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
International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

Local

Leech therapy: Bloodsuckers in Brooklyn

The Old-World practice of leech therapy makes a comeback in New York.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.