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Caryn James

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Joe Biden: Between Two Veeps (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 4, 2014 12:27 PM
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Veep is absolutely brilliant this season, the smartest and most pointed political satire on television (and that includes Stewart and Colbert). Her filmed introduction to the President's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner was gentler, but then her co-star was the real Vice-President,

Review: 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 28, 2014 11:45 AM
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Just because John Oliver was so brilliant sitting in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, that doesn't mean he should have cloned it for his HBO series, Last Week Tonight.

Watch Jehane Noujaim, Director of 'The Square,' on 'The Daily Show'

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 5, 2013 11:41 AM
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Netflix is releasing Jehane Noujaim's taut , smart, timely film The Square in January, but as she told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show last night, the film still cannot be shown in Egypt.

John Oliver Plays 'Where in the World is Edward Snowden?' (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 25, 2013 10:45 AM
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During the reassuringly funny Jon Oliver era at The Daily Show, the substitute host has begun every night by telling us why Jon Stewart isn't around. Last night Oliver explained Stewart "is currently in Moscow, or Ecuador, or on a flight somewhere or has escaped from the National Zoo -- we don't know." That intro set up a later segment tracing not leaky Edward Snowden's travels, but the U.S. ineptitude in getting him back -- Oliver imitated a sad former boyfriend trying to call Hong Kong -- and the television coverage that has been almost entirely based on filling time with maybes. His commonsensical yet outraged response: if you don't know where he is, stop guessing!

'The Daily Show' Visits Sorkin's 'Newsroom' (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 15, 2013 12:54 PM
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Jon Stewart and the cast of The Daily Show are fond of saying they’re pretend journalists, even though they often do a better job of delivering actual news stories than the circus that is CNN. In this segment about the loss of investigative journalism -- too expensive, too ratings-challenged – John Oliver interviews Kaj Larsen, a victim of CNN cutbacks; reminds us of the time that Jessica Yellin was a hologram (and really, I don’t blame her for that news-meets-Star-Trek moment), and visits Will McAvoy -- or is it Jeff Daniels? -- in a really fictional newsroom.

Jon Stewart on The Big Bird Wars

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 9, 2012 10:53 AM
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Who would have thought that the possible firing of Big Bird would become a topic of national debate? (Yes, it sometimes takes threatening a puppet to create a political uproar.) After Mitt Romney’s threat to cut funding for PBS, Jon Stewart took a closer look at how Sesame Street is “indoctrinating our children,” as some right-wing-nuts have claimed. Teaching kids to share? That’s just a recipe for social dependency.

Jimmy Kimmel Hosts the Emmys (UPDATED With New Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 23, 2012 11:45 PM
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Jimmy Kimmel was a perfectly smooth host for the Emmys, though not a perfect fit. One of his trademarks, prankish humor – he asked viewers to Tweet that Tracy Morgan had passed out – didn’t translate to an awards show. His other trademark, irreverently taking swipes at the self-importance of show busines, was oddly missing. That was left to a few clever nominees. What worked best were the pre-arranged comic bits by winners and the people they beat. Julia Louis-Dreyfus read an acceptance speech Amy Poehler had supposedly slipped into her hand (that piece of paper was too big and crumpled to be anything other than a prop). Even better, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert wrestled Jon Stewart to the ground to keep him from heading to the stage when The Daily Show won Best Variety show.

The Republican Convention: Colbert and Stewart On Star Wars, Rain Man and Reince Priebus

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 30, 2012 11:23 AM
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Each night during the Republican Convention, The Colbert Report has started with an intro that parodies Star Wars, as words scroll into space to introduce the coverage from Tampa: America Strikes Back. Last night’s legend included this:

'Cosmopolis,' Beyond the RPatz Publicity Tour (Review)

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 16, 2012 10:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Whatever David Cronenberg thought he was doing while making Cosmopolis, he could never have imagined the most relevent cultural nerve it would hit: the film has become the inadvertent cause of Robert Pattinson’s first post-KStew publicity tour. (If you missed Pattinson’s appearance with Jon Stewart, eating Ben & Jerry’s as breakup comfort food, watch it here. It’s a classic of obliquely addressing an issue without really saying anything.) In itself, Cosmopolis is smart and stylized – which doesn’t innoculate this story of a sad young Wall St. billionaire against lethal familiarity and dullness.

Robert Pattinson Visits The Daily Show, Gets Comfort Food

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 14, 2012 12:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
I would love to read a behind-the-scenes account of the pr strategies and manipulations behind the Robert Pattinson  - Kristen Stewart scandale and breakup.  Who advised Stewart to get ahead of the damage by issuing her profoundly weird public apology? And the flood of information from all those sources supposedly close to Pattinson who said he was heartbroken? Wild guesses and logic at work? Or strategic leaks? The old adage “Those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know” has been updated with a new option: friends who leak exactly the message the main players want out there.

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