Where Is Our Jon Stewart?


Andrea King Collier is a blogger for The Root.

Last night I tuned into "The Daily Show" and got a little mad.


There is no doubt that Jon Stewart and his team of writers are not shy about going right for the jugular when it comes to things that matter, like health care, or war. If "The Daily Show" had a slogan it would have to be "You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up." And nobody is immune. But where are the African American comedians who are willing to call it out? Where is our "Daily Show"?


In the last year we've had two shots. One, another Comedy Central show, hosted by David Alan Grier, Called "Chocolate News". Otherwise known as "not quite In Living Color in 30 minutes."

Then there was D.L. Hughley. How do you take a man who is not only funny, but always informed and well read, and turn him into a deer caught in the headlights? It was almost as if CNN was trying to put an end to the idea that a black guy can be as good as Jon Stewart. It was painful for me to watch—which explains why Hughley looked like he was in agony. For a lesser talent, it would have been a career breaker.

Did he have the right stuff? If you've ever caught Hughley on "Real Time With Bill Maher," you know he does. But not only did D.L's show get cancelled, it scared all contenders from touching political satire with a ten foot pole.

Everybody, that is, but Wanda Sykes. At the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, she was smart, edgy and funny—but there was so much nervous laughter in the audience that you'd have thought she was reading names from a DC madam's little black book. Nobody pulled her aside and said, Girl, this isn't the Friar's Club Roast. Right jokes, wrong audience.

With Chris Rock off talking about weaves and perms, and Dave Chappelle laying low for the time being, the black community doesn't have a humorous voice for these critical times. Bill Cosby is as serious as a heart attack when he talks about the state of the black family. Whoopi does what she can on "The View", but she's on at 11 in the morning.

Where is this generation's Dick Gregory?


is a journalist who writes about health, health policy and food justice. She is a Food and Society Policy Fellow.