Jon Stewart has gone on hiatus from The Daily Show to make his low-budget drama Rosewater, but the production is already running into problems. We previously reported that Gael Garcia Bernal was in talks to lead the picture, which is based on BBC journalist Maziar Bahari’s 118-day captivity in Iran’s most notorious prison after leaving London in June of 2009 to cover the country’s presidential elections. The title is derived from the fact that Bahari knew only one thing about his brutal interrogator: he smelled of Rosewater. Today, THR is reporting that Bernal is demanding a higher salary than what the production is willing to offer. The $10 million film is trying to save money in order to shoot on location in Jordan starting in mid-July, although most of the movie will take place in interior settings.
Personally, I think they should let Bernal go and hire up-and-coming actor Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). He’s only a few years younger than Bernal (Ahmed is 30, Bernal is 34), and Ahmed is of middle-eastern descent. You could also go with Amr Waked (Syriana, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), who is middle-eastern as well as closer to Bahari’s age (Waked is 40, Bahari is 46). No matter whom they choose, the film is going to be sold on Stewart’s name, not the lead actor.
Comedy Central has announced the transition dates for The Daily Show while host Jon Stewart goes off to make his directorial debut. We learned a couple of months ago that Stewart would be taking a break from the comedy news show this summer to direct the feature film Rosewater, which tells the true story of a BBC journalist’s 118 captivity in Iran’s most notorious prison. At the time it was announced that frequent correspondent John Oliver would be filling in for Stewart during his absence, and now the network has announced that Oliver’s hosting duties will begin on June 10th with guest Seth Rogen. Stewart won’t return to the show until September 3rd, making for quite the extended hiatus.
While there’s simply no substitute for Stewart’s whipsmart sense of humor, Oliver should do fine in the Daily Show chair. The comedian recently filed a brilliant three-part series on gun control that aired last week, and I’m interested to see what The Daily Show looks like in his hands.
Well here’s the definition of bittersweet: Jon Stewart will be taking a hiatus from hosting The Daily Show this summer in order to make his feature directing debut. Stewart wrote and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of Maziar Bahari’s book Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity And Survival. Though Stewart is best known for his comedic chops on The Daily Show, the past five years or so have seen the host make some brilliantly dramatic—and at times angry—turns on the comedy news program, solidifying himself as one of the most respected, sharp, and eloquent personalities on television.
Hardly a comedy, Rosewater chronicles BBC journalist Bahari’s 118 day captivity in Iran’s most notorious prison after leaving London in June of 2009 to cover the country’s presidential elections. The title is derived from the fact that Bahari knew only one thing about his brutal interrogator: he smelled of Rosewater. Hit the jump for more, including how The Daily Show plans to cover Stewart’s absence. [Update: We've updated the article with the press release along with video of Bahari's appearance on The Daily Show]
As he did with the press for Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen is currently doing the publicity rounds for The Dictator completely in character. Yesterday we shared his appearance on Saturday Night Live, and last night he took part in an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show as Admiral General Aladeen. It’s a pretty fun watch, and Stewart does a fine job of playing along with the bit as best he can, but when the interview inevitably takes a turn towards dick jokes it’s understandably tough for Stewart to keep a straight face.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The Dictator opens on May 16th.
There was a sense in 2007 that we were never going to get The Larry Sanders Show in its entirety on DVD. Sony was struggling to get the music rights and so they put out the first season on DVD and then a “best of” that harvested 23 (out of 89) of the show’s greatest episodes, while also getting star Gary Shandling to host some of the most amazing Q&A’s ever produced for DVD. Leave it to The Shout Factory! – those artists of TV box sets – who cleared all the red tape so we can now have the complete six-season, eighty-nine episode run in a gorgeous box set that includes all previous supplements, and adds new content.
Gary Shandling stars as Larry Sanders, a talk show host dealing with the passive aggression of Hollywood, and his support staff – with producer Artie (Rip Torn) and sidekick Hank Kingsley (Jeffery Tambor) his main collaborators. The show follows the last six years of the show as it goes from being a reasonably successful late night talk show spot, to one where the network is looking for a younger voice, with that voice being Jon Stewart. That Stewart plays himself shows how much the show blended reality and comedy. My review of The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series on DVD after the jump.
Just days before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington DC, Comedy Central has announced via press release that President Barack Obama will appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for the late night, political satire show’s October 27th episode at 11/10c. Though he’s appeared on the show a few times before, this will be his first as President of the United States of America. The episode is just one of an entire week coming straight out of Washington DC as part of When Grizzlies Attack: A Daily Show Midterm Teapartyganza which covers the final days leading up to not only the midterm elections, but the joint rally from Comedy Central’s budding political satirists. Don’t worry if you can’t make it all the way to Washington DC for the rally though, because Comedy Central is covering the entire three-hour event live on Saturday, October 30th starting at 12/11c. It will be quite a moment of Zen for everyone.
On their respective programs last night, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced that they were holding competing rallies on October 30th. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is hosting the “Rally to Restore Sanity” while The Colbert Report will be holding the “March to Keep Fear Alive”. Both rallies, while both very real, are intended to parody Glenn Beck’s recent “Restoring Honor” rally that took place at the end of August. Like Beck’s, both Stewart and Colbert’s rally will be in Washington, D.C. although October 30th hold no immense historical significance. Hit the jump to watch videos of the announcements on last night’s Daily Show and Colbert Report. Click here for more on the “Rally to Restore Sanity” and click here for more on the “March to Keep Fear Alive”.
At this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration V festivities, George Lucas presented The Daily Show host Jon Stewart with a gift that will be the envy of nerds everywhere: a one-of-a-kind stormtrooper action figure modeled after the comedian, complete with two interchangeable heads. One head features Stewart’s recently-departed goatee, “Beardy”. Don’t bother trying to tell yourself you’re not insanely jealous of Jon Stewart because it won’t work. Trust me. Hit the jump for pictures of the action figure and video of Stewart’s hour long interview with Lucas where he asks a lot of fan submitted questions.
Anyone who has dreamed of a full time Star Wars radio station will get their wish this weekend. Sirius XM announced that they’ll launch Star Wars Celebration Radio from August 12 at 6 p.m. EST through Sunday August 15 timed with the fifth annual Star Wars convention, Star Wars Celebration V, which takes place this weekend in Orlando, FL.
Celebration V, which is largely themed around the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back this year, will feature attendees such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and many others. The highlight will be a one-on-one interview between Jon Stewart and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Many of those stars will make appearances on the channel, which will also broadcast live coverage of many of the event’s panels. Hit the jump to find out which channels on your Sirius or XM to tune into and more.
Jon Stewart, a long time Star Wars fan, will be interviewing George Lucas for one hour at Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, Aug. 12-15. The conversation, dubbed The Main Event, will cover the history of the franchise with some great random questions by Stewart. All I can say about this is…finally, a reason to attend.
If you missed Lucas’ appearance on The Daily Show back in January, it was epic. That’s because Stewart actually put Lucas on the spot and asked him questions like how does it feel to piss off a whole generation of fans and do you still believe you’re as creative as you used to be? Trust me, when you’re speaking to someone really famous and loved by millions, it’s very hard to ask a hard hitting question. For more on the convention, including how to submit your own questions for Stewart to ask, check out starwarscelebration.com.
UPDATE - We’ve been sent the press release from Lucasfilm which details exactly what is going on at Celebration V. Hit the jump to check it out:
The folks who went to Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour last night at Radio City Music Hall got a special treat as fellow late-night hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert came on stage for an epic dance-off. It ends in comic tragedy. Seriously, it’s pretty funny. Hit the jump to check it out.
If you had any fears that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and/or The Colbert Report would be going away anytime soon, you can now put those fears to rest. Comedy Central has announced in a press release that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have had their contracts extended to remain the hosts of their respective shows. Stewart’s new contract has him staying as the executive producer, writer, and host of The Daily Show through June 2013 while Colbert will keep those respective roles on The Colbert Report through the end of 2012.
Both shows have won numerous awards, all of them deserved. As the mainstream media swirls further down the toilet of pre-constructed narratives and simplistic analysis, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have had to become the watchers of the watchmen.
Hit the jump to check out the full press release.
Last night, George Lucas appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote his new book “George Lucas’ Blockbusting.” However, as would be expected, the focus on the conversation wasn’t on his new book, but immediately centered on the Star Wars franchise. Every single Star Wars fan should check this video out. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of Stewart as both a comedian and as a journalist. He pretty much always speaks his mind and asks the questions that need to be asked. In this case he just goes for it and asks the questions that fans often wonder about when it comes to Lucas, such as-and I’m paraphrasing a bit-how does it feel to piss off a whole generation of fans and do you still believe you’re as creative as you used to be? The latter one I found especially brilliant and ballsy. Granted, he said it in a nicer way, but the implication of “Hey, what the heck happened in the new movies as opposed to the old ones,” was still there.
But even better than Stewart’s questions were Lucas’ answers. Lucas still insists that people love Jar Jar Binks, one of the most repulsively idiotic characters in the history of cinema. Either Lucas’ pride is pretty out of control and he’ll never admit to the awfulness of the new trilogy or he’s a tad delusional. Either one is likely. [Matt's note: It's also likely that Lucas inhabits a world where no one challenges him and only strokes his ego]
Check out the full video after the jump.