Monday, March 06, 2006

Full Circle: Hollywood Doesn't Get Jon Stewart

One of my first every blog posts dealt with Jon Stewart of Daily Show fame, and his admission that good things could be happening in the Middle East as the result of the choices of President Bush. It seems fitting that after my short break from blogging that I find myself posting about Mr. Stewart again.

As many of you realize, Jon Stewart hosted the Academy Awards last night. I didn't watch the awards show, but I did happen across this interesting article at MSNBC titled, "Those big stars just don't get Jon Stewart." The article suggests that Stewart's hosting performance will go down in history as a failure, joining the likes of Chris Rock and David Letterman. What was more revealing was that it wasn't that Stewart's performance was bad--it was that the sheltered Hollywood community takes itself too seriously. Most notable were reaction like the following.
An admitted and unashamed progressive himself, Stewart later made fun of the film industry's perceived liberalness, telling viewers the Oscars are a chance to "see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic party." Our favorite stars barely chuckled.
The author further suggests that this is more evidence that Hollywood is out of step with much of the country.
But that sort of contradictory, somewhat nuanced humor didn't work well for the Oscars' audience. The theater audience's lack of laughter was judgmental and was at odds with viewers who were laughing because this was the funny Jon Stewart we know from cable.
While I haven't been blogging myself of late, I have continued to read and watch what is going on in the world. And lately I've been more and more struck by a consistent theme--people taking themselves too seriously. More (much more) on that later.

In regards to this topic, however, I think this is just further proof that disappointing theater revenues aren't due to internet piracy or a high ticket prices. They are due to Hollywood pressing an agenda that many have no interest in following and believing themselves so important that they can't take a reflective look to see that, even when pointed there by one of their own.