Support 100 years of independent journalism.

3 August 2011updated 17 Jan 2012 8:52am

Jon Stewart reacts incredulously to the Daily Show’s British ban

"I've seen the s*** you air on Channel 4," says the comedian.

By Helen Lewis

And so the serpent of news eats its own tail. On Monday’s Daily Show, the host, Jon Stewart, reacted to the fact that Britain couldn’t show a recent episode of the Daily Show.

As Stewart points out, Channel 4 can show live autopsies, oversexed teenagers and Gillian McKeith’s toilet talk but can’t screen footage of the Commons in a satirical context — even when our parliament is being praised.

By contrast, the other 84 countries that show the Daily Show Global Edition — “including such free speech havens as, I don’t know, Chad, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen” — could air the clip.

Is our parliament, Stewart asked, “too fragile to withstand a gentle parody, a good-natured kick to the clotted creams?”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

He adds: “Here’s the thing. I’ve seen the shit you air on Channel 4. It’s basically a non-stop suck-and-f*** fest of teenage shagging, gay orgies and live autopsies and, of course, this lady . . .” At this point, he cuts to McKeith telling a victim, “If you switch to fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes . . . you will produce completely different poo. A poo that is aromatic.”

You can watch the video of the segment on Mediaite and the original blog on the ruling (featured on the show) is here.


There’s also a discussion of the subject on the Today programme here and Graham Linehan, who set the whole story going, did a whizzy Storify rendition of it here.

PS. Has anyone actually seen that horrifying sausage advert on television? Thankfully, I haven’t.

You can follow Helen on Twitter: @helenlewis.