So *whispers* is Jon Stewart a scab?

Aieeee! I know, I know! I loves me some Daily Show, and Jon is num-nummers and I respect him bunches…but what’s going on?

So here’s what I know:

The WGA is on strike. Pens down. No writey-writey.

Jon Stewart’s show, The Daily Show, is coming back on air in January, strike ending or no. The WGA has described this as Stewart being “forced” back on-air.

Here’s what I *think *I know:

Jon Stewart is a member of the WGA.

Jon Stewart is coming back on camera with his show.

The nighttime talk shows were not, for some reason, covered in the WGA strike-zone, but were (are) striking in solidarity. Or maybe it was just the on-camera talent? Or something?

Here’s what I absolutely don’t know:

Is Stewart able to come back on-air but not write? Is that his intention? Does his acting gig “count” as crossing the picket line, if he doesn’t write? (I’m pretty clear that if he does write, as a WGA member, we’re into icky I-don’t-respect-him-anymore territory.)

I know most hosts, especially the interviewing kind of host, do come up with SOME (not all, or maybe even most) of their stuff on the spot. Their big questions may be scripted, but follow-up questions, responses, etc. may be improvised. How much of that can be done and not be considered “writing”? There must be rules about this, or the WGA would be absolutely toothless to prevent non-union writing, right?

He could come back with a completely unscripted show and there is really nothing the union could do about it. If he jots down a few notes is that considered writing? I don’t think he intends to be a scab, but instead wants to employee all of the non-writing staff of his show who don’t really have a dog in this fight. It turns out they all still need a weekly paycheck for some reason.

I intend to watch the show and see what the union does. I would wager that they won’t do anything.

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

:smack: Of course. I’m sorry!

Longer interviews + old taped segments could probably kill 22 minutes.

(Personally, I’d like to see him go all-serious-interviewer for a few weeks until the writers are back.)

In my opinion he’s doing the right thing. And has some serious stones in doing it.
The writers strike should have been settled by now! Jeez. :frowning:

If he told the union he’s a writer, not a Union Writer, and decided to just go ahead and be a writer, he wouldn’t lose one iota of respect from me.

Do you mean if he stopped paying WGA dues and ripped up his WGA card and contract and had a new one written up as a non-union writer?

Why not? Sorry, that wasn’t a pun. I imagine he has no choice but to belong to the union. If he can make his own way in the world, negotiate his own salaries and wants to write, more power to him.

Yes, it is still considered writing, according to something Stephen said recently. He (Stephen, not Jon, although I’d bet their ideas about this are the same) said he plans to come back and wing it. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen exactly and doesn’t want to have to think about it for 2 more weeks but as of now, he plans to return and get a general idea what to talk about and ad-lib the whole thing. The TelePrompTer will be blank.

He also said he’s returning to save the other 70 people on staff from losing their jobs. Whether that means he’s being “forced” or he is doing it because he cares about the other 70 being terminated through no fault of their own, I don’t know.

IIRC, showrunners are exempt from the strike if they so choose, even though Stewart’s a WGA member. So he won’t be strictly breaking the strike if he goes back on, although any writers that might come with him will.

I don’t believe it takes stones to give in to the corporate pressure and get back to work, though.

I believe Colbert is coming back too, and Stephen (the character) has always claimed that his show is not scripted–that they just turn on the cameras and let him do his thing. I wonder what reason he’s going to give for why he’s been off the air all this time.

All the late night hosts are coming back in January. That includes David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel. Carson Daly has already returned.

They were told, in so many words, that if they did not their staffs would lose their jobs.,5143,695237268,00.html

Johnny Carson also returned during the last big strike.

Most, if not all, of the above have been paying their staffs out of their pockets since the strike started. The WGA has issued statements of approval for these actions.

So now they’re returning to work to save several hundred jobs. Well, there’s a moral dilemma that I hope you never have to decide for yourself.

As for what they can do without writers, the answer is that they can do almost anything as long as no striking writers are involved.

And like Conan said, I hope they all suck so bad that it’s painfully clear they absolutely do need their writers.

I’m not sure, really, because I’m woefully ignorant in this area. I know union shops in other industries will not allow non-union people to work there - so if JS were to quit the union, does that mean his 14 union writers can’t work for him when the strike is over? Would he have to switch to an entirely non-union staff? That sounds rather drastic, not to mention damaging to a team which works so well together.

Ah, see, now that’s useful information. I found a lot of online chatter speculating as such, but I couldn’t find anything straight from the horses’ mouths.

That’s both terrifying and exciting!

It’s been killing me because Stewart covers politics differently from any other ‘news’ service. I’m willing to bet that him being gone all this month has had an effect on the Iowa caucaus.

The studios want to break the unions. It’s going to last a lot longer.

Yeah I’m not really in a hurry to see a non-scripted daily show. I’m guessing it will basically be old clips + interview.

I would watch a half-hour interview show though, but doubt that’s what they’ll do.

What?! He has never seriously claimed that. He’s got 13 writers plus himself. He might say that as a joke but not seriously. He’s said many, many times how much he owes to the writers and what their writing schedule is like.

I can tell you for a 100% fact he’s got writers and they write!

If you’re joking, I apologize. Sometimes I have no sense of humor.

Stephen Colbert acknowledges his writers, of course. Stephen Colbert, the character, would never, ever acknowledge that he has writers. He’s too self-aggrandizing.