OVERRIDE

Angry Optimist

The Life and Times of Jon Stewart

Lisa Rogak

Thomas Dunne Books

Since his arrival at The Daily Show in 1999, Jon Stewart has become one of the major players in comedy as well as one of the most significant liberal voices in the media. In Angry Optimist, biographer Lisa Rogak charts his unlikely rise to stardom. She follows him from his early days growing up in New Jersey, through his years as a struggling standup comic in New York, and on to the short-lived but acclaimed The Jon Stewart Show. And she charts his humbling string of near-misses—passed over as a replacement for shows hosted by Conan O’Brien, Tom Snyder, and even the fictional Larry Sanders—before landing on a half-hour comedy show that at the time was still finding its footing amidst roiling internal drama.

Once there, Stewart transformed The Daily Show into one of the most influential news programs on television today. Drawing on interviews with current and former colleagues, Rogak reveals how things work—and sometimes don’t work—behind the scenes at The Daily Show, led by Jon Stewart, a comedian who has come to wield incredible power in American politics.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

 

WHEN JONATHAN STUART LEIBOWITZ was born on November 28, 1962, in New York City to Donald and Marian Leibowitz toward the end of the huge postwar baby boom, he began a typical middle-class American childhood that was unremarkable for the time, and apparently very much strived for by the majority of people in the United States.

He joined Larry, a brother who was two years older, and the Leibowitz family had little to set it apart from the other families living in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, just down the road from Princeton, in all ways but one. As one of only

READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Angry Optimist

Praise for Angry Optimist

"Including both humorous and serious insights from colleagues, Rogak presents a detailed picture of the Comedy Central show, revealing exhausting writing schedules, dogs in the office, interns running around at top speed and people who aren't particularly enamored with the host. … An inside look at the man who changed the face of comedy talk shows." —Shelf Awareness

Praise for And Nothing but the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert

"Enthusiastic fans will delight in Rogak’s lengthy, detailed behind-the-scenes coverage. . . . This engaging, entertaining biography. . . succeeds in capturing Colbert’s anarchic, iconoclastic spirit."—Publishers Weekly

"In this carefully crafted, behind-the-scenes biography, Rogak succeeds in uncovering the ‘truthiness’ about the real Colbert."—Booklist

"A conversational, multiperspective account of his life . . . This is the first major biography of Colbert and one [which] fans will appreciate."—Library Journal

"Gives us insight into the man behind the mouth."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Lisa Rogak

  • LISA ROGAK is the author of more than forty books, including the biographies And Nothing but the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert and the Edgar- and Anthony-nominated Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King. She is the editor of the New York Times bestselling book Barack Obama: In His Own Words.

  • Lisa Rogak
    Lisa Rogak
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Angry Optimist

The Life and Times of Jon Stewart

Lisa Rogak

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Thomas Dunne Books

BACK