Tuesday, July 12, 2005

But what a way to go

The Daily Show has a new studio and a new set. It will take some getting used to. The oddest thing, as Dana Stevens notes, is that Jon Stewart now sits not at his Cadillac-sized, traditional pseudo-anchor desk but at a kind of modified conference table, while his guests sit right next to him on a wheeled office chair instead of a couch:

This setup gives the interview segment of the show a far more formal feel than before, like a Sunday morning public-affairs show or, worse yet, PBS's Charlie Rose, which I've always found to be the most visually (and often verbally) boring talk show on TV. As Stewart and the guest converse, we see them both only from the waist up, hands folded demurely on the table with their mugs and books between them.

This is a loss. As Stevens notes, a creative and/or psycho guest can do a lot of things with a couch - including humping it. A meaningful encounter with Stewart's rolling office chair carries the risk of serious injury.