The Daily Show (the AudioBook): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests
By: Jon Stewart – foreword, Chris Smith
Narrated by: Oliver Wyman, Jay Snyder, Kevin T. Collins, Chris Lutkin, Robert Fass, Lauren Fortgang
Published by: Hachette Audio 11/22/16
16 hrs and 8 mins
The Daily Show (the AudioBook) Sample
The Daily Show (the AudioBook)
I’m a huge fan of The Daily Show. I’ve watched it off and on going back to Craig Kilborn, though I’ll admit that I didn’t watch it a lot back then. I watched it after Jon Stewart took over, but it did take me a while to become a regular watcher. The invention of the DVR has made it much easier for me to watch, as I’m not a late night person. I’m always a day behind since I won’t stay up to watch it.
Ever since I started listening to this, I’ve been trying to remember exactly when I became a regular watcher of the show. As I said, I watched off and on. I do know that the Colbert Report was on when I started recording and watching on a regular basis, since I started with both of the them on regular basis.
Anyway, this book is pretty much the oral story of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. While the show talks about Craig Kilborn, it is more in the aspects of the transition to Jon Stewart. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single quote from Kilborn in this book (if there was, it was very few). There were several people from Kilborn’s team that stays on with Stewart and not just through the transition.
Mostly, this book is told with quotes from the different producers, the correspondents, writers, contributors and even some guests, like John McCain, Dennis Leary, Glenn Beck and more. So as you listen, there is one narrator who would read the speaking person’s name, title and timeframe, “Jon Stewart, The Daily Show host, 1999-2015” and then a different narrator would speak the quote that Jon says. There are also a lot of pieces of transcripts of the show with a description of what you would be seeing if you were watching. Like, “Jon behind news desk” or “Larry off to Jon’s right looking at ceiling” or even “hesitant laughter from the audience”.
I really loved listening to how Jon took on the show and really made it his own and the great show that it is today. Listening to the history as told by Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Mo Rocca, Sam Bee, Lewis Black and more. How they kept trying new things and how much those things worked. About how what they were reporting on changed them as people and what they wanted to do with the show. How Jon became the leader of these people. How he stood behind all of his staff during some really tough times, like writer strikes and personality conflicts. How he really wanted to help his staff learn to be who they wanted on the air. He wanted them to be as much a part of the show as he was.
It was very interesting to hear about the process that it took to make The Daily Show happen. How they were able to put together these great pieces showing how a politician literally contradicted a previous speech way before anyone else was doing this and way before YouTube. How they had to go and put together the interviews when they only had one camera and had to film it twice, once for the interviewer and for the interviewee.
This book covers several key events in history. They talk about election of George W Bush over Al Gore. They talk about 9/11. That part hit me the hardest. Hearing about what it was like to be behind the scenes and in New York when that happened. Stewart talks about feeling the first plane hit while he was still in bed. How they talked about if they even had a show any more. Because, they wondered if anything was ever going to be funny ever again. How they went on about decided what to do when they came back on air. If you haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s show in response to 9/11, I highly recommend you watch it, it’s just under 9 minutes long. They include the transcript of this speech in the book, but watching it was even tougher.
The Daily Show (the AudioBook) Narration
There are six different narrators for this book, so they tried to talk as much like the person they are quoting as possible. At first, this was very weird, because I know what Jon sounds like. I’ve listened to him talk for many years. The guy narrating him doesn’t sound like him, but as the book goes on, I did think it sounded a little like Jon. The got the mannerisms of the way Jon talk right, if not exactly the right voice. He did nail the tone. I don’t know who narrated what for the most part. I can say that Lauren Fortgang really nailed the women in this book. I didn’t realize she was the only woman narrator until I started to build this post. I thought she really nailed Sam Bee. She also had to voice Kristen Schaal, who has a very distinct voice. While Fortgang didn’t sound exactly like Schaal (I’m not sure if anyone can), I thought she did a great job doing her voice without making her sound bad. If you want to hear exactly what Schaal sounds like, here’s a link to one of my favorite clips with her.
Author: Chris Smith
Chris Smith is a contributing editor at New York, where he has covered politics, sports, and entertainment. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Brooklyn.
Jon Stewart is a comedian, writer, actor, producer, director, bestselling author and former host of The Daily Show. He lives with his wife and children in New Jersey.
Narrator: Kevin T. Collins
Kevin T. Collins is an actor, singer, and recording artist with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has performed in numerous theater performances, including Angels, City of Angels, Paradise Lost, and on television in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As the World Turns, and The Guiding Light.
Lauren Fortgang lives in New York City where she currently works as an actor and voiceover artist. Born in Wilmington, DE, she split her time there with an upbringing in a variety of rural towns in northern California. She had early training at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory and is a graduate of Fordham University: College at Lincoln Center, where she majored in theater. Her curiosity for finding new niches in the industry has afforded her a broad career spectrum, both in and out of the ‘spotlight’ as actor, singer, spokesperson audiobook narrator, podcaster, and even costume designer.
Television credits include roles on Law and Order (NBC), Law and Order: SVU (NBC), and Important Things with Demetri Martin (Comedy Central). Recent theatrical endeavors include Creation Production Company productions of Escape (LaMama E.T.C. – 50th anniversary season) and Laughing Pictures (The Flea). She’s worked in a variety of capacities with a delightful smattering of companies headed by Fordham alumni and professors, and hopes to continue to support the work of this network of artists and friends. She seeks evolvement in independent films such as the recent Astoria, Queens and The Sunnyside Murders, both of which were featured at a variety of festivals, including Queens World Film Festival, NYTVF, Breckenridge Festival of Film and NewFest.
Her commercial gigs cover national on-camera and voiceover spots for Ikea, Walmart, TJ Maxx and Woolite. She’s given voice to material spanning from video games to textbooks and works regularly as an audiobook narrator at Audible, Hachette, Penguin, Random House and beyond, having recorded roughly 150 unabridged titles and some 200 segments for monthly programming. She has received recognition from Audiofile Magazine, the Audio Publishers Association, the American Library Association and the Young Aldult Library Services Association, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly.
A hobbyist-extraordinaire, she (at any given moment) might fancy herself a baker, gardener, chef or seamstress and plays coed touch football weekly.
Finally, no bio would be complete without noting the enormity of gratitude owed her parents for supplying her freedom of imagination and a bottomless well of encouragement during the ups and (more importantly) the downs. A couple of folks ‘having your back’ for a lifetime is no small thing…
Lauren is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.