The Palace Guard Comedy Stylings of the Daily Show

Old and Busted: Speaking Truth To Power.

The New Hotness? Speaking Truth For Power: “Shocker: ‘Daily Show’ Writer Wrote Obama’s Trump Attack:”

President Obama’s standup routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner got rave reviews — and it turns out he has writer Kevin Bleyer of “The Daily Show” to thank. Bleyer, who took on jokewriting for the commander-in-chief as a side project, has been a “Daily Show” writer since 2006, sharing in the scores of Emmy nominations and wins with that staff. …

Before boarding Jon Stewart’s ship, Bleyer was a writer on Bill Maher’s old show, “Politically Incorrect,” and “Dennis Miller.”

He got his start in writing as a freelance reporter for “All Things Considered” on NPR.

And Bleyer strikes us as pretty brave: he recently did Republican-skewering jokes during a lecture in Boca Raton, Fla.

The White House Correspondents’ gig wasn’t the Stanford grad’s first time writing for Obama.

He also penned jokes for the 2009 and 2010 dinners and has contributed to Obama’s speeches off and on since 2008.


Back in April of 1976, Ron Nessen, then-President Gerald Ford’s press secretary, hosted one of the early first season episodes of Saturday Night Live when Chevy Chase was first goofing on Ford. After Nessen agreed to host the show, one of the SNL writers hissed, “The President’s watching. Let’s make him cringe and squirm.” But how many of the Saturday Night Live writers had thought that one day, their successors would be writing material for the president himself?

Or as George Neumayr of the American Spectator wrote last fall regarding Obama’s chummy relationship with the Daily Show, “Once upon a time jesters courted kings. Now enfeebled kings court jesters.”

Anne Beatts, another early Saturday Live backstage alumna, famously quipped that you can only be avant-garde for so long before you become garde. I wonder how many mental calisthenics and how much doublethink Bleyer and other place guard Hollywood writers and performers must go through to convince themselves that they’re still bohemians rather than the bourgeoisie themselves, to borrow David Brooks’ meme.



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