Obama, Stewart 'Not Very Funny'

President soberly defends record, appeals to young viewers to vote
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2010 9:43 AM CDT
Obama, Stewart 'Not Very Funny'
President Barack Obama is pictured during a commercial break as he talks with host Jon Stewart during a taping of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Oct. 27, 2010, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Critics are predictably split on President Obama's much-hyped Daily Show appearance last night, but no one seems to think he single-handedly saved—or doomed—Democrats:

  • Though Jon Stewart and Obama are both funny in their own ways, they managed "to not be very funny together for the show's entire 22 minutes," writes Hank Stuever in the Washington Post. "Obama seemed resiliently cool as ever, ready-made for just about anything one can do on television ... But that anything—a surprise moment, or a difficult question, or a failed attempt at humor—never quite arrived."
  • Also in the Post, Dana Milbank weighs in: "As in his MTV appearance a couple of weeks ago, Obama didn't try to connect with his youthful audience. He was serious and defensive," and even had "a Brownie moment" when he insisted that "Larry Summers did a heckuva job."

  • But at least "Obama has been willing to bring his presidential platform to settings his predecessors might have regarded as unconventional, to say the least," writes Sheryl Gay Stolberg in the New York Times, noting that "the gentle ribbing was perhaps a price the White House was willing to pay for the opportunity to reach Mr. Stewart’s valuable audience."
  • As far as Stewart is concerned, the president's "presence was enough to quiet grumbles from some on the left that an election-eve snark-fest [Saturday's Rally to Restore Sanity] made light of the real dangers of Republican control," write Ben Smith and Byron Tau on Politico. "Stewart played a comic, not a courtier, to Obama on his set, but he also let the president appear to be in on the joke."
To watch the interview, click here. (Read more Jon Stewart stories.)

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