The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004
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Relive the glory of America's political process with the Daily Show's three-disc collection of campaign coverage from the past two years with this official "Indecision 2004" collection. Highlights include the team's live election night coverage, Stephen Colbert's ultra-exclusive "Interviews I Could Get" and reports from 2004's primaries, debates and presidential conventions. Whether you're a political junkie or just like to watch our nation's elected slum on cable television, this set confirms why the Daily Show is the best damn fake news show in the business.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is so laugh-out-loud funny that Indecision 2004--which could have been a dated recap of a time many would rather forget--is instead a hilarious time capsule of the follies and foibles of the 2004 presidential election. What also helps is that many of the issues being lampooned, such as the Iraq war, are still in the news in 2005. The 10 episodes included in the three-disc set are the four reporting on the Democratic National Convention, the four from the Republican National Convention, the episode following the first Bush-Kerry debate, and the hourlong election-night episode, subtitled "Prelude to a Recount." The Daily Show mimics the format of a news program, with Stewart as the anchor and his troupe of "senior correspondents/analysts"--Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Samantha Bee, and Ed Helms--filing their "reports" from the field. Stewart is always quick to dismiss his show as "fake news," but an increasing number of people have taken to the Comedy Central staple as the way to get their news. Political news is mostly sound bites anyway, so Stewart piles the video clips together at their most incongruous or contradictory, then follows up with a wisecrack or a marvelously deadpan look of disbelief. As further proof of its impact, The Daily Show won a 2005 Peabody Award for electronic media excellence for its "satire that deflates pomposity on an equal opportunity basis." (Stewart admitted during the campaign that he himself was voting for Kerry, and his audience is very anti-Bush, but he takes the opportunity to skewer anyone who deserves it.) He also attracts a number of "legitimate" guests. Appearing on these episodes are Ted Koppell, Joe Biden, Chris Matthews (shortly after he'd been challenged to a duel by Zell Miller), Al Sharpton on election night, and a wry John McCain not looking like the combative party zealot that had appeared at the convention podium the night before.
In addition to the 10 episodes, the three-DVD set has more reports by Colbert (whose survey of Democratic minority groups has something to offend anyone), Corddry, Bee, and Helms. There's also John Edwards's 2003 announcement of his presidential candidacy on The Daily Show, the Schoolhouse Rock! spoof about midterm elections, a surprisingly musical four-correspondent rendition of the national anthem, and other lunacy. --David Horiuchi
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All 4 Democratic National Convention episodes which were taped at Boston university in front of a live audience.
All 4 Republican National Convention episodes which were taped at Daily Show Headquarters in NYC.
The first Bush/Kerry Debate entitled "The Squabble in Coral Gables" Really funny stuff.
The Daily Shows live coverage of Election Night 2004 entitled "Prelude To A Recount"
I can review all of these things honestly having watched the show since it's inception and having seen all of the above mentioned episodes. I've even gone to watch a live taping which I would recommend to anyone who lives within striking distance of NYC. The special pieces they did during the campaigns are truly funny from either side of the fence.
As for special features I really don't know but I hope that some of this information has helped.
I love the Daily Show -- have watched it since its inception before Jon Stewart -- been to the tapings , etc. Stewart warns at the beginning of Disc 1 that the material is no longer timely -- I can easily live with that because 2-3 years from now it will still be interesting to recall (with laughter preferably) some moments from that crazed election of 2004.
My complaint is the extra material -- there's just not that much of it. How difficult is it to do commentary over 4 or 5, 3-4 minute long segments? Not very difficult at all.
I guess I hoped for better "extra stuff" in a debut disc from such a talented group of people. It may well have been that Com Central gave them little or no money to do the extras. I feel like it shows.
And I agree with the other reviewer -- don't like the Paramount "bug" in the corner of my screen either -- I payed my good money for these discs and shouldn't have to deal with that kind of perpetual blot on my tv screen.
And one more thing: Just want to make note that before the disc was even released, a few people here decided to celebrate and then rate the quality of the show (number of peabody awards, emmies, etc.) instead of using this space the way it is meant to be used -- as a space to rate THE PRODUCT. nuff said.
There is nothing bad about this DVD. There is nothing boring on this DVD. There is nothing on this DVD that won't make you laugh out loud. PLEASE release more episodes of the Daily Show. Anything. Highlights DVD's would be great. Entire series. When will Australia learn that THIS is what comedy is all about.
On to the DVD - I must agree with the other reviewers in that this seems a bit slapped-together. The Comedy Central previews that open up Disc 1 are rather obnoxious, as is the fact that Discs 1 & 2 both have long intro segments (though funny long intro segments) that must be skipped past in order to get to the main menus. Speaking of the menus - the third disc is horribly laid out, with the two live shows buried at the bottom of the screen.
The studio portions of the show are uncensored, meaning that every time Jon Stewart drops the F-bomb you actually get to hear it. Somehow, actually hearing the word instead of the bleep takes something away from the comedy. Most of the pre-taped segments are still censored, however.
While it is nice to have 10 uncut episodes of the show all in one place, I wish that they had removed some of Stewart's more uninteresting interview bits and loaded on more of their election coverage instead.
It has also been noted that the bonus content is rather sparse, and this is true. There are a few commentaries on segments from the third disc - the commentaries heavily feature Samantha Bee, though the other three correspondents drop by as well (including Colbert, even though this is not advertised). Unfortunately, Stewart is not featured in any of the commentaries - though just as well, since they're all fake anyway.
Colbert's studio tour DVD extra is enlightening in that it appears that The Daily Show is produced in the basement of a crack house somewhere - though the Daily Show has moved to a bigger studio, so the segment has become even more irrelevant than it was to begin with.
To sum up - if you're a fan of the show and don't already have these episodes illegally downloaded on your computer, this is worth the purchase just for the historical value. Also, if you don't have cable and have been wondering what all the fuss is about, this is definitely worth a purchase (though if you're at all conservative, prepare to be offended).
So while this is a good first effort at repackaging The Daily Show, I hope that they'll produce a "best of" clip DVD in the future.
Some people may believe that this is dated material that isn't as funny now or the future as it was when it actually occurred, but for those of you who paid close attention to the election year of 2004 will never forget the craziness that happened, and also should never forget the even crazier intepretation that The Daily Show gave. And for those of you new to The Daily Show, I highly recommend it, weeknights on Comedy Central.