Could John Finnemore be a British John Stewart?


There is currently a debate in the US about the role of Jon Stewart. His attacks on the errors made in the role out of the Obamacare have been interpreted by many as a turning point in the Obama presidency and is even being used by Conservative groups in ads. He has responded by claiming that he is ‘just a comedian.’

This, however, is clearly not true. Stewart is way more than just a comedian. He is the most trusted man in the American media. And the Daily Show is now a major source of news especially for those under 30. And he’s come to function as America’s liberal conscience.

Here’s some classic Stewart:

Britain doesn’t have anyone like Stewart. Ian Hislop has Stewart’s knack for combining comedy and exposition but rather than liberalism offers a nihilistic vision of politics.

But we do have someone who could come to fill this niche: John Finnemore.

While he has a wide range of work under his belt, it’s his sketches on the Now Show that point to his Stewartesque potential. You can hear him in action on this week’s episode about why a parliamentary debate on jam shows how democracy is supposed to work.

In the past he’s managed the remarkable feat of making the Eurozone crisis funny whilst explaining what the whole thing is about:

Or forensically filleting legal aid cuts. Oh and of course being funny at the same time.

I suspect that Stewart is probably unique and couldn’t be replicated easily in the UK. However, I suspect that given a Daily Show like platform, Finnemore would be able to make quite an impact.


One thought on “Could John Finnemore be a British John Stewart?

  1. Really enjoyed this article for 2 reasons.
    1) The article itself- political satire always gets me going, especially bit on legal aid.
    2) The article’s title’s (presumably unintentional) connection to Superhero Week.
    You see Jon Stewart has no h but John Stewart with a h is a comic book character- Green Lantern, and he is an interesting character to write about due to minor controversy a couple of years ago connected to race perception.
    You see John Stewart is black and in the comics is like the second Green Lantern (oversimplification) after the first one Hal Jordan, a white guy.
    However for racial diversity in the Justice League Cartoon of about 10 years ago they used John Stewart as THE Green Lantern.
    So to many average people “Green Lantern” is a black character
    Then DC made a film “Green Lantern” with Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan- who therefore is white.
    Sparking (very minor) confusion/ controversy over a black character being turned white for Hollywood!
    For more info:

    Quite how you would have tied that into John Finnemore- who I hadn’t heard of until this article- I don’t quite know but it could have been possible…!

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