‘The Problem with Jon Stewart’ on Apple TV+ is that it’s a flop

Jon Stewart’s Apple TV+ show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” which debuted in September, has failed to gain traction in its first season and lags far behind its competitors on broadcast and cable TV.

“The Problem With Jon Stewart” will will return in a new weekly format, beginning Thursday, March 3rd
“The Problem With Jon Stewart” will will return in a new weekly format, beginning Thursday, March 3rd

Gerry Smith for Bloomberg News:

Last fall, about 180,000 U.S. homes saw the show’s first episode within the first seven days, according to the measurement firm Samba TV. By the fifth episode, which aired in early March, about 40,000 U.S. homes tuned in, down 78% from the season premiere.

To date, Apple hasn’t disclosed any viewership numbers for Stewart’s show, which since its debut has aired on a sporadic schedule.

Stewart’s predicament is hardly unique. The list of successful, prominent comedians who have hosted short-lived shows on Netflix or Hulu already includes Chelsea Handler, Michelle Wolf, the late Norm Macdonald, Joel McHale and Sarah Silverman. Years into the streaming revolution, the classic talk show format is still struggling to adapt. One problem is that people often watch streaming shows days or weeks after the programming initially aired, making it difficult for hosts to rely on jokes pegged to current events, long a pillar of traditional late-night programs.

Another challenge is that increasingly streaming services want programming that can appeal to subscribers around the world.

To judge by the program’s sluggish start, sticking to evergreen topics is no guarantee of success. Each hour-long episode of “The Problem” focuses on a single issue, such as gun control, race relations, the stock market or climate change…

Reviews have been mixed… “There’s no doubt Jon Stewart made much more of a splash in public discourse 20 years ago than he’s making today,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at University of Mary Washington…

MacDailyNews Take: Color us unsurprised.

“As per the teaser trailer, The Problem With Jon Stewart is that he’s/it’s not funny.” – MacDailyNews, August 5, 2021

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  1. Jon Stewart is no longer in the zeitgeist. He hasn’t been in years.

    In the U.S., the Democrat Party is no longer in the zeitgeist, either. People are fed up with the divisionary, racist, leftist, socialist bullshit.

    Look at the polling. The reckoning is coming this November and in 2024.

    1. democrats? except for the president, the gop pretty much controls everything so all that stuff you mention we are tired of, it’s the right who’s pushing all of it

      1. Define “everything” please? Last I counted Dems controlled our social media communication and tech: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Microsloth, MSNBC, CBS, CNN. Our entertainment: Disney, most all Hollywood companies and huge % of actors, all but one of the late night comedy bunch are all liberals. In education higher education boards, profs, admins (and most of their staff) all liberals, teachers unions at lower level education again majority are libs…many of the largest cities and largest states in the country have liberal mayors and governors, also the Presidency, the Senate, the House of Representatives are dominated by Democrats. I wish the GOP controlled everything. We wouldn’t be in such a mess with inflation, the border, and impending war if they were.

        1. Good morning, MacRaven:

          I agree with you that Democrats control much more than the Presidency, as evidenced by all the offices, companies, and other entities you accurately list.

          At risk of detailing this thread, which is about Stewart’s unfortunately boring Apple TV+ show, I’m curious if I may ask you why all of the professions you mention are in Democratic hands?

          Not trying to be smarmy, but many of those people would otherwise be regarded as holding highly educated and intelligent positions (Professors, CEOs, etc.) — so why are some otherwise “smart people” or “elites” as you may call them, captured by the Democratic Party?

          To be transparent, I’m not a “woke” leftist, just curious about your honest perspective as someone who is clearly intelligent and observant yourself, and yet not taken by these leftward ideas.

        2. Lib/Dem/Prog professors, CEOs, etc. are either employed by the state or highly dependent on the whims of the state (taxation, antitrust, legislation, grants, etc.).

          They are highly invested in the continuance and growth of government and therefore, wrongly, believe that an expanded role of government is a ‘”good thing.”

          They’re not “smart,” they’re self-interested.

          This is why the establishment, and all of the career employees in the federal government (FBI, IRS, etc.) reacted so violently to Trump (and Reagan before him) as Trump wanted to slash government regulation and, ultimately, reign in the size of government. Conservatives are an existential threat. The establishment worked in lockstep to protect itself, or so it thought – it may pay a big price for the current 48-month sham we are currently enduring.

          Poling indicates that, in free and fair elections, the U.S. Democrat Party will be cast into the wilderness for a long time starting this November. Perhaps for a decade or more.

          The entrenched gov’t teat-suckers and their media lapdogs will fight it tooth and nail, but the possibility will finally exist to reduce the appalling size of government, freeing Americans to once again pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

        3. Thank you to “First Then” for answering that for me! Yep. Self-interest and power—power not to the people, but to the rulers. I survived 40 years of Ivy League employment. At least higher edu didn’t turn insanely woke until fairly recent history. A favorite quote I heard years ago is:
          “Don’t let your mind be so open that your brain falls out.”
          Sadly this is what has happened with in our new Woke World.

  2. Stewart was never funny, interesting or particularly talented. He hit the right time with his schtick bit never expanded his appeal beyond his woke leftist hate filled base.

    1. Jon Stewart has always been funny, interesting and extremely talented.
      It takes a certain amount of intelligence to see that.

      His current show on Apple TV+ covers many important topics.

      Also, conservative right-wing cognitive bias prevents you from seeing that.

  3. I’ve watched a few episodes and agree the show hasn’t gained traction. The topics are important and the guests are good. Somehow, I see that he doesn’t really educate. He sort of wants to be the media attack dog so he goes after some guests but doing so doesn’t uncover more information. It is just grandstanding. It is disappointing. He could do better with a sort of Frontline approach and try to be more of a documentary. He has the influence to gain access to information that would be good to know.

  4. There’s probably a couple of problems with the show in terms of overall viewership . . . Up front, I’ll just say I happen to like it. Whether you come to the same conclusions or not, it deep dives into narrow topics and I do think the world needs more of that whether it’s from a conservative or liberal perspective. But, that’s also why it will likely fail. You probably eliminate half the audience just at the outset because it’s going to have a left lean . . . and then you lose at least half of those people because it’s a time investment where the entertainment piece is secondary to the seriousness of the topic. I think if there were three more shows like it from the left and four like it from the right — and people actually watched — we’d all bitch at each other more gracefully.

  5. I like the show. The topics are important and Jon gets it. Is it funny? Not really. Does it have to be? No. It is satirical at some points and that’s alright.

  6. Just another dumb ass racist leftist who thinks black people are too stupid to live in this oh so difficult society without the help of the great white liberal.

  7. It really doesn’t have to be a partisan debate at all here. Like MDN says, the problem is that it’s not funny. If there was a way it could be funny, it would matter less that many of the viewpoints are from the Left.

    But some of the viewpoints are also neither.

    The only episode I saw, about the poisoning our own soldiers by burning toxic trash next to where they were camped is not a partisan issue. Both sides of the aisle, if they really and truly love and respect our service men and women, should be on the same side with this one.

    Most late night talk shows have a liberal bent, but that hasn’t stopped them from making fun of Democrats (at least on occasion).

    But again, if you’re expecting funny and not getting funny, then the problem with Jon Stewart is not his politics.

    It’s the writing.

  8. The hook-y moments of the show are tiring and predictable. The viewer feels the set-up, ushered into the middle of the controversy, where Jon Stewart is the brilliant ring master. This is how MTV operated in its 1990s/early 00s hey-day: convincing every young person that they are now in tune with the right kind of politics, through agreeing with liberal heroes and laughing at the conservative foils.

    Jon could have given us an alternative, critical of liberal analysis that even feels conservative—like his understudy Colbert used to be (albeit exaggerated and completely fake and converse of Colbert himself. Though I suspect Colbert was once more conservative than he wanted to let on)

    But instead Jon has demonstrated no more warmth toward conservative ideals, so he has nothing unique to offer in a sea of a dozen of comedian news presenters he created.

    1. I don’t have a problem with Stewart and his guests reaching the conclusions they do. They are entitled to those conclusions just as anyone is. I’m pretty middle of the road politically and I read both cnn.com and foxnews.com every day (I usually glean “the truth” by the facts both present and try to ignore the rail posts that are so obviously there). I will give Stewart props for at least taking the time to really flesh out a topic and even if I disagree with the analysis, I know where he (and those like-minded) are coming from. I can disagree thoughtfully. If there’s a similar show on the right, please let me know what it is and I’ll watch. I haven’t stumbled onto one quite like this one yet.

      1. I think it’s a worthy effort, and maybe it will catch on, but I think he should choose to challenge some left/liberal thinking, because we are in a place right now where liberals don’t do that enough.

        And I appreciate the thorough analysis he offers, and I do think he thinks different from the liberal establishment when he sees foolishness… so he’s not a bad choice to have him do a show on Apple… it could be better if he would get out of his liberal box.

  9. “Gutfeld!” show is far funnier. And that is why Greg Gutfeld’s ratings are blowing away the rest of the late night talking funny heads that aren’t so funny and preach more than they joke.

  10. Steward is a partisan hack! He is a obsessed with race. He blames white men while being white. He swallows and regurgitates the leftist garbage like no other. He has white people on to tell us why we should hate white people. He’s no longer funny. He’s sad. Just like the Democrats Party. Time Cook is an activist who uses his company to pedal social justice. I guarantee you he cherrypicked Steward to do this horrible show. Good riddance! People are sick to death of leftist hatred.

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