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April 10, 2007 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Who is Jon Stewart impersonating when he does his nasal-voiced, tie-knot-adjusting, eyelids-half-open character?

If you're a regular (or even casual) watcher of The Daily Show you know the character/impersonation I'm referring to, as Jon seems to do it almost every show. Here's a video clip from April 9th's episode where he does it, starting at about 1:50 remaining (the video's time display counts down instead of up).

The "character" seems so familiar, but is it based on an actual movie/television persona, or comedian? Or is it just sort of an "archetype" personality, like many of his other characters? (e.g. his "Brooklyn tough guy" accent, his faintly-British-accented waxing-nostalgic "Oh those were heady days indeed" character, etc.)
posted by good in a vacuum to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: previously
posted by duckstab at 1:58 PM on April 10, 2007

It has always reminded me of Johnny Carson. I'm going to go off and try to find an example now.
posted by ill3 at 1:59 PM on April 10, 2007

Best answer: He's doing Carson doing Art Fern from the Tonight Show's "Tea Time Movie" skits ...

... with Jack Parr, Vicki Carr, Leonard Barr, Jamie Farr & Sid the Dancing Yak in "Bonzo Gets a Distemper Shot".

/Ya had to be there.
posted by RavinDave at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2007

Response by poster: Argh... guess I should have included "voice" in my search... thanks duckstab.
posted by good in a vacuum at 2:12 PM on April 10, 2007

For what its worth, he seems to be doing it more lately. Someone must be telling him its funny.
posted by geoff. at 2:42 PM on April 10, 2007

Youtube has the Art Fern goods.
posted by dammitjim at 2:57 PM on April 10, 2007

"Friends, do you get aroused by the scent of a new crescent wrench? Have you ever look at a suspension bridge and said: 'I could have done better'? Maybe you should enroll in the University of Nuts & Bolts -- or, as we call it: SCREW U. At Screw U we have an electrical engineering course, a hardware course, a plumbing course, an inter----collegiate basketball team. Don't try and outguess Art Fern."

Ahhh .. memories ...
posted by RavinDave at 3:39 PM on April 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies, folks. I flagged this as a double myself, but I suppose this thread is still somewhat useful because the first time this was asked, YouTube wasn't around yet (although who knows how long these clips'll be there before Vivendi and whoever now owns the rights to DuMont Network material makes like Viacom and gets them all removed).

Here's a couple YouTube clips of Jackie Gleason doing his Reggie Van Gleason character: 1 2

Oh, and RavinDave, your riffing on that Art Fern bit reminded me that I had seen Klinger (Jamie Farr) do Jackie Gleason in at least one episode of M*A*S*H! Specifically, the episode that is shot entirely from the point of view of one of the casualties at the hospital: right when Klinger is about to take the soldier on a wheelchair tour of the camp, he says "And awaaaay we go!" in that voice. I guess that persona is, like the original thread suggests, truly part of the comedy landscape.

(P.S. Watching these Carson clips, I'm starting to see why he was considered so great. I'm too young to remember an era before Leno, but damn, these skits are a lot funnier than most of what's on late-night TV now. He's a master of the double-entendre!)
posted by good in a vacuum at 3:48 PM on April 10, 2007

" ... And don't forget to pick up a bag of Art Fern's Doggie Snacks, in three delicious flavors: 'blood', 'flesh' and 'cat'. Now back to our movie."
posted by RavinDave at 4:33 PM on April 10, 2007

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