I am a sucker for a good biography and I am even happier when that biography does not belabor the family tree of the subject and gets right into the heart of what we want to know. The Angry Optimist does just that. The Angry Optimist is a biography of Jon Stewart who ended his tenure as host of The Daily Show on August 6 to the chagrin of his fans. Oddly enough, little is really know about the man who has been called the “most trusted name in news” other than he was a classic underachiever and Bruce Springsteen fan who never considered himself anything more or less than a comedian despite the accolades that came his way. His friends are fiercely protective of him and don’t tell tales out of school, but what the author was able to find out about him is pretty fascinating and certainly lends itself nicely to his role on Comedy Central’s fake news show.
The Angry Optimist takes readers through Stewart’s beginnings in the clubs and how he eventually landed bit parts in various movies, made friends with Louis C.K. and others who were regular guests on The Daily Show. How he was asked to take over the show and gave it an overhaul that changed it for the better. The book chronicles his generosity to spin his colleagues off into their own endeavors including Stephen Colbert, Jon Oliver and more, how he unwittingly caused the cancellation of CNNs Crossfire and CNBC’s Mad Money when he took on both show’s hosts and ripped them a new one on behalf of the American people and because the book was updates just after the announcement that he was leaving The Daily Show, it discussed his replacement host and surmises that the show may never be the same.
It’s not as good as going to sleep after watching Stewart Monday through Thursday, but if you are having Daily Show withdrawal syndrome like I am, it’s worth checking out of the library to pass the time and remember the good ole days that were the summer of 2015. Borrow It.