I think the mistake is to think that the speech was me saying: “And this is how we won.” That is not. There are so many different ways to build a positive culture.
Do you think “The Daily Show” made people more cynical?
I think people always thought “The Daily Show” was cynical and never was, in my opinion. Certainly this program is not. In any case, it is too idealistic and naive. It would be cynical to pretend that the show is actually doing something. It isn’t and I don’t think any of us thought it really was. But it seemed fine to us. It was a bear scratching its ass in a tree.
The goal of “The Problem with Jon Stewart” is to provide a platform to people who are directly affected by an issue and people with the power to do something about it, and then hopefully, viewers will be encouraged to take measures on this issue themselves?
No. [Laughs.] I don’t think we can lose sight of the fact that it’s still just television. I am not trying to denigrate the way I worked in my adult life. But don’t be fooled because this momentary momentum is somewhat similar to effective change or activism. If you give those guys a quick boost and help them get over the hill, boy, that would be awesome, but those hills, I don’t know if you noticed, we’re all Sisyphus. I’d rather feel like the person pushing someone up than the person kicking them. Isn’t a small measure of comfort, support, entertainment, and knowledge better than noise and exploitation?
When I visited the show, a member of his studio audience asked about his’Appearance of the 90s era in “The Nanny”. You said to the crowd, humorously but aptly, “I don’t necessarily want to be your personal time capsule.” Are you worried, with this show or in general, that your viewers will never allow you to evolve into something different than what they have already seen?
[Laughs.] I guess we’ll find out! I think very little about the legacy and what people think I am. I have been hired and fired so many times, from working in bakeries to laboratories and bars. I never see myself through a singular lens. Another person in the audience told me, you’ve been gone for six years and you’ve missed a lot. And I was like, “Actually, I’ve been alive all this time. I understand what you’re saying, but I had to put on a mask and buy a bunch of toilet paper and water. I had the ups and downs of the previous administration and felt them deeply. ” People perceive you, but if you allow their perception to define you, then you live in a hologram. And I’m just trying to embody the universe that I actually live in.
If I let other people define who I am, I would probably still work in a liquor store in Trenton, NJ. You can’t live like this.