As a college student, I almost feel it’s my obligation to say that I love "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are two of the most brilliant satirists in recent memory, fearlessly mocking politicians and the media with reckless abandon. But what people don’t realize is how important these guys are, and why they’re so consistently successful in their actions.
We need these shows because underneath all of their comedic shenanigans, there is a yearning for honesty and truth. They are the ultimate media and political watchdogs. Whenever anyone says or does something stupid, they’re the first ones to call them out on it. Who can forget Stewart’s amazing 15-minute impersonation of Glenn Beck? Or how Colbert makes fun of right-wing hysteria by embracing it on his show? His proudest moment is still the White House Correspondents Dinner Speech he gave in 2006. He ripped on every person in that room and they didn’t even realize it because they thought he was a real conservative. We need these guys because everyone else in politics and media is unwilling to examine themselves and how they operate. Stewart and Colbert are always there to bring them down to size.
But the key to what really makes Stewart and Colbert work is that people constantly underestimate them. A lot of politicians and media outlets, especially Fox News, refuse to take them seriously. Stewart and Colbert are just comedians who have their silly little comedy shows that only stoners and slackers watch. For example, this week on Fox News, Bernard Goldberg dismissed Stewart as a safe Jay Leno knockoff with no edge. Stewart responded the next night by bringing out a gospel choir to sing about how much he and Fox News suck. Whenever these people go on "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report," they’re always flabbergasted by the intelligence and insight that Stewart and Colbert bring to each interview.
Stewart and Colbert like being the outsiders. They don’t care about their journalistic credibility because they don’t need it. But more often than not, they have more credibility than the people who do need it. That’s their brilliance, and that’s why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be around for years to come.