite honestly, much of Colbert's popularity revolves around the cult of personality that he has fostered among his fan base.

Posted by: DB Ferguson | April 26, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

They are both great. In the hour block
you see both sides of the same coin.
Stewart's show is a tad more introspective
while Colbert's egomaniacal character is
a satirical microcosm of right wing media
taken to a hilarious extreme.

Posted by: jay | April 26, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey Fix,

You're making a real fan out of me, and I'm not a woman who's easy to please.

Despite the nuts-and-bolts focus of this column, it's consistently becoming a must-stop for relevant and interesting info that's not full of bloviations of press-with-an-agenda.

Trying to hunt up real news out of the frenetic, affected spin articles the media seems to have sunk to emitting this campaign season is like trying to play Wack-a-Mole with mouse clicks.

You hit the Mole on the head with your insightful news-picking hammer. Like your column, Stewart & Colbert have become must-stops to for finding a higher density and quality of op-ed-insight threads-per-square-inch count than other newsmen.

Please forward this compliment to your editor, if you read this, as a good review from a reader. You've contributed a lot this year.

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 26, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"newsy-ness" ? (sp?)

Posted by: mrfett | April 26, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I prefer Colbert, who can really carry a whole show by himself whereas Stewart depends a lot on his correspondents (who, as others have noted, aren't a very impressive bunch at the moment.) Also, I disagree with the poster who thinks Stewart is a better interviewer -- I think Colbert does a great job of coming just a little "out of character" for that segment and comes across as a gracious and warm host (even when provoked by Richard Branson :) ). Stewart's not a bad interviewer but the self-deprecating thing gets a little old.

Posted by: Jay-El | April 26, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Colbert has a background in sketch troup stuff like Steve Carrell and a lot of Mad TV/SNL ppl. Stewart's background was standup. That explains a lot of the differences right there. Colbert is more of a comedic actor than Stewart, and he's performing a character every night. It's two completely different things.

I prefer Colbert because he's more entertaining, but Stewart is more reliable for "newiness". Stewart is a pretty good interviewer when he wants to be. Colbert can be infuriating because he often tramples all over his guests.

But as someone else said, they're two halves of the same schtick. Stewart is Colbert's boss. Love em both.

Posted by: mrfett | April 26, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

As a former die-hard Daily Show viewer, it is with regret and sadness that I must admit that I have completely switched my allegiance to Stephen Colbert. His one-man show is untouchable. And the fact that Republicans are actually watching just proves he can sell it better.

Posted by: Tammy | April 26, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"I'm 45 and a huge fan of Colbert! He stays in character so well!"

Wow, someone who actually realizes Colbert isn't real but a character like Pee Wee Herman

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Who are these Republicans who think Colbert is on their side? Do they actually believe he's not being sarcastic? Or do they just enjoy being ridiculed non-stop?

Posted by: Jason | April 26, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The best part is that Republicans favor Colbert. If Repugs were brighter, they might realize that Colbert is eviscerating their side every night. Stewart, on the other hand, clearly favors Democrats but skewers both sides, depending on who is more in power.

Posted by: Ryan | April 26, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

My weeknights aren't complete without both of them!

Posted by: Angela | April 26, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I prefer Jon Stewart because he is simply himself, while Colbert is always "in character"
(a comedy version of the "angry wingnut").
Also Stewart's ability to use physical
comedy (the slow take, for instance)
reminds me of classic comedians of the

Posted by: Jihm | April 26, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? This "Poll" has to be one of the biggest wastes of time of the year. Get Real!

Posted by: MAX | April 26, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm 45 and a huge fan of Colbert! He stays in character so well!

Posted by: OrangeFish | April 26, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I switched back to Letterman once I got an HD TV come on Comedy Central how much does it cost for HD cameras?

Posted by: ken | April 26, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Republicans overwhelmingly prefer Colbert.
Interesting. Apparently they enjoy satire at their expense?

Posted by: SP | April 26, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I just recently left the 18-24 demographic, but I bridge the divide there. I actually enjoy Stephen Colbert more than Jon Stewart (I think Colbert is naturally funnier and more spontaneous), but I like The Daily Show more than I like the Colbert Report because of its better writers and more relevant discussion of news stories on an almost nightly basis.

Posted by: Ayk | April 26, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Get Colbert. Colbert bad.

Posted by: Bear | April 26, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I should add that I am 60 and agree that Colbert is the 21st Century's Mark Twain.

Posted by: tomdc | April 26, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Colbert, if for no other reason than his keen observation that childhood obesity is a direct result of the laws abolishing childhood labor.

Colbert shows that to be a true conservative you have to be a strict social Darwinist and plays that character perfectly. He is more effective in demeaning conservatives by imitation satire than any "liberal" talking head ever has been (including the phony liberal Stewart).

Posted by: tomdc | April 26, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

My vote goes to Bill Maher.

Posted by: Tim | April 26, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

48- Like Colbert, love Stewart (except when he's a little off which happens now and then!)

Posted by: Lauren | April 26, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I dont find Stewart funny at all. Colbert's satire in uncanny.

Posted by: Bob | April 26, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

This 54 year old liberal loves them both, but laughs harder at the Colbert shtick. And I am completely tickled that republicans favor Colbert. Shhhh! Let's not spoil the gag.

Posted by: Optimyst | April 26, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Well seeing as how Jon Stewart is Colbert's boss, as executive producer of his show, I think Stewart is more influential, since he got Colbert his show. But I think you can county Colbert and Stewart as members of each other's writing staffs, they work that closely together. With that said, I'm sorry Stephan Colbert is funnier and has more of a cultural impact and is well on his way to being this generation's Mark Twain!

Posted by: RCD | April 26, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I was amazed at how funny Colbert was during the writer's strike, he's a natural. Comedy Central should flip the Daily Show and Colbert's Report's time slots.

Posted by: Ty | April 26, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse


You bring up some fascinating points - you really do.

I am amazed sometimes at what is deemed important.

Let me put this theory to you: NBC destroyed itself when they pushed Johnny Carson out.

It's just a theory, meant to provoke thought and discussion.

Think about it - the internet had not really come about - and at that point the major networks were really at their height - however they destroyed themselves starting with Johnny Carson.


Many people know the story of Letterman - Leno however few realize that NBC really wanted Johnny out hence the lack of influence on the part of Johnny to really help Letterman.

Johnny Carson later started to secretly funnel jokes to Letterman, however that is an aside.

The major networks might as well be dead to the younger demo in this country - what does that mean for politics ?

First the dynamics of momentum in primaries has shifted as the networks waned and cable and the internet moved up.

I guess we could compare Carson who had a nightly monologue to the kind of humor that Colbert and Stewart put out.

In many ways, the kind of humor is significantly different - Colbert and Stewart constantly make the same joke- that the pols are absurd, always doing the opposite of what they say.

Carson had a vastly different type of humor. More subtle, more respectful of position.

The perceptions that Carson created were vastly different from the perceptions the cable guys are creating now.

That is my commentary.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | April 26, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Stewart is the better interviewer, Colbert better at stone faced irony. Both are hilarious and very good at illuminating the foibles and silliness of people, but they do have SO much to work with...

Posted by: patpilot | April 26, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Colbert is better now that he has found his feet. Stewart has already peaked & is now steadily in decline. The writers strike really showed Stewart up whereas I think Colbert got better & funnier during it.
Colbert for me, though I watch both.

Posted by: Joe C | April 26, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

While I enjoy them both, I favor Stephen Colbert by far. He's the best act around. Nothing tops him.

I'm a Republican and I'm ancient by these poll standards (at the wonderful age of 50).

Posted by: EthixRulz | April 26, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

May an oldie but goodie check in on this question? For me Stewart ranks up there with the most incisive commentators on polltics and our culture, while Colbert is more focused on Colbert, which isn't at all bad but sometimes wears a bit thin.

Not only the youth, though are regular viewers of both programs. I am almost 80 years old and I love them both.

Posted by: shining light | April 26, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

They are both good, but the writers strike proved that Colbert is the better satiric talent. His show has really picked it up in last year, while Stewart has been and still is flat. Stewart needs better correspondents, Whitmore who is not a regular, is the best he has right now.

As for GOP bias toward Colbert, just like Bushies, I think they fail to get the joke, no surprise there!

Posted by: merganser | April 26, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Stewart over Colbert? No way; who took this poll? Bears?

And, for the 16% who have heard of neither, have you watched the Jay Walk All-Stars?

Posted by: bobfbell | April 26, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I watch both, and they're usually both great. I think Colbert usually elicits more actual laughs, though Stewart is funny too. Stewart does more segments that contrast what the politicians (or the media) said last month or last year versus what they say or do today - So I guess I'd say he elicits more "ha.. that's funny in a #&@$ed up sort of way" because of the more consistent underlying truth behind his bits. (As a recent example, see his comparison of FOX News' treatment of executive power during the Clinton administration vs. it's treatment of executive power during the Bush administration.)

Posted by: No Cal | April 26, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Colbert all the way!

Posted by: ABB | April 26, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Why would you bother to make this pointless choice?

Posted by: PV | April 26, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

They are comedy shows, not real, who cares? You can't find something relevant to write about in this changing by the hour atmosphere?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Comparing apples and chairs here. Stewart is an anchor- an anchor of satirical stories, but an anchor nonetheless, and an effective one. Colbert is an act, sometimes lame, sometimes hysterical and ingenious, and yes, he's a medium for extracting satire out of situations and conversations. I watch them both, and don't see a basis for holding a "preference" between apples and chairs.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | April 26, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

At 28 I guess I'm ancient by the poll's standards...

I prefer Stewart. Colbert's just too gimmicky for me. But he is funny.

Posted by: Finn | April 26, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

They're both great, but I prefer Colbert. First, it's amazing that he can stay in character so consistently. Politicians could learn something from that. Second, I think he's smarter than Stewart. Third, (and I guess most importantly) Colbert makes me laugh more.

Posted by: John | April 26, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I fall into the "give me Letterman any day of the week" category.

Posted by: Boutan | April 26, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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