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Paramount Home Video presents
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004 (2004)

"Oh my God, he said 'lesbian'!"
- Ed Helms

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: June 27, 2005

Stars: Jon Stewart
Other Stars: Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Lewis Black, Steve Carrell
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult humor)
Run Time: 04h:59m:00s
Release Date: June 28, 2005
UPC: 097368865549
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A A+C+C+ A

DVD Review

The Daily Show has been airing on Comedy Central since 1996 and was first hosted by ex-Sportscenter anchor Craig Kilborn. After getting the show off to a great start, Kilborn left for his own late-night talk show. Enter comedian Jon Stewart, a longtime stand-up stalwart who had recently had his own show, aptly titled The Jon Stewart Show, cancelled. While at first it was a rough transition, missing what Kilborn had brought to the table, Stewart eventually eased into things and is now the "lead anchor" for one of the funniest shows on TV.

While Stewart is the main star of the show, it's the various correspondents that truly make it as funny as it is. While the departures of greats Mo Rocca and Steve Carrell (who does show up a couple of times in this DVD set) were sad to see, the newer, just-as-talented Samantha Bee, Rob Corddry, and Ed Helms, have actually improved the show with their original insight and comedic styles. And of course there's Stephen Colbert, who remains on the show and continues to provide some truly memorable, hilarious moments on a daily basis.

Despite its longevity, it wasn't until the their 2004 election coverage that The Daily Show gained the notoriety (in the form of both high ratings and critical raves) that it deserves. Their nightly rundown on the day's political events during most of the 2004 calendar year really appealed to the young adult demographic who just couldn't stand watching another minute of CNBC or Fox News. Stewart and company did a great job of delivering the necessary facts without all of the rigmarole and political posturing that they would get from those other cable TV networks. Stewart's basic run-through of the day's events, combined with the "field reporting" of Carrell and company proved a welcome break from the real election issues.

The team's professionalism really came through during the election campaign, in that the writers and comedians kept their political views as bipartisan as they could. Sure, there are many times where things are obviously leaning on the Democratic side of things, but they don't waste an opportunity to poke fun at Democrats either.

The Daily Show: Indecision 2004 is a wonderful collection of the show's best moments from last year's political season, focusing primarily on the Republican and Democratic national conventions:

Disc 1 contains four episodes that cover the Democratic National Convention. There's classic footage including the constant dancing that took place on the convention floor and Janet Reno's unique form of (non)dancing. There's also a look at why the major networks chose not to cover the second day of the convention. There's also great footage of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Ron Reagan, and the amazing Howard Dean.

Disc 2 has four shows covering the Republican National Convention, and feature interviews with Ted Koppel, among other popular news figures. Rob Coddry is up to his same wild antics, covering the convention as only he can. Samantha Bee covers the happenings inside the convention's home of Madison Square Garden and seems to spend most of her time enjoying cocktails and food.

The Daily Show's strongest asset, Stephen Colbert, really shines during these shows. Whether he's discussing his father's occupation as a "poor Virginia turd miner" or reporting on-location at one of the conventions, Colbert's dry wit enables him to toe that fine line between authentic news correspondence and pure comedy. If the only place you've seen Colbert is on a TV commercial, pick up these DVDs immediately and see what you've been missing.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: These transfers look nearly identical to the way the show appears on TV, which is just fine. The colors are well rendered, especially during the Jon Stewart-heavy footage inside the studio. There is quite a bit of video noise, but this also isn't a surprise if you've seen The Daily Show before.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio also gives us what we would expect; a low-key presentation that doesn't feature much, if any, directionality or surround usage. The important thing with The Daily Show is that the hilarious dialogue is crystal clear and easy to understand, and that is definitely the case here.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Chappelle's Show: Season 2, Reno 911!: The Complete Second Season, South Park: The Complete Sixth Season
Packaging: Nexpak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Comedy Central Quickies: Brief clips from various TV shows.
Extras Review: Among the large collection of extras are very funny, full motion menu introductions on each of the discs. Stephen Colbert's bit on Disc 2 where he reminisces about The Daily Show is the best of the three, but the intros on Discs 1 (Jon Stewart) and 2 (Ed Helms) are also worthwhile.

Comedy Central Quickies are available on Disc 1, and these are short segments from the Comedy Central TV shows: South Park, Reno 911!, and Drawn Together. The only other extra on this disc is a series of previews for other Comedy Central Home Video releases.

The rest of the extras are on Disc 3, with most of them broken down by the correspondent that is involved. Ed Helms is the reporter for Principle Spinner, a hilarious piece where he discovers that not everyone at the presidential debate is telling the complete truth.

Samantha Bee has a pair of segments, both of which featuring optional audio commentary with Bee and Ed Helms. So You Want to Bee... A 527 Organization focuses on companies that produce political attack ads. The fake attack ad on both John Kerry and George W. Bush makes this a priceless piece. Block the Vote revisits the Rock the Vote organization, and Bee criticizes one of its administrators for the poor list of musicians that endorse it.

Stephen Colbert is along for three interview segments (with Don King, Al Sharpton, and Bob Graham), and a piece called Minority Retort in which he collects a group of Democrats from nearly every ethnic group and stereotype he can find. The interview segments are the perfect introduction to The Daily Show's best correspondent, and the nonstop hilarity Colbert brings to the show.

Rob Corddry's off-the-wall antics are showcased in Democratic Debate in New York, Democratic Debate in Detroit, and The Secretaries Tour, the first and last of which feature optional audio commentary with Bee and Corddry. The two debate segments are fantastic, with Corddry flirting with a few lovely ladies and eating out of his G.I. Joe lunchbox in New York, and emulating Eminem circa 8 Mile in Detroit. The Secretaries Tour has Corddry mocking a PR tour by Bush's cabinet secretaries by making it out to be similar to a rock band's concert tour.

There are also two bonus episodes of The Daily Show on Disc 3. Election Night '04 is very funny and might actually cause some people to mistake it for a legitimate news show. The Squabble in Coral Gables focuses on the Bush/Kerry debate, featuring interviews with the likes of Rudolph Guiliani and Gen. Wesley Clark.

The rest of Disc 3 consists of various extras, including the video segments John Edwards Announces His Candidacy and Bob Wiltfong: Sticker Shock, neither of which are among the show's funniest bits, but are still worth a look.

The great Steve Carell is back for Steve Carell: Trail & Tribulations, a segment where he travels to a Howard Dean campaign stop. Daily Show Rock! Presents: Midterm Elections is a song presented in the form of the classic Schoolhouse Rock! show.

Continental Skiff Boat Oarsmen for Veracity is another take on the attack ads against John Kerry, and National Anthem has Bee, Helms, Colbert, and Corddry singing the "Star Spangled Banner."

Extras Grade: A


Final Comments

It's about time The Daily Show had its day on DVD, and this first collection of episodes is a great beginning. A total of 10 episodes are spread out among three DVDs, capturing some of the show's best moments. The audio and video aren't much better then the quality of the show's TV broadcasts, but the great third disc has a ton of extras that are just as funny, sometimes more so, than the actual episodes themselves.


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