TV I was flicking through an old Guardian book from the mid-nineties called alt.culture earlier and was startled to stumble upon an entry about Jon Stewart -- I wasn't too aware of his career before The Daily Show but here it is and just a decade and I can't tell if the writers of the book, Steven Daly and Nathaniel Wice, believed he had a future ...
Stewart, Jon

(b. Jon Stuart Liebowitz, 2963)

Former stand-up comic who graduated from MTV's hopefully-titled, viewer-led show You Wrote It, You Watch It (1993) to the channel's first formal talk-show. The shambling style of the twice-weekly Jon Stewart Show suited the channel, and the programme's intimate, low-intensity feel seemed to parody the big-time talkers further down the late-night dial. Stewart's monoilogues were almost apologetic and the threadbare sketches had a high-concept, low-budget charm (as in Seventies TV-cop parody McGrungie and Waif). When, in September 1994, MTV/Viacom's 'synergy' with newly acquired Paramount gave the Stewart show the syndicated slot recently vacated by Arsenio Hall, he struggled. On such a big stage, the low wattage of Stewart's wit was exposed and his self-dprecation turned alsmost to self-annihilation as his succession of 'Playboy Playmates' and Baywatch babes mixed uneasily with Indie Rock and Hip Hop bands. With the national audience of around a million Stewart's show never threatened that of his putative rival, Conan O'Brien -- and it was finally cancelled in June 1995.
Which is when the book was published. What a difference a decade makes. Just look at his Wikipedia entry.

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