Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Jon Stewart (1-10 of 46)

All the 2012 Presidential debates: Were they worth it? What's their value?

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The debates are over. What changed as a result of them? Polls show Mitt Romney a lot closer to President Obama — it’s a tighter race ever since Romney’s first-debate victory. By the final debate, Romney had shape-shifted from conservative warrior to agreeable centrist — agreeable in the sense that he spent the night mostly agreeing with what Obama is doing abroad. The message that was sent by his side? Don’t worry, he’s not going to do anything extreme if you elect him. If Romney wins the Presidency, the debates will be seen as a crucial turning point in his campaign. If Obama wins, they’ll be largely forgotten. In this sense, debates every four years follow a similar pattern: Whoever the incumbent is, he is helped or hindered by further exposure of his image and his platform.

But that raises the every-four-years question: Should we be electing Presidents in part because of how well they perform on television, in a stilted, awkward debate format? READ FULL STORY

Bill O'Reilly vs Jon Stewart 'The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium' review: Gasbags delight

“If you’re for Social Security and Medicare, we’re all socialists,” Jon Stewart told Bill O’Reilly. “Fifty percent of the people know nothing,” O’Reilly told Stewart, adding as examples, “the Jersey Shore people, the Colbert watchers… ” If you find those statements either enlightening or funny, you would have enjoyed “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” that took place on Saturday night. READ FULL STORY

Emmy Awards show review: Jimmy Kimmel and the night's best, the most surprising, and the most tedious moments

Jimmy Kimmel presided over a mostly very funny, fairly briskly paced, and quite surprising Emmy broadcast on Sunday night. It just goes to show what a great year it was for dramas that Breaking Bad could lose in so many key categories and I’m still happy… because Homeland‘s sweep of best drama, actor, actress, and what seemed like 42 other Emmys was heartily well-deserved. And the cat-nap I took during the back-to-back, too-long acceptance speeches by Jessica Lange and Tom Berenger helped sustain my viewing energy. READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton, trying to stop the 'Chaos on Bull--- Mountain'

On Thursday night’s Daily Show, Bill Clinton, the Dr. Funkenstein of the Presidency, shone his flash light on the Mitt Romney campaign, hitting some of the same notes he pitched so impeccably at the Democratic convention. Still basking in the success of his stirring speech, Clinton allowed Stewart to heap the sort of praise many citizens felt — couched, of course, in the host’s comic terms: “What was so stunning was… that you would get the facts straight… I thought it was a bold choice.”  READ FULL STORY

'SNL Weekend Update Thursday' review: Mitt Romney in a 'Cash Cab'

It’s election season, so Saturday Night Live is back with its Thursday night half-hour somewhat-political-humor specials. As you could have predicted much — much too much — of the material was devoted to the 47% video, and unfortunately for SNL, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have already beaten NBC’s show to the satirical punch on that subject.  READ FULL STORY

Obama's same-sex marriage announcement, provoked, defined, and dissected by TV

President Obama’s Wednesday declaration that “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married” was uttered on television (to ABC News) and was provoked at least in part by Vice President’s Joe Biden’s TV remarks last Sunday, on NBC’s Meet The Press, that initially raised the subject to a Presidential level.

The New York Times reports today that, according to several sources, Biden’s words accelerated the President’s announcement, which he’d planned to make… also on television: On The View next Monday. (We’ll see what the View gals have to say about that, later this morning.) READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney is a serial killer, Stephen Colbert super PAC TV ad asserts

Stephen Colbert’s super PAC has released an ad asserting that Mitt Romney “is a serial killer.” The ad, narrated by John Lithgow (himself a former serial killer on Dexter), concludes: “Stop Mitt the Ripper before he kills again.” READ FULL STORY

Stephen Colbert is preparing to enter the South Carolina primary: 'I'm doing it!': VIDEO

The “major announcement” that Stephen Colbert promised this week has come to pass. He formally transferred his super PAC to Jon Stewart during Thursday night’s Colbert Report. In so doing, Colbert is able to enter the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, his home state. (A campaigning politician is legally prohibited from simultaneously running a super PAC.) A graphic appeared onscreen screaming, “I’m doing it!” READ FULL STORY

The Emmy Awards show review: Jane Lynch, 'Modern Family,' 'Downton Abbey,' and some genuine surprises

It’s rare that an awards show both rewards the people who really deserve those awards and is itself a rewarding show. But this year’s Emmy Awards was both. Led by spunky, clever host Jane Lynch, the Emmys were delightfully surprising — Margo Martindale! Kyle Chandler! Melissa McCarthy plus all the other Best Comedy Actress nominees onstage together! — and, in most ways, quite satisfactory. READ FULL STORY

President Obama, the American Jobs Act, and the media: Who was listening? Who was buying it?

President Obama preempted … Jeopardy!? Seinfeld syndicated reruns? … to deliver his “American Jobs Act” speech, careful to avoid both Big Brother and the Packers-versus-Saints game. The president offered a combination of oratory and policy proposals that were driven home by one oft-repeated phrase: “You should pass this jobs plan right away.” READ FULL STORY

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