Help me identify Jon Stewart's accent
May 16, 2008 1:04 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify Jon Stewart's accent

I was watching the Daily show the other day and had the stunning realization that Jon Stewart's accent is a rarity among television personalities, at least on the cable networks. (I don't really watch the broadcast networks anymore.) Since I really like it, I'd like to figure out what his accent actually is and what segment of society or region generally speaks it.
posted by gregb1007 to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
He's a Jewish guy from New York who grew up in New Jersey, raised by parents from New York. And he sounds like it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by dersins at 1:28 AM on May 16, 2008

to this i add; hell yes.

as an east coast Jew, i gotta say his delivery sounds just like my brother (although we're from boston).
posted by xz at 1:56 AM on May 16, 2008

Stewart sounds to me like every guy from New York who grew up in Jersey, but who wants you to know he's actually from New York and not from Jersey. Which is understandable.
posted by three blind mice at 2:12 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Moderate generic NYC (i.e, not a heavy Brooklyn or Long Island accent) with the occasional Yiddish/Catskill entertainer thrown in for comedic effect.
posted by zippy at 2:25 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Segment of society: educated NYC area Jewish middle-class.
posted by zippy at 2:28 AM on May 16, 2008

the reason it's a rarity is that most news types and actor types have cultivated a standard form of american english pronunciation. that's why news anchors in tulsa and news anchors in seattle sound the same.

i've noticed since moving back to the south, though, that a bit of southern accent has crept into newscaster's voices here.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:08 AM on May 16, 2008

You're not from around here, are you? ;)
He sounds like half of the people in my neighborhood.
It comes just like everybody has already said.
posted by caddis at 4:29 AM on May 16, 2008

I have to say that I never noticed that he had an accent but then I grew up in North Jersey and my family is from NYC so it sound normal to me.
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 AM on May 16, 2008

It's a mix. I hear NJ, PA, NY and Yiddish with just a tad wee bit of something Ivy. Maybe Boston. It's not the accent btw - it's the quality of his voice and delivery. Crisp yet warm.
posted by watercarrier at 7:00 AM on May 16, 2008

Sounds almost a dead ringer for my old roomate/friend who grew up in NYC. Yes, jewish. Oddly enough though, I grew up in the middle of Long Island (Patchogue), and both of our fathers could never figure out who was who on the phone. We have pretty similar pronunciations, and I'm Irish/German from the burbs.

So what I'm trying to say is that I'm Jon Stewart too.

posted by sully75 at 7:06 AM on May 16, 2008

While he does sound like a lot of guys from north jersey that I know, some of what you are hearing is a comic affectation that you don't hear in his voice when he's being serious. In his infamous interview on Crossfire, in which he acknowledges he is deliberately not being funny and more serious, much of that affectation is gone. See also his interviews on Charlie Rose, and compare them with Daily Show clips. Without that affectation, what your left with sounds like standard New Jersey by way of New York, like everyone has pointed out.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:28 AM on May 16, 2008

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