Oprah: So was there chemistry at the Mexican restaurant?
Jon: I thought she hated me.
Tracey: I was embarrassed by how we met, and so nervous that I couldn't eat.
Jon: The date was literally me talking and eating. I cleaned my plate and part of hers. Then after I got a couple of drinks in her...
Tracey: I wouldn't stop talking.
Jon: So now I just keep her drunk.
Oprah: How long have you been married?
Jon: Since May 2000. But we've been together for ten years.
Oprah: Did marriage change you?
Jon: Tracey would probably say it didn't change me fast enough.
Tracey: I think it changed your living environment.
Jon: Let me put it this way: If I were single, this interview would have been a much different experience. You'd be surrounded by boxes.
Oprah: Where do you see your show going? I know that's tough to answer when you work on a daily program.
Jon: Right. After every show, we have a two-minute postmortem where we go, "Jesus, I can't believe we did that" or "We should have moved that piece up higher." And then it's "What are we doing tomorrow?" When I come home, Tracey says, "Who was on the show tonight?" and I have no idea because it's not about that. It's about hitting the next night.
Oprah: People come up to me and say, "I was on your show two years ago," and I have no idea who they are.
Jon: At least we only have one guest a night. The Daily Show is really about the writing. We've realized that people will become accustomed to our voice, and we have to evolve it in a way that's inspired. You can exist on television for a long time as mediocre. You can become comfort food. We don't want that. I can't imagine doing this 20 years from now.
Oprah: Are there topics you consider off-limits?
Jon: I hope our humanity saves us from producing nasty or mean-spirited shows.
Oprah: You caused a media storm by calling Crossfire host Tucker Carlson a dick when you went on his show last year. Do you regret that?
Jon: I regret losing my patience. That's about it. But calling him a dick? Not really. I was calling that guy who was on that show right there a dick—I don't pretend to know Tucker as a person. But I regret going on air as tired as I was and not being more articulate with what I wanted to say.
Oprah: That's what happens when you're on the edge.
Jon: I thought, Let's just end this on a sneeze!
Jon: The TV networks have an opportunity to bring noise or clarity. So much of what the government and corporations do is bring noise because they don't welcome scrutiny. They don't necessarily want you to know what they're up to. So if you're working in a medium that has an opportunity to bring clarity and you instead choose to create more distraction, that's theater—which is what these news channels have become.
We Hear You!