Stanford University assistant professor of history Jennifer Burns had the great fortune to talk about her writing on both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.
Over at the Oxford University Press blog, she compared the differences between the shows–some handy intelligence for writers who hope to be on the show someday. Burns is the author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Follow this link to watch The Daily Show interview. We’ve embedded the Colbert interview above. Check it out:
The biggest difference, of course, is Jon vs. Stephen, but I had an unexpected reaction. Where most people seem to think Stephen Colbert would be a more difficult interview, I actually found him to be personally warmer and easier to talk to than Jon Stewart. Some of this was because I felt more confident the second time around. But the interview itself was also less serious and more of a performance, whereas on The Daily Show I felt I was being grilled by a formidable intellect …The Colbert producer also did a great job of helping me understand what would create a good interview. Her top piece of advice (which I also heard at The Daily Show): “Don’t be funny!”