Man of the Decade: Jon Stewart

Jon StewartJon Stewart

It’s halfway through December, which means 2009 is almost over – and so is the first decade of the 2000s. As news programs and magazines reflect on the end of this year and all that’s happened in the past 10 years, I’d like to recognize a man who I think has significantly influenced this decade: Jon Stewart. In 1999, when he took over the hosting job at Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, he was essentially unknown, a comedian who had done stand-up, some appearances on Dave Letterman’s show, and a handful of movies. Now, he is considered, according to an online poll from TIME Magazine, the “most trusted man in news” today. Similarly, The Daily Show itself, during his tenure as host, has gone from being a small show parodying conventional newscasts to an enormously popular show parodying politics and the media. According to the Pew Research Center, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", despite being a “fake news show”, is actually a primary news source for many young people.

Jon Stewart has won Emmys and Peabody Awards for The Daily Show; hosted the Oscars twice; written a best-selling book (America: the Book); and helped to launch the careers of two other well-known comedians: Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. Stephen Colbert started out as a correspondent on The Daily Show in 1997 (before Stewart), and gained so much popularity for his segments on the show that he was given his own Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. Steve Carell joined The Daily Show as a correspondent in 1999; he left to star in the hit TV sitcom The Office, and has since become famous for his movie roles, both small (Anchorman) and large (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Get Smart). I think that Jon Stewart, as host of The Daily Show for the last 10 years, can claim some credit for Colbert and Carell’s current popularity, since his show gave them the platform to launch their solo careers.

As one of the most popular and influential comedians of our time, who has redefined both comedy and politics, Jon Stewart deserves to be considered a Man of the Decade.

Live from Ann Arbor, It's . . . Santa Claus!

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That's right, Santa himself will be taking questions and wishes LIVE from the North Pole on CTN Channel 17 on Thursday, Dec. 10, 6 - 8 p.m. He'll be ready for your questions and your wish lists, so set you speed dial to 734.794.6155 and talk directly to Mr. Claus. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Goodbye Reading Rainbow

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I am so saddened to hear the news that Reading Rainbow, the PBS show that has fostered a love of reading in children for the past 26 years, has come to an end. According to the NPR story, Reading Rainbow is the third longest-running children's show in PBS history — outlasted only by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. Fortunately, the AADL is well stocked with Reading Rainbow DVDs, as well as many of the books featured on the show, which means you can still see LeVar Burton sharing wonderful stories and hear those magic words, "Take a look, it's in a book".

Season Five of the Simpsons

Simpsons Season 5Simpsons Season 5

After close to seven months without watching television it began to seem like tv was a wonderful luxury we couldn't wait to have again. I began to fantasize about watching the news while cooking dinner, turning on the weather channel instead of taking an educated guess at how the day would go, and watching Conan O'Brien on the Tonight Show before going to bed. We have our cable hooked up, but to our general dismay there was not a single good thing to watch on any of the 120 channels. For three days straight. We wound up watching some DVD's we had checked out from the library and nearly died laughing at Season Five of The Simpsons. Reruns of the show are almost always on tv, but watching it commercial free and in chronological order definitely enhanced the experience. AADL owns several seasons of The Simpsons, but you should check out Season Five, the _best_ season.

I Love Lucy

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I’ve always been an I Love Lucy fan and have seen many of the episodes over the years - especially from watching with my mother while I was growing up. Recently though, I have decided to watch every single episode of I Love Lucy in order from beginning to end. This has now become what I have named “The Lucy Project,” and it is, of course, a hilarious one. Rewatching the show also inspired me to read Lucille Ball’s very own autobiography, Love, Lucy. (Did you know she and her family briefly lived in Wyandotte, Michigan?) In addition, there are several biographies written about Lucy that are probably quite interesting, too! You can also see her in movies such as the musical Best Foot Forward, the film noir Lured or the dramatic 1942 film The Big Street co-starring Henry Fonda.

Travel to Cabot Cove!

Has is been a while since you've ventured to Cabot Cove? Have you missed watching Jessica, Sheriff Mort Metzger, and Dr. Seth Hazlitt in action? If so, you might want to take advantage of our recently acquired seasons of Murder, She Wrote. AADL now has the first four seasons of Murder, She Wrote. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Murder, She Wrote, was a murder mystery television series starring Angela Lansbury. This long time running series (1984-1996) features former substitute English teacher and famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher using her talent and unfailing ability to be where murders occur, to solve mysteries. Get your Jessica Fletcher fix today!

Thank You for Being a Friend

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Beatrice "Bea" Arthur passed away a few days ago, on April 25. Arthur was the star of two highly-acclaimed comedy shows, Maude and Golden Girls. AADL owns many discs of The Golden Girls, so why not celebrate her life by watching a few episodes?

Top Chef Steph Video and Interview!

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You found a bonus game code! It's DINNERWITHCHARYBDIS

Whether you were lucky enough to attend the cooking demo and talk by Bravo TV's Top Chef Season 4 Stephanie Izard last month - or if you missed it - take a listen to our exclusive podcast interview with Top Chef Steph. Fans of Top Chef will enjoy hearing about what it's really like to be on the show (is Padma really that gorgeous in person?). Stephanie shares her memories of Ann Arbor during her time at the University of Michigan (the ONE thing she craved was a chipati from Pizza House!) and of course we talked about food and cooking! Listen up!

You can see the video of her talk and demo in our AADL video on demand collection.

The Deadliest Catch

Deadliest Catch returns for another season tonight on the Discovery Channel. If you've missed some of the action, the Discovery Channel has quite a few recaps on their website and youtube including this compilation of waves the fleet has dealt with:

If you missed previous seasons you can check out the complete first season here at AADL on DVD. We also have the book related to the series.

For the younger crowd who want to learn more about crabs we have Down in the sea. The crab and Crabs.

Masterpiece Theater's "Little Dorrit"

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Maybe you're like me--before this year, I hadn't watched public television since Sesame Street was my favorite TV show, back in the good old days of 1986. But I've recently come to realize how much I've been missing. Masterpiece Theater has been airing film adaptations of both classical and contemporary literature. If you tune in now, (Sundays, 9pm on you PBS channel) you'll be able to watch "Little Dorrit," an adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel of the same name. It's a 5-part series with a female protagonist, departing from Dickens' standard male characters. Episodes 1 and 2 have already aired, but if you miss an episode, you can watch online at PBS. Looking through the archive of past Masterpiece Theater seasons, I saw an impressive roster--adaptations of Dickens' Bleak House, George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, all the way up to Zadie Smith's White Teeth.

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