Bringing the Text to Life
The Daily Show on TV’s Comedy Central is a fake news program that reaps laughs by playing fast and loose with each day’s news. As the show’s Web site describes it, it’s “a nightly half-hour series unburdened by objectivity, journalistic integrity or even accuracy.” What it is, is funny. And the host of the show, the “anchorman,” if you will, is comedian Jon Stewart.
During a recent interview with the comedian on NPR, he was asked if there was a point growing up where he realized he was funny. Stewart responded that what he realized is that his brain works in a certain way — that his mind defaults to a joke. In fact, his mind defaults to a joke so readily that for him, there is nothing else to do but to see the humor.
His developmental task related to that was not to try to stop seeing the humor, but to learn when and where it was appropriate to share what he was seeing with others. As he put it, he had to learn to turn...