Long-running satirical news program on Comedy Central.Instead of a straight-up News Parody, a la Weekend Update, the program merely relates the actual news in a humorous tone, with special attention paid to the antics and gaffes of politicians and public figures, as well as the reactions of major news shows (particularly 24-hour news channels) which range from the theatrical to the absurd.The main anchor is currently Jon Stewart (who took over in 1999, replacing Craig Kilborn), but it's launched a few careers among its correspondents. Steve Carell and Ed Helms are successful alums, and Stephen Colbert got his own spinoff program called The Colbert Report (a parody of confrontational talk programs such as The O'Reilly Factor) which became a runaway success leading him to be picked to take over for David Letterman. Two more Daily Show alums have since been given their own Comedy Central shows, Lewis Black's The Root of All Evil and the critically acclaimed Important Things With Demetri Martin. The show's writing staff has also published two books in connection to the show, both parodies of high-school textbooks; they are America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction from 2004 and Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide To The Human Race from 2010.Before you dismiss it as silliness, the show gets some astonishingly important guests—Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Senator Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (also D-NY), Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) (three times, most recently in 2011), former UK Prime MinisterTony Blair, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) (when he was running for the U.S. Presidency in 2004), Barack Obama (ditto, 2008, and again in 2010 as well as 2012 while sitting President), Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (many, many times, including 2008), the King of Jordan Abdullah II (twice, in 2010 and 2012), Vice President Joe Biden (in 2009), and even former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf while he was still president (who is not even the first sitting head of state to be interviewed), to name a few.To top it all off, despite being a comedy show, the program has received acclaim for its in-depth reporting, to the point where it is said that its regular viewers are often better informed than those who watch more traditional newscasts. True or not, this notion certainly frustrates Stewart himself to no end. If you glean your news headlines from this show, just remember to never take the "correspondents" at face value.It can be watched online for free (if you're lucky). In Canada, it is available at the Comedy Network's site. Just beware of Archive Panic.In March 2013, Jon Stewart announced that he would be taking a three-month hiatus as host of the Daily Show in order to direct his first-ever feature film, "Rosewater." John Oliver filled in as host for 8 of the 12 absent weeks (06/10/2013 - 08/15/2013). Stewart returned to hosting on September 3, 2013. Oliver subsequently left the show to start his own program on HBO called Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.In May 2014, Comedy Central announced that Daily Show contributor Larry Wilmore will have his own spinoff titled The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore, which will take the place of The Colbert Report once Stephen Colbert begins hosting The Late Show in 2015.Not to be confused with The Daly Show. While we're at it, the host himself is not to be confused for that African-American Green Lantern.
Actually Pretty Funny: Jon admitted to Bill O'Reilly that Stephen Colbert liked his joke that the cover of Earth (The Book) featured a picture of Stewart and Colbert (the cover actually shows Stewart next to a chimpanzee).
Alter Kocker: As part of the 2008 election cycle, Wyatt Cenac is sent to cover the opinions of a group of Jewish retirees in Florida during the debates. Eventually, the political discourse devolves into them all arguing with each other over trivialities, with the increasingly bewildered correspondent unable to get a word in edgewise.
Jon invoked this on himself in all but name when he turned 50.
Appeal to Obscurity: After playing a clip of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie saying, "If they wanna make new rules about disasters, well they picked the wrong state to make the new rules with," Jon follows it up (in "mobster" tone) with, "Hey, nice state you're representing. It'd be a shame if it ended up like New Delaware. Oh, you never heard of New Delaware? Yeah, that's right."
Arch-Enemy: Jon doesn't really hate most of the people he riffs on, but he does tend to go the extra mile to mock Donald Trump.
Jon Stewart: [After calling Tucker Carlson an arrogant douche] Tucker and I can talk like this because we already have a visceral negative reaction to each other. Not an ounce of friendship or respect between us. Truly one of the only people in the world I feel that way about.
Aroused by Their Voice: Jon speculates that the reason why U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas never spoke during Court proceedings for seven years was to protect America from his lovely baritone.
Artistic License - Physics: When interviewed on the Daily Show, Neil deGrasse Tyson reminded Jon that the globe in the opening is spinning in the wrong direction. This has become a Running Joke each time Tyson has returned.
Ascended Extra: Jon Stewart, who guest-starred at least twice during the Craig Kilborn-era, for the interview segments.
Brain Bleach: In response to an argument against gay marriage that it's not how nature intended, John Oliver plays a clip of a dog humping another dog in the face. He then informs his viewers that they will never be able to unsee it.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Jordan Klepper's debut as on-site correspondent has him so nervous that he constantly breaks character, talks about himself instead of the Russian invasion of Crimea, and chastises himself on camera for screwing up before finally just walking right out of "Crimea" and next to Jon's desk.
Jon: It's fine! You're doing fine, focus. What have you learned so far today?
Jordan: Well, uh...you have to dial 9 to get an outside line...um, lunch is at 1...uh...and if I keep my head down here for a couple years I have a real shot at getting my own sitcom on NBC.
Brick Joke: While anything that can be used as such, IS used as such, on August 16, 2010, Jon Stewart told John Oliver that his "F*** ing Stupid English Accent" was offensive. No points for guessing what the first thing out of Emma Thompson's mouth was when she came on for the interview at the end of the show.
Butt Monkey: Stewart is routinely insulted and abused by correspondents (and occasionally guests).
John Oliver (of The Bugle fame) gets this as well (usually when Stewart reminds him about his visa expiring). See the example under Pirates.
Oliver himself thinks of the US Soccer team as this ("I'm here with the US pffft hahahahah! No, no, I've got it... Sudan, Sudan, Sudan. Hi, I'm HAHAHAHA!"), but when he sees they're not as bad as he expected he gives them "helpful vacation tips" for visiting South Africa like "Go on a nighttime stroll in Soweto in all your fanciest jewelry."
Wyatt Cenac, as the youngest member of the team (at least before Jessica Williams joined the lineup), often gets this as well: for instance, while everybody else was given their own promotional advertisements, Wyatt was forced to make his own (with things like Wyatt saying "laser sounds" in place of actual laser sounds), and is forced to stop at the end to allow Jason Jones to shoot additional footage for his own ad atop a horse surrounded by models.
New correspondent and Twofer Token Minority (black and female) Jessica Williams was sent into a disaster zone for her first assignment, then became a hobo, and was ignored by a Fifties-style panel of all-male correspondents until she put on a fake mustache.
Later, she revealed that she used to be white before she went to college and, as Rick Santorum put it: "Was remade in President Obama's image."
Months after taking Donald Trump to task for serving chain pizza to a non-New Yorker (Sarah Palin) and eating his with a fork, he offers to eat pizza with a fork alongside Trump if he, Trump, agrees to reenter the Presidential race for the benefit of bored comedians.
Canada, Eh?: Samantha Bee, whose Canadian-ness has often been fodder for jokes. Her equally-Canadian husband, Jason Jones, doesn't get anywhere near this kind of treatment.
Sam's entries in America (The Book) are parodies of excessive Canadian politeness, usually prefaced by the header "Would You Mind If I Told You How We Do It In Canada?" and full of apologies.
Canon Discontinuity: The show's website has virtually every clip of the show since Jon Stewart became host, none from when Craig Kilborn was host.
Can't Hold His Liquor: During a week where Jon Stewart was out sick, Stephen Colbert and Steven Carell took over hosting duty and showed the audience a video of the two at a bar where Carell is so drunk he starts making comments on how sexy Antonio Banderas is.
Political commentator Bernie Goldberg of Fox News was called out on this after stating that the show was not just a comedy show; it was also providing social commentary. Jon responded that comedians have been providing social commentary for literally thousands of years.
Regarding the STOCK Act: "Yes, Congress should obey the same laws as everyone else. I believe that was in the 'No Shit, Sherlock' Act of 2000 and always."
Cast Herd: Up until about the 2008 presidential election, correspondents and contributors tended to come and go at the rate of + /-1 a year. Since then, the five main correspondents jobs have been consistently held by Aasif Mandi, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, and John Oliver. This trope still applies to the less frequent contributors, however.
And at the Rally to Restory Sanity and/or Fear, John Oliver did it again, asking the audience to help revive Jon Stewart after Colbert nearly beat him in their Fear vs. Reason debate. Bonus points for doing this while being dressed as Peter Pan.
Repeated for the terrorists that threatened the creators of South Park.
The segment Clusterf#@k to the [insert adjective] House.
Done several times by John Oliver when discussing the 2010 World Cup.
Commie Nazis: Jon's discussion of the 2012 Greek elections, which somehow elevated both extreme right and left parties to significant power, making them the world's first literal Commie Nazis.
Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: Robert Novak, frequent target of Take Thats due to his role in the Valerie Plame affair, was asked in an interview whether he'd ever seen The Daily Show or any of its material on him; he said no, then promptly went on to describe Jon as "self-righteous" and a "phony" and so forth. The old incident of Geraldo Rivera ranting to Bill O'Reilly about how TDS and TCR "exist in a small little place where they count for nothing" is most likely also an example, since he cited their supposed use of "video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing," which are not exactly Stewart and Colbert's stock in trade. (We would say these were in-universe examples, except y'know, it happened in thisuniverse).
Jon Stewart also lampshaded this in regards to Noah, with FOX complaining about it using the word "Creator" instead of "God". Jon Stewart points out that in the movie, Noah's son says that the Creator is God. It is then taken a step further with some of there complaints showing that they must not have read the source material either.
Content Warnings: On the Global Edition only, as it airs on serious news channels in some countries.
The show you are about to see is a news parody. Its stories are not fact checked. Its reporters are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.
Continuity Nod: You know how Jon made Kristen Schaal depressed by revealing that the Chinese "one baby" rule had some bad consequences to female babies? Well, apparently he learned his lesson when she expressed how nice it was that Hugh Hefner "lives with his three grand-daughters."
Corpsing: Jon tends to giggle a lot while trying to report. One of the greatest examples is when he and Stephen completely lose it while reporting the Prince Charles Scandal. He does it often during the tosses to the Colbert Report as well, or whenever one of his correspondents says something he wasn't expecting. Jon rarely tries to keep a straight face during his reporting, however.
Cosmic Plaything: John Oliver somehow turned into this when he filled in for Stewart in 2013. He expected to have a quiet Summer filled mostly with jokes about his Britishness. First day of guest hosting: the NSA spying scandal broke out. Then after weeks of other major political news stories occurring during his tenurenote and on the day George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, the studio loses power.
John Oliver (to camera): "Sorry Jon, I've broken the show."
With elements of Badass Bookworm, Awesomeness by Analysis and Beware the Silly Ones. Yes. He has read your damn book. He knows what you've said. He also knows what you said three weeks ago. And what you said to the NRA in 2003. And where you worked when you said it. So answer the damn question.
Stephen Colbert noted in a Rolling Stone interview that he doesn't understand where Jon finds the time to do it, but yes, he reads EVERY book that people are there to promote on his show... every word. Colbert notes that obviously this gives Jon a formidable advantage in an interview, as most people do not expect the host to have gotten past the summary or "cliff notes" that a staffer gave them.
One of the rare exceptions was when Jon was interviewing Jeremy Scahill for his book Blackwater (about the PMC), Jon clearly hadn't read the book and the interview came off confrontational, while failing to discuss the novel's main themes note ie. the limited government oversight on hired contractors in the Middle East. Fast-forward a week, where Jon clearly had read it in the interim, owned up to his mistake and dedicated a segment showing just how badly he'd dropped the ball.
Jon: Sometimes I can be unexpectedly confrontational, and other times...it’s almost as though I don’t know what the f**k I’m talking about at all.
It also happened that all the terrible things surrounding Blackwater began to appear in the news which completely validated Scahill's argument.
There is a very, very good reason that Lawrence O'Donnell once said:
"The bottom line: don't pick a fight with Jon Stewart. Do not do it. You cannot win."
Cute Kitten: This video has Jon show a kitten's adorably despondent reaction to the bank bailout - just 'cause.
Used again on April 7, 2010, when more sex abuse scandals come to light around the Catholic church:
Jon: Very cute. The kittens lack the capacity to understand the horror of this story.
Playful Otter: In fact, kittens playing isn't enough to take the whole of the scandal so a baby otter is thrown in too:
Jon: Aw, now the baby otter is playing with a kitten.
Aasif gets extra points for getting the people he's interviewing to not realize he's making fun of them (such as a republican strategist about science) and getting them to say honest and crazy things as a result.
Deconstruction: On Thursday, March 18th, 2010, Jon, playing the role of Glenn Beck, tore apart Beck's tactics and hysterical persona, again.
Despair Event Horizon: When Congressional Republicans voted down a bill that would give healthcare to those to who helped out recovery efforts during 9/11. Aside from being legitimately pissed off about it, the whole spiel was detailed in a segment called, "I GIVE UP."
The bill was finally passed near the end of December 2010. A week earlier, Jon had four 9/11 responders as guests on the show (and the first segment was another lambasting of Congress for still failing to get it passed, while the primary guest was Republican Mike Huckabee, who also agreed the bill should be passed, going against the majority of his party), who all gave their stories. Many major sources credited Jon and that episode for being influential in spurring congress to finally get it done.
Since the election of Barack Obama, a common gag has been showing the blatant hypocrisy of Fox News by airing their defenses of George Bush immediately before/after the exact same circumstances with a Democratic president (ie. denouncing protests as "temper tantrums" in 2004 yet calling them "inspiring" in 2008). He also does so to the other news networks, but they don't have a Fair And Balanced slogan to pin against them, so it happens less often.
Don't Explain the Joke: On "Back in Black" discussing the power vacuum in Al Qaeda following bin Laden's death.
CNN Anchor: [Al-Zawahiri] is more of a no. 2 than a no. 1
Black: I dunno, Al Qaeda's former no. 1 seemed like more of a no. 2 to me. (Beat) I'm talking about poop, Jon.
Stewart: Yes, I know.
Double Entendre: the "Jon Stewart [insert double entendre such as "Touches Kids" here]" segments.
Perhaps the best yet, lifted directly from a senator's rant to Anderson Cooper: "Jon Stewart and Anderson Cooper Have Their Fun Looking At Gaping Holes".
During a segment inviting former president George W. Bush to, er, be a guest on the program: "Come On Jon Stewart!"
He later asks them to change this when he's asking the same of Glenn Beck to come on. First they make an offer to take some thing off his chest into "Drop a Load on Jon Stewart", then an offer to get to know each other becoming (despite Jon's hopes) "Two Established Television Personalities Penetrate Each Other On The Daily Show While People Watch".
When NYC enacted both a soda ban and a relaxation of the laws regarding marijuana within the same week (June 7, 2012):
"Jon Stewart Tries to Figure Out What He's Allowed to Put in His Mouth"
The July 31st 2014 show featured a two for one. Describing how American corporations have been using certain clauses in legislation to avoid paying taxes and his annoyance thereof, he had two segment graphics show up. "Jon Stewart Fingers Tax Evaders," and "Jon Stewart Probes Your Holes."
Double Subversion: For instance, when during the episode with the Glenn Beck impression he made reference to masturbating to a Calvin Klein billboard he could see from his apartment window. An ad with a shirtless male model came up, to which he said, "No!"; then it was replaced by an ad with a scantily-clad female model, to which he said, "Ewww, no!"; it turned out to be an ad with a more muscled and and well-oiled male model.
Dramatic Drop: When he interviewed Republican senator Marco Rubio Jon got so frustrated with the senator's ability to talk in circles he dropped his pen in exasperation.
Eagle Land: Obviously. But when ever he makes a few jabs at the more...extreme conservatives we see in news clips, he or one of the correspondents makes it quite clear that said people fit in with "flavor 2" as they tend to "hate 50% of the country".
Every Episode Ending: "Here it is, your moment of zen." During Kilbourne's run, the clip was usually a ridiculous or surreal non sequitor, while during Jon Stewart's run it's usually a funny or ironic news clips that is related to something covered previously.
Expy: Often a source of them, as Jon and the other correspondents will take other acting roles in quite a similar vein as their characters in the show. Jon himself played an Only Sane Man news anchor in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Ed Helms showed up as the quite similar Andy Bernard on The Office (US) (which, of course, stars former "reporter" Steve Carell.)
Extended Disarming: When Vance DeGeneres made his farewells, Jon had to nudge him to hand over his standard-issue badge and handgun. Isn't there something else he's forgetting? Brass knuckles. And fine, combat knife. And bomb.
Face-Heel Turn: The show's treatment of Senator John McCain following his 2008 presidential campaign makes frequent allusions to his 'fall from grace' from his (now-abandoned) maverick position. Appropriately, 2008 was also the last year Senator McCain made a personal appearance on the show.
In one memorable example, two correspondents are supposedly broadcasting from Iraq. The one who is actually in Iraq demonstrates that his (real) footage is being used as the fake background for the other's shoot by waving his arms.
Fingore: Stewart once accidentally smashed a margarita glass in his hand on camera bad enough to require stitches.
Flame War: The Even Stephvens debates which at one point attempted to prove which religion was the right one by holding a "Smite-off" (praying to either God or Mohammad to smite the other Ste(v/ph)en.)
Flat "What.": In an interview with Barbara Walters, former GOP candidate Herman Cain said that, if offered a cabinet position, he would want to be Secretary of of Defense. Walters was so flabbergasted that she could only stammer out a What? This prompted Jon to show examples of people and comments that didn't faze her, including Syria's Bashar al-Assad saying that no government has ever killed non-deserving people.
Fox News Liberal: Notable aversion. Though a decidedly liberal-leaning program, the Daily Show often hosts conservative guests. When it does, Jon Stewart treats them with respect and actually attempts to understand their point of view, and thus help the audience to do the same.
In addition, despite the assumed viewpoint that he would go "easy" on the Obama administration, he is perhaps one of its most vocal critics. Yes, they are pulling for them to have success and find ideological similarities, but that merely colors his criticism, which is expressed more as disappointment when the administration fails to follow through on something they claimed. In other words, it bases its views not on party, but progress. Or in layman's terms:
"C'mon, guys, we should be doing better than this!"
Another bit of unintentional foreshadowing happened during the Anthony Weiner scandal, wherein Jon Stewart fake-resigns and John Oliver takes over the show (temporarily, before Jon Stewart reminds him that it was just a bit). A few years later, the Weiner scandal reemerged with a vengeance while Jon was on hiatus and John Oliver was hosting.
Friendly Enemy: Stewart and Bill O'Reilly of Fox. Bill has been interviewed by Stewart several times over the years, and while they obviously disagree with each other strongly on numerous issues, there is an odd sort of Worthy Opponent-type respect between them.
On October 28, 2013 when Jon learns about the National Intelligence Priorities Network (NIPF) running all intelligence ops in the USA, Jessica makes the comment they are run by the National World Order of Regional Directors (NWORD) and Jon cannot speak of them, but Jessica can because she has the "security clearance."
Funny Foreigner: Both played straight and subverted with John Oliver. There are plenty of times where his British-ness is used for laughs, but it's also heavily implied that he wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, but is forced to play the Funny Foreigner role for Jon Stewart's personal amusement.
He's also used in lieu of a calculator whenever a measurement is given in metric, as part of the segment "Is that a lot?"
On the other hand, it's usually not brought up with Canadians Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, unless the subject turns to Canada.
The correspondent segment on Silvio Berlusconi's trial for statutory rape was a grand mockery of the trope, what with Jon's attempt at playing the whole thing seriously.
G - H
Gag Dub: Whenever you hear a voiceover, it's fake.
Game-Breaking Injury: When exasperatedly noting how Barack Obama's mishaps during the 2012 campaign are overshadowed by the far more numerous gaffes of challenger Mitt Romney, and the audience begins to cheer, Jon compares a victory over Romney to a victory over someone suffering one of these.
Jon: Really? That's how you want to win this? Other guy tears his ACL?
General Ripper: Puppet Senator John McCain against illegal immigrants.
Giver of Lame Names: Jon will sometimes do this to his segment titles as a Running Gag, going through several increasingly horrific versions before settling on the final one.
A Glass in the Hand: Parodied in this clip as Jon handles a series of bad news about the Wall Street bailout by breaking a champagne glass, then the accompanying bottle, and finally his "comically convenient fish tank." (He's done similar gags with Spit Takes, as mentioned below, and one time with a Jenga game.)
A Call Back was made to that clip in this clip on TARP, where Jon reacts to the financial loopholes involving the bailout by first snapping a pencil, crushing a piece of coal so hard it becomes diamond, before doing the same to a cute (live) kitten.Not really.
Jon does not like when anyone, of any stripe, compares anyone else to the Nazis. He's been complaining about it since as early as 2004 on Oprah, when it was the Democrats comparing Bush to Hitler and Republicans in the House comparing Democrats to Hitler and Democrats in the House comparing Republicans in the House to Hitler.
The Golden Rule: Subject of a Crosses The Line Twice joke in The Daily Show, where apropos of a meeting between Catholic Cardinals to discuss the sexual molestation scandals, Jon claims that the aformentioned Bible verse will be altered to include the footnote "except when explicitly prohibited by law".
"Welcome to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Ironically enough, I'm Stephen Colbert."
Jon Stewart is perhaps one of the most dedicated news anchors on TV. In one instance, despite losing his voice for three days, he refused tonotappear on the show, even though he had to speak up (and therefore lengthened his recovery by abusing his already abused vocal cords).
High-Class Glass: Toppington Von Monocle, the show's "biggest fan," who appeared in a segment in response to Bernie Goldberg accusing Jon of playing to an "incredibly unsophisticated audience" (see Sophisticated as Hell below).
Hilarious Outtakes: Frequently left in. For instance, Jon Stewart stumbling all over the camera placement while talking with Gitmo.
Hostile Show Takeover: On Election Night 2008, Stewart and Colbert co-hosted a live show reporting on the results (in between humorous bits and interviews, of course). After Ohio went to Obama, it became obvious he was going to win the election. The Daily Show's two black correspondents, Larry Wilmore and Wyatt Cenac, took this as a sign that they could do "whatever they want", and tried to host The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, respectively. It was over by the commercial break.
Kristen and Samantha also once tried to take over the show when Jon went to the toilet, because they felt it was time for a female host.
"Yes, it's cathartic - it can be so therapeutic to publicly ridicule those whose views you find repugnant when they are in no way able to respond."
The end of his Special Comment about Keith Olbermann, accusing him of name-calling: "And as we both know, Sir, that's my thing!"
The episode on SOPA absolutely runs on this trope, with Jon faux-seriously lecturing on the evils of using copyrighted material and the background consisting entirely of clips taken from other shows.
Making fun of CNN doing a splitscreen satellite interview with two reporters in the same parking lot, Jon said: "The audacity of something even resembling a news organization to pretend that a correspondent is in an entirely different location when in fact that correspondent is standing no more than a few feet away, maybe in the very same studio for all we know - pretty shameful."
When John Oliver first starts hosting the show during Jon Stewart's absence, Samantha Bee expresses outrage at a "godforsaken foreigner" being selected for the position over her.
Al Madrigal does an interview with an animal-rights whistleblower defending the editing of their videos for time, pointing out that The Daily Show does the same with its interviews. Al Madrigal objects... in two different clips of him wearing two different outfits.
Implausible Deniability: They get sitting heads of state, major government officials, Hollywood stars, scientists at the top of their field, and actual news anchors as guests. They've earned Emmys and Peabody Awards(!), and can get celebrities to drop by unannounced for a cameo and good joke. Their news is at least as insightful as the regular stuff put out by the networks and the 24-hour news channels (though people like Fareed Zakaria and Christiane Amanpour are probably better). But as he said when it was still true (and people were even treating the show as serious news), "The show leading into mine is puppets making crank phone calls."
Incredibly Lame Pun: He warned the Audience after they laughed at this that, because it was positive reinforcement, he would use more of these in the future.
Informed Judaism: Part of Jon Stewart's material since his stand-up career, with a combination of pride in his Jewishness and Self-Deprecation at being not very good at it.
So, basically, he's Reform.
But for the most part Jon subverts that trope. He clearly knows his Judaic lore and customs, but chooses to make part of his act about his choice to live as an ultra-assimilated, intermarried New York Jew.
In-Joke / Noodle Incident: Jon comes out to chat with the studio audience for a bit before the show starts, and then during the show he will often make a Call Back to something that one of the audience members said, leaving the home audience scratching their heads at the seeming Non Sequitur.
Topped on the March 18, 2010 episode by taking it even further in a fifteen minute segment that concludes that Bert from Sesame Street is actually Hitler. Perhaps he is in cahoots with his colleague, Gitmo.
On June 27, 2011, the Moment of Zen showed a clip from Fox News:
"I'm going to say it right now, Jon Stewart is a racist. I don't believe that to be true, but I'm saying it."
Also happens during the many times Jon's good friend Denis Leary is on the show.
Jon also has this dynamic with Bill O'Reilly. Their Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium debate was truly something to behold.
Ironic Echo Cut: A staple of the show is Jon recapping the basics of a story and assuming a result, then cutting to a clip of a reporter or speaker saying the exact opposite.
It's Been Done: After Jon's recap of the Bipartisan Health Care Summit of 2010, Stewart and John Oliver proceeded to explain in great detail a hypothetical system where legislators could come together, sit down, and talk about relevant issues. OH WAIT, THAT'S CONGRESS.
"What if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?"
Kill the Poor: During the banter segment with Jon Stewart at the end of The Daily Show's 10th Anniversary episode, Stephen Colbert remarked about how Stewart's show is all about supporting "the underdog" and Colbert can't believe how he ever backed that "losing horse." That's why Colbert on his own show now supports "the overdog" (specifically, big business). When concluding his point, Colbert quotes the Trope Namer!
Teacher: I'd say there is a 50/50 chance. It will either destroy us or it won't. John Oliver: I'm not sure statistics work that way. later John: After the apocalypse, we should try breeding. (the teacher is male) Teacher: I don't think that will work. John: It either could happen or it won't.
A homophobe who didn't want open gays in American military claimed that Nazis were gay and persecuted gays to hide their own sexuality...wait.
John used the fallacy-ridden manner of thinking Glenn Beck uses to prove things to prove him wrong and evil.
Logic Bomb: Jon drops one on the Reagan US 9/11 by pointing out that Obama was conceived in Hawaii. Thus either Obama was created and became a person in the US which should count for more than where he emerged from his mother's womb... or fetuses aren't people. Unable to cope with having to abandon either its Birther or Pro-life stance, the machine promptly crashes.
Here's what's upsetting about this guy; fucking guy acts like we were 20 seconds away from total victory in Iraq, when suddenly Obama just gives it away at midfield, and then Osama bin Laden crosses it, and ISIS heads it home; God, how did we blow that game!?
Mic Drop: Jessica Williams ended an epic rant about racism with a mic drop ... which she first had to pull out from behind her desk because she wasn't using it during said rant.
Misplaced Nationalism: Made fun of a few times. The 2010 World Cup has this as a Running Gag between Jon and John Oliver regarding the performance of the US and English teams, usually ending with John Oliver dropping a Cluster F-Bomb after Jon's parting shot against England.
Mood Whiplash: The first episode directly after 9/11. This one isn't funny in the least. Instead, Jon puts all the jokes aside and confronts both the audience and his heartbroken home of New York very seriously... and in tears.
Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Jason Jones, while in Russia, did a segment on how Russians aren't sissies, which included talking with a math teacher who walks across rooftops in her spare time.
Motor Mouth: "WelcometotheDailyShowmynameisJonStewart!"
Ms. Fanservice: While there's little doubt that Olivia Munn would be this whether or not that was the plan, a veritable tempest in a teapot arose when a feminist (possibly or possibly not of the silly variety) accused the TDS staff of sexism, saying they only hired her to try out for her sexiness. While most agreed that Munn's first two segments left something to be desired, her third segment (a field assignment in Arizona) was enough of an improvement that Slate, at least, said she warranted a little bit of patience.
It's worth noting that this is the exact same complaint that gave her something of a Broken Base among Attack of the Show! fans, which still lingers after several years of her hosting.
Mundane Made Awesome: "The best f* cking news team ever. We have a rocket. CNN doesn't have a rocket."
Which is topped by the Election Day intro Stephen cooked up: THE FINAL ENDGAME ALPHA ACTION GO TIME LIFT-OFF DECIDE-CIDAL HUNGRY MAN'S EXTREME RAW POWER ULTIMATE VOTESLAM SMACKDOWN '08 NO MERCY: JUDGEMENT DAY '08
And then Jon Stewart lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire, and blew him up.
Stephen Colbert: ...did you set fire to Dick Gephardt?
Jon Stewart: That's right, Stephen, we lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire...and then we blew him up.
Stephen Colbert: ...kudos.
Muppets: A Running Gag that when former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney or former GOP Chairman Michael Steele are mentioned, a clip of a similar-looking Muppet (Guy Smiley and the hapless restaurant patron, respectively) will be shown.
And now that John McCain is refusing to do the show, Muppet John McCain has been filling in for him from time to time.
In the last show of 2012, Wyatt Cenac was turned into a Muppet after mocking a Puerto Rican news show because one of the hosts used a puppet suit. He turned out to just be operating the puppet, which led to an awkward moment at the end of the show.
Narm: A lot of the humor on the show deals with pointing out narmy moments in news coverage. invoked
N-Word Privileges: Invoked here when John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac try to debate which racial insults are worse; John can't bring himself to use the N word.
Also see this clip. John Oliver and Larry Wilmore interview a local politician trying to ban the N word. John will ask a question and pause for Larry to fill in the actual word.
Frequently invoked with the topic of Rick Perry's family's former name for their ranch. Every time after Jon tries to say it, a clip would play of Herman Cain helping a reporter by saying it instead.
Jon cannot say the N-word, but Jessica can. note The N-word being "New World Order". She has the security clearance.
Nerdgasm: Jon was particularly flummoxed that among the revelations about Anthony Weiner's sexual escapades was an exchange between him and one woman suggesting that they watch back-to-back Daily Show and The Colbert Report to "get them in the mood."
Never Trust a Title: As Jon pointed out, The Daily Show is on four days a week, and only for a part of the year.
Nice Guy: Among other things, Jon Stewart has been an active proponent for granting medical aid to the dying rescue workers and volunteers from the 9/11 terrorism massmurder; and improved education for autistic children.
"El Niño" Is Spanish for "The Niño": This is a bit of a Running Gag regarding Arabic phrases with the article "Al". For example, in one episode featuring an interview with an Al Jazeera reporter, Jon helpfully informs us that "Al Jazeera" means "The Jazeera" and that hopefully their guest will explain what a "Jazeera" is (he doesn't).note Al-Jazeera means "The Peninsula" in Arabic, in reference to the Arabian Peninsula.
"— and this is true —" Jon has to do this with disturbing frequency.
During his tongue-in-cheek review of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Al Madrigal at one point stops to provide a source for his claim that the Decision Theater will actually play of video of Bush telling the user why they're wrong if their decision contradicts his (namely, when deciding against the Iraq war).
In his "India Jones and the Election of Doom" series, Jason Jones learns that Indian newspapers can be paid to print pretty much anything, which he demonstrates by having a completely fictional story about himself printed for a few thousand dollars. He then stresses that he really did this and provides a link to the article in question.
Not Worth Mocking: Stewart grabs a pair of glasses similar to those worn by Glenn Beck. It comes off as a setup of another thorough, annihilating parody of Beck's rhetoric...until he throws the glasses down and says he's just not worth it anymore.
Obfuscating Stupidity: A charge leveled at Gretchen Carlson of "Fox and Friends" for her having to look up the words "czar" and "ignoramus", despite being a Stanford honors graduate in Sociology, having studied at Oxford and being a talented violinist, and so probably being familiar with those words.
And done again, lampshade includedandvocally invokedby Wyatt Cenac when discussing how Fox and Friends had connected the "Ground-Zero Mosque" with the leader of The Kingdom Foundation, Prince Al-waleed bin Talal... who happens to be a 7% shareholder with NewsCorp, parent company of Fox News. (This makes him the largest shareholder outside of the Murdoch family.)
Wyatt Cenac: Bum-bum-bum! That's some evil shit! It's a level of knowing obfuscation that can only come with having a heart filled with pure evil!
One Steve Limit: Averted. In addition to Jon Stewart the show has John Oliver, and occasional You're Welcome host John Hodgman. And of course, there were also Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert before they left the show (complete with the segment "Even Stephven" where they "debated" a topic by hurling insults at each other).
Only in Florida: During a segment about Florida demanding that welfare recipients take drug urinalysis tests, Aasif Maandvi manages to crash an actual press conference with Gov. Rick Scott and requests that he take a test himself. The other reporters even help to pass him the cup.
Only Sane Man: Jon Stewart, with the insanity provided either by correspondents, or clips of real life politics.
Jon will occasionally do something random (like vigorously scratch the back of his head) while waiting for the audience to stop applauding or laughing, then when they quiet down, he'll continue to do it until they laugh again.
Full clip. When MSNBC named a New York police officer "Anthony Bologna" (pronounced like the Italian city), Jon insisted on calling him "Tony Bologna" (pronounced like the sausage) and proceeded with a rap:
Paper-Thin Disguise: At first, this video seems to be the first episode of a new segment focusing on small towns, however, as the video goes on, it becomes increasingly obvious that the whole thing is just John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac desperately trying to find a way to sneak into the Chelsea Clinton wedding.
Ken Blackwell postulates (at 2:10) that this is the Obama administration's stance in terms of gun control - Yes, he passed the law allowing people to carry guns in national parks, but only because he's simultaneously putting in Judges that will overturn it!
Porn Stash: John Oliver, with his life supposedly in danger, not only lists the location of the porn in every room he has, but also:
Prayer of Malice: Back when Stephen and Steven were still on The Daily Show, an "Even Stevens" segment had them debating whether Islam or Christianity was the one true religion. Needless to say, prayers of "Smite mine enemy" were evoked on both sides.
Done with beauty while commenting on CNBC's having had a guest - Sir Allen Stanford - on the show who was being investigated on allegations of running a Ponzi scheme (arrested one month later) and they get to the final question... Cut to 7:50.
Another example, in the unsubtly-subtle vein, occurred on 11-18-09 segment about Sarah Palin's surge in popularity (accompanied by book-signing). Bernie Goldberg stated that "[Sarah has a son who] has Down's Syndrome. Liberals certainly don't - don't allow that to happen!" Cue a pause from Jon, who shuffles around some papers on the desk prior to holding them in front of his mouth and coughing "Go fuck yourself!"
Done in the same vein on 02-07-2008 with perverse deliberation.
Used against Fox News on April 15th, 2010 (making it worse, the timing was right after one of them making a remark that having five kids and one of them having Down Syndrome was something that liberals "certainly don't allow to happen"). Fox's response was then analyzed, line-by-line, on the 20th, culminating in a cluster-GoFuckYourself-bomb set to music.
Ridiculously Loud Commercial: The full episodes online have faint audio relative to most youtube and other online videos, requiring viewers to turn up their speaker volume. The ads, however, are so loud you have to turn your volume down almost all the way to keep them from blaring.
The episodes posted on Hulu avert this, either because Hulu turns up the volume of the videos before posting them or because they just have quieter commercials. The ones posted on the show's official site are still too quiet with too-loud commercials, though.
"(insert name here) is right!", after a clip of a pundit or politician making some sort of hyperbolic statement. This usually prompts a sarcastic agreement from Jon.
A variation of this is when the name is switched with some outragously long description like: "That twit who's nearly run out of 24 hour networks to appear on is right!" when talking about Tucker Carlson or "That old man who's been in Washington for nearly forever is right!" when talking about John McCain.
Whenever Jon does an impression of either a famous person or a famous movie character, he claims that he's doing it to promote his "new one-man show" of that exact same impression.
The 2010 World Cup coverage with John Oliver. Usually ending with Stewart making a humiliating observation - such as USA tying England in the group round due to an own-goal - and driving Oliver to respond "FUCK YOU JON! FUCK YOU SO VERY MUCH!"
The *Insert T-Shirt logo here* shirt exchanges between Aasif Mandvi and Wyatt Cenac for the first time, then John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac for the final pair, which has (so far) only been done for 3 shows in a row. First it was "Team Mohammed" versus "Team Jesus" to settle the "coming religious war". Then "Team Stupid" versus "Team Evil" when discussing "Fox and Friends" blatantly avoiding naming, or even picturing, the founder of The Kingdom Foundation, despite tying him to the "Ground-Zero Mosque" due to his 7% share in Fox's parent company NewsCorp. Finally "Team N-Word" versus "Team Retard" regarding which epithet was worse... apparently the word "retard" is trading for 11 N-words, and "kike" was up 3 1/4... not to mention a "nicer" way to say Jew.
They brought it back for the revolutions in the Middle East and who gets the credit for Egypt and Tunisia opting for a democracy: Team Bush (John Oliver), Team Obama (Olivia Munn), and Team Local Conditions (Aasif Mandvi).
On the November 10, 2011 episode, whenever Jon got stuck on a list of something, he finished with a government agency, usually the EPA. (The main highlight of the episode was Rick Perry's gaffe at the CNBC GOP Debate, where Perry stumbled on the 3rd government agency he would do away with as president.)
He has started doing variants of spit-takes, saying he will watch the clip while doing various things, including, at one point, holding a kitten. Coal turns to diamonds, the kitten to glass, food is destroyed, pencils are broken...
John making up names for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, ranging from 'Willard Mittnerd Romnerd" to "Willington Mittfor Romnefeller the Third."
After New York City Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on large soft drinks, Jon mocked his logic on nearly every episode for weeks.
As of 2013, blaming anything on the uber-prankster and Manti Te'o nemesis Ronaiah Tuiasasopo, even if it's probably not true-iasasopo. Lampshaded when Jon admits that he wanted to do the joke four days in a row, just to carry it through-iasasopo.
Telling the audience to send complaints to/call Brian Williams.
Chuck Hagel, whose last name Jon chokes on then pronounces as "Heyyy-gul" (usually only the first time it comes up during an episode).
John Oliver, taking over during Jon's three-month hiatus, opens every episode with a different excuse for Jon's absence.
Starting in 2013, there have been a lot of potshots leveled at Arby's for no particular reason in the middle of unrelated segments, with lines like "Arby's: Start a Fight With Your Digestive System." Lampshaded by Jon at one point when he admitted he has no idea why they keep making fun of Arby's, adding that they're perfectly nice people who make perfectly good food.
Stewart's reaction to the Senate Republican filibuster blocking a bill to provide treatment to firefighters who suffered respiratory problems from working in the WTC ruins rescuing survivors (because it was funded by closing a tax loophole used to keep corporations from paying income taxes) is a particular example. Appropriately, it was even named "I give up".
On March 26, 2012, Stewart opened the show with two news items: Dick Cheney's heart transplant, and the Treyvon Martin shooting. Every time he'd try to lighten the mood with a heart transplant joke, he would fall flat over the seriousness of the shooting, until he finally gave up.
Sarcasm Mode: Happens quite frequently, but particularly in the entirety of this where Jon and John throw out completely hypothetical ideas of two government bodies discussing and voting on ideas inside buildings. ...Then again, what if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?
Satire: Of course. The type of satire depends on the subject: they tend towards the Juvenalian when discussing Fox News and most GOP politicians, and runs Horatian when covering Obama and certain other politicians. Note that the dividing line is not necessarily political; George W. Bush was typically covered in a Horatian fashion after the 2006 midterms, portraying him as a harmless bumbler of a president, while some Democrats have been treated quite harshly (for instance, unloading on Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in August 2012).
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In one skit, Stewart was mocking a (defeated) bill that would've said, "Life begins at conception." He then monologues to himself about a screenplay idea involving the killer being a woman's unborn baby. The camera then pulls away like they're going to commercial, leaving Stewart confused and Corpsing, and quoting the trope by name (mostly):
Stewart: You known it's bad when the camera guy goes, "Fuck this! I'm outta here!"
Jon, at both himself and the show. He even gave kudos to a man with a very unfortunate name for putting up with "this juvenile bullshit."
Sometimes, when they point out someone being a hypocrite, they'll say it's like a program that airs four nights a week calling itself The Daily Show.
On the 2/25/2013 episode, Jon apologized for using former Mississippi Secretary of State Dick Molpus, a longtime advocate for civil rights, as a scapegoat for bigoted behavior, basically ripping himself apart.
Jon: We went with (randomly slamming a dude because he had a funny name) mainly because I am a twelve-year-old boy trapped in a 75-year-old man's body.
Shown Their Work: Jon's interviews. Especially the authors - Jon reads every book plugged on his show cover-to-cover, and it shows.
A particularly hilarious example when Herman Cain closed his campaign for the GOP Presidency by quoting the second Pokemon movie. His response is to make fun of this with his own flurry of particularly accurate Pokemon references.
Possibly "[Give the banks bailout money or] everything you love and hold dear will become Tang."
Jon admitted in his interview with Rachel Maddow that his famous labelling during the rally of cable news as "the 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator" was a reference to Phineas and Ferb.
"Why is Jon Stewart's evil cousin Wario hosting the show?"
"To be fair to Herman Cain, we can't all be as wise as Slowking wearing the Shellder of knowledge. The Shellder of knowledge; look it up!" The culmination of a lengthy discussion on why Herman Cain picked the wrong Pokémon film quote to use to close his campaign.
Many of the leading news stories are puns on popular movies, TV shows, games, and events, usually with original artwork modified for the new title. These used to elicit huge cheers from the crowd, prompting Jon to comment about how they put so much work into the show and the bad Shout-Out pun is what gets all the applause.
The 2/28/13 segment covering House Speaker John Boehner's use of the word "ass" was titled "Ass Effect", complete with an altered version of the Mass Effect logo.
Going back to the original instance of it on the show...he got in a proper KHAAAAAAN.
Some of My Best Friends Are X: North Carolina GOP Precinct captain Don Yelton, who was being interviewed by Aasif Mandvi about the states voter ID laws, used this defense to say he wasn't racist (Specifically saying some of his friends are black), despite also talking about, in his words, "lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything." Unsurprisingly, he resigned the next day (There's a video of the interview in the link).
Sophisticated as Hell: John Oliver. A nod must be given to Toppington Von Monocle, who quoted Catullus 16 to disprove the notion that the Daily Show audience is uncouth.
This is also the effect of those times when they forgo the elaborate joke and just insult someone, such as the long campaign of describing Robert Novak as a "douchebag" (culminating in an attempt to "bury the hatchet" wherein Jon earnestly explained, "I only ever said those things to you because I sincerely believe... that you are a terrible person") or "In Dick Morris's defense, he is a lying sack of shit." And of course the "go fuck yourself" choir.
Both used straight and spoofed regularly. Here's an example.
Subverted here (about 3:05 in) when Jon obviously sets himself up for a spit-take...and then nonchalantly keeps on drinking from his mug.
Once it seemed like he was going to do one, but instead he bit into the cup.
It occurs on May 1, 2014 when talking about Rob Ford. He starts drinking from his mug, and when he learns that Ford's back in the news for smoking crack... he just finishes his drink, and right afterwards points out as much. He then learns that Ford is going into rehab, and does a spit take proper. When he learns that Ford is still planning on running for mayor despite those events, he picks up the cup and does another spit take.
Spoofed with Their Own Words: It does this all the time. Interviewing Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow even claimed to see little difference between his method of parodying events and her own of humorously reporting on them.
The Stoic: Of all the possible people, Colbert had a moment of this during the 2008 elections. When Obama locked up California and, thus, the elections, the entire crew started freaking out and wondering what the post-Bush world must be like. So, they head outside and start gushing over the fact that the sun is shining, children are at play, etc. Meanwhile, Colbert just stands there, and firmly reminds them that Bush is still president for two more months, killing the mood of the others.
Straight Man: Stewart to the correspondents. Upon John Oliver' ascension to temporary host, he has taken on playing the Straight Man to the other correspondents.
Stylistic Suck: On March 6, 2013, in response to Neil deGrasse Tyson having pointed out that the globe in the opening spins the wrong way, an alternate opening was recorded. With a single camera, a man is recorded spinning an off-the-shelf globe, the camera pans to the street (for the "New York" part), and then zooms into a Daily Show coffee mug for the logo.
Take That: Several times over, typically directed at various news networks for failing in the investigative portion of "investigative reporting." Among them are Fox News Channel (typical fodder for the show), followed by CNBC (over bad financial advice), and CNN, for "Leaving it there".
He geared up for it in December 2010... then said "Ah fuck it. It's not worth it anymore."
In what may be the farewell for such segments, on April 7, 2011, he did one more, a tour de force that took it over the top and then below the bottom and then over the top again just for good measure, in honor of Glenn Beck's contract not being renewed.
An older Take That at CNN for letting someone go by without calling them on a completely BS claim.
After the Haiti earthquake, he finds out that Rush Limbaugh believes Obama will use the humanitarian efforts as a publicity stunt to gain minority votes. Stewart's response: "Hey, I think I know the cause of your heart trouble—you don't have one."
This is a huge Take That against Donald Trump and Ann Coulter proclaiming racism on the left.
The first two segments of September 17, 2013 were vicious attacks first on the rush to getting something out on the Naval Yard shooting, then a direct and armor-smashing attack on CNN for reporting every possible detail, theories on false or faulty assumptions, and all around shitty journalism. And then tops it off if there is one thing they should know how to do by now, is how to comport themselves during tragedies, since there have been so many the past few years but they don't seem to remember their previous failures.
Tempting Fate: A favorite of the show during the first segment. Usually used to show the hypocrisy of news programs (most often FOX News), where Jon will show a video, then say something along the lines of "next thing you know, they'll say..." and sure enough, another video rolls showing them saying that.
A Memorable "Take That" was aimed towards the inventors and the people behind the SOPA/PIPA (ACTA) bill. The day when all the rebellion and internet shutdowns happened he went wild, taking down the supporters of the bill, the people who don't support the bill and "every other person who's for this ever"...and even Wikipedia for taking its stand against it.
Lampshaded on the June 16th episode, when he shows a clip of a FOX News anchor blasting Obama for asking people to pray to God in a speech even though he doesn't regularly go to church. Jon comments along the lines of "wouldn't it be hilarious if they had previously begged him to show his religious side and tell people to pray?". Immediately afterwards he says, completely deadpan "cue FOX News clip from the day before the speech" showing just what he wanted.
Anyone notice that every time the show goes on hiatus, even CRAZIER crap happens? When Jon and the crew come back from vacation, they've got twelve different scandals or disasters to cover. It's as though, "hey let's take a break here while nobody's doing anything! So here we are in sunny Hawaii and... what's that on CNN?... holy shit, the Vice President shot someone in the face!"
Some might even think that those in the scandals do it on purpose, knowing that Jon and his crew would be more damaging to them then the "actual" journalists.
In late 2007, they went off the air on a Thursday. The following Monday embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales suddenly resigned, and the day after that the Larry Craig scandal broke.
And again, during the Egyptian uprising of February 2011 the show was on hiatus again. By the time Jon and crew made it back, the protesters had gotten the military to throw out Mubarak. And left Aasif Mandvi complaining about missing out on all the love reporters were getting from the protesters after the overthrow.
During a weeklong hiatus in March 2011 Japan got hit by the earthquake and the tsunami, Middle Eastern leaders opened fire on their own people, Knut the polar bear died and the US militarily enforced the no fly zone in Libya.
Jon: When we left the world's two biggest trouble spots were Wisconsin and the set of Two and a Half Men. And then suddenly ALL HOLY HELL BREAKS LOOSE! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO LOOK AT!
Jon went on hiatus in June 2013, with John Oliver serving as replacement host. Not one day passed before the NSA whistleblowing story came to light. John addressed it in his opening segment.
That Came Out Wrong: Jon says this in the Sept 26 2013 episode after saying "let's forget about the Holocaust" (as in "let's move on to another subject").
The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In October 7, 2008, while analyzing the "stupid" vote, John Oliver broke it down into twelve sections: paste eaters, numbskulls, nitwits, fucktards, people whose hands get stuck in pickle jars when they eat pickles, people who lose arguments to babies, douchenozzles, tiger petters, people who jump up and down on frozen lakes, shaved gorillas who've somehow managed to acquire a driver's license, the voluntarily lobotomized, and Cubs fans.
In their commentaries on the television news media, they'll often show the news media's hive-mind collective latches onto a particular key-word or -phrase and repeats it incessantly by means of a montage. They'll show sometimes upward of a dozen clips of different news anchors, reporters, and pundits repeating the same catch-phrase about an item, then end it with one of the talking heads (usually a Fox News pundit) saying something ... really bizarre, though still on-topic.
The running joke about Dick Cheney. Did you know that anything he touches becomes pixelated? Except plants, which die three days later?
When Cheney had a heart transplant, Stewart did an intro in which he thanked the gods of comedy for the setup... except that it coincided with the Treyvon Martin shooting and he couldn't keep up the gag.
Wax On, Wax Off: Referred to literally. First, chase a chicken. Then, use chicken to wax a (read: Colbert's) car. Then, turn chicken into Chick-Fil-A sandwich.
Done again, along with a subtle What the hell, news!?here, where John can be seen literally pleading that the interviewer realizes just how idiotic the piece is, and cut it short. No points for guessing what happens.
After the Christmas break of 2012/2013, a lot of things happened in the weeks missed by the show. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and how to deal with it, the US fiscal cliff problems, the shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school, major cabinet reassignments with "inverted political stances" (such as GOP members complaining about a Democrat being anti-gay), leaving Jon to wonder what to start the show with. He then decides on Gerard Depardieu moving from France to Russia.
Jon rips into the CNN morning show "Early Start" here because they cold-called Caroline Kennedy at 5 AM and then proceeded to ask her about her father's assassination.
Also, note this exchange between him and Brian Williams:
Stewart: What's with the Yiddish tonight? What's with the — "shmaltzy", and the "just gave me a little schpilkis, but" — "I took my punim over there", bing bang boom — Williams: Joey Bishop, ladies and gentlemen.
You Keep Using That Word: Jason Jones asks if the (bigoted) local leader of and Americans Against Hate chapter knew what "against" meant. Said leader had passed out pamphlets to not officially allow a Muslim-American into the party.