Jon Stewart on “Sit Down Comedy”

I know I’ve discussed this with other cartoonists before, but I don’t think I could say it better than Jon Stewart did recently on TV Land’s “Sit Down Comedy”:

Humor is by its very essence incredibly subjective and not seen as something that is in any way… It’s not like singing and painting… Singing and painting is magic.

Somebody can paint a beautiful picture; people can look at that and think ‘that’s magic. I don’t know how to do that.’

Singing, when people sing beautifully, you know. You can hear your own voice.

Everyone thinks they’re funny.

So, for a comedian, no one thinks that what we’re doing is anything, they just think we’re f**king lucky.

He goes on a minute later…

It’s a very interesting… because it’s so accessible to peoples’ own… everyone can be funny, or knows that they’re funny. It’s a very accessible form, so in terms of any artistic merit, it ranks between, let’s say, mime and stripping.

(Watch it here…)

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4 thoughts on “Jon Stewart on “Sit Down Comedy””

  1. Being funny, particularly being funny on the printed (or Web) page, is hard work. That's hard to convey.

    A lot of people think that they have funny cartoon ideas, but few make a success out of the cartoonist game.

  2. Stewart also discussed going on at 2:30 in the morning for the wait staff and drunk Norwegian sailors for two years to figure out his own comedy.

    And that's part of what people miss too – that daily humor grind.

    It's what separates the pros from the wannabes.

  3. Stewart has two strong things going for him – his wit and his humility. He hides it very well, but Stewart has a keen mind – when he interviews folks, it's clear that he understands what they're talking about. I think humility is key in a job like Stewart's, because you cannot (successfully) make fun of other people if you are incapable of making fun of yourself.

  4. One of the things that strikes me most about Stewart, is the Carson-ish honesty of his laugh on the show.

    Often he's really tickled with a fellow performer or a guest's response, and it rings wonderfully true.

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