‘Rock Center’ Comedy Segment With Jon Stewart Gets Scathing Reviews; Here’s the Video — You Decide

Nov 1, 2011  •  Post A Comment

While critics have generally had mixed to favorable reactions overall to Monday’s debut of NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” most of them have been merciless about the show’s apparent attempt at humor, the Atlantic reports.

A segment at the end of the show featured an appearance by “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart, and “things got a little bit weird,” the story says.

Among the critics’ reactions cited in the piece:

Gail Shister, TVNewser: “The embarrassing final segments with Williams and Jon Stewart made ‘The Playboy Club,’ which ‘Rock Center’ replaced at 10 p.m. Mondays, look like ‘Meet the Press.’"

Kevin McFarland, the A.V. Club: “It was a moment that didn’t live up to the usual Williams/Stewart rapport viewers expect from the anchor’s appearances on ‘The Daily Show.’”

Brian Lowry of Variety criticized the tone of Stewart’s segment as “wrong for this venue.”

Here’s a video of the Jon Stewart appearance — decide for yourself:


  1. I agree that it was very weird. I felt very uncomfortable for Brian.

  2. This was no different than when Brian is on Daily Show. These guys have known each other for a long time, the riff on one another mercilessly and then eventually talk about a serious topic. For a “serious” new program, it may have been out of place slightly. Keep in mind that Jon Stewart has done a comedic angle of the “serious” news for a long time effectively highlighting the hypocrisy of all politics and government.
    I thought it was hilarious.

  3. I didn’t see the rest of the show in order to judge ITS tone but, from what I just watched: WTF are these critics talking about?? Brian asked him a question, somewhat serious, yes, and Jon answered it. Where’s the big deal? The only part that was off was their coming together on agreeing -or still disagreeing- that Americans had been passive for so long a time. Honestly, I kind of agree with Brian on that note.

  4. Overall, I thought the show was good. I agree, though, that the Jon Stewart segment was strained and a waste of time. I would rather they had used the last 5 minutes for real commentary or a soft news piece.

  5. Nothing embarassing here at all. This is just Stewart being Stewart. Without his adroit writers, what you get is a mix of sarcasm and left-wing punditry. I admire Stewart for taking on ‘real’ journalists, and the results can be quite funny and thought provoking. But embarassing? Definitely not.

  6. Only thing worse is the apparent fact that the poster used a *trialware* product to capture the video! C’mon, man!!

  7. This wasn’t awkward at all. It was in keeping with the tone of promos for the show. Also very much in keeping with Brian’s appearances on comedy shows. Perhaps the critics were thrown by the lack of a laugh track.

  8. It was a little insidery and a bit off-the-cuff in its tone, and Stewart nailed it when he mentioned “test shows” because that’s what it felt like I was watching.
    But I like that Williams is trying out different things to freshen up the genre. There’s no rule that a newsmagazine show has to be all hard news and delivered with a completely serious tone. But this segment was a little too ‘stream-of-consciousness’ for a premiere show.

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