Letterman and the ‘Daily Show’: Comparing 9/11 and bin Laden reactions

Jon Stewart, 10 years younger.

The period immediately following 9/11 was filled with many speeches, but few are as remembered as fondly today as those of the late-night funnymen. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” and David Letterman of “The Late Show with David Letterman” are ostensibly comedians, but their words in the weeks after the attacks stood out for the way they were able to express courage and dignity in the face of unprecedented horrors.

10 years later, how did both men react to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death? Let’s compare:

Letterman on 9/17/01 spoke with typical Midwestern acidity: “We’re told that they were zealots fueled by religious fervor. And if you live to be a thousand years old, will that make any sense to you? Will that make any goddamn sense?”

Last night, though, Dave was far more exuberant: “That didn’t take long!”

Unlike Letterman, Stewart in 2001 was an up-and-comer just earning his stripes: “I am sorry to do this to you. It’s another entertainment show beginning with an overwrought speech of a shaken host, and television is nothing if not redundant.”

Last night, though, it was as if Stewart was a cartoon character celebrating the death of a long-time nemesis — which, in a sense, he was.

Which do you prefer?


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.