The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (lost banned "Leisure World, California" segment of late-night talk show; date unknown)

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Daily show jon stewart.png

Promo photo for the show.

Status: Lost

The Daily Show is an American late night talk and news satire program that premiered on Comedy Central on July 22, 1996. Over the many years the show has aired, rather impressively given its sometimes-controversial nature, only one segment is confirmed to remain unreleased.

Background[edit | edit source]

The show was hosted by Craig Kilborn until the end of 1998, after which comedian Jon Stewart took over and built it into an iconic institution. Currently it is hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, who replaced Stewart in 2015. The show parodies conventional newscasts, including comedic monologues about the day's headlines, mockumentary-style on-location reports, in-studio segments, and debates among the show's regular correspondents. The host also interviews special guests.

Banned Segment[edit | edit source]

During a panel appearance at the Paley Center For Media in 2008, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert said that they had filmed a segment at the historic Leisure World retirement community in Seal Beach, California, which had first opened in 1962. The Daily Show was interested in the residents' current efforts to have Leisure World incorporated as a town. This had led the likewise unincorporated communities surrounding them to worry about being assimilated into Leisure World in turn.

According to Colbert, his idea was to draw a comedic parallel between this situation and Nazi Germany's pre-war claims on their neighbors - to imply that Leisure World was ominously ambitious for the glory of the 'Grandfatherland'. To that end the show's segment on the peaceful, pleasant seaside retirement community was to be scored with Wagner, footage of inoffensive retirees was edited to resemble a 'goose-stepping' march, and community leader Bert Hack was, naturally, presented as a Hitler analogue. Colbert even managed to trick Hack into making a gesture reminiscent of the Nazi salute on camera.

On learning of these plans, Hack - a retired lawyer - quickly sued to block them, on the grounds among others that the crew had claimed they were from CNN and not Comedy Central. The Daily Show's producers say this is partially untrue; they don't lie about their affiliation, but given they're trying to pose as serious interviewers they do avoid giving it away if at all possible, leaving room for assumptions. Eventually an out-of-court settlement was reached in which everyone agreed that segment would never be aired.

Availability[edit | edit source]

Nothing else is known about the segment. Colbert implies that it was finished, so likely Comedy Central still have it in their archives, but due to the legal agreement it's unlikely to ever be released.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Paley Center For Media Panel where the segment is discussed.