The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (the Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race

( 104 )

Overview

The eagerly awaited new book from the Emmy-winning, Oscar-hosting, Daily Show-anchoring Jon Stewart—the man behind the megaseller America (The Book).

Where do we come from? Who created us? Why are we here? These questions have puzzled us since the dawn of time, but when it became apparent to Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show that the world was about to end, they embarked on a massive mission to write a book that summed up the human race: What we looked like; what we ...

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Overview

The eagerly awaited new book from the Emmy-winning, Oscar-hosting, Daily Show-anchoring Jon Stewart—the man behind the megaseller America (The Book).

Where do we come from? Who created us? Why are we here? These questions have puzzled us since the dawn of time, but when it became apparent to Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show that the world was about to end, they embarked on a massive mission to write a book that summed up the human race: What we looked like; what we accomplished; our achievements in society, government, religion, science and culture — all in a tome of approximately 256 pages with lots of color photos, graphs and charts.

After two weeks of hard work, they had their book. EARTH (The Book) is the definitive guide to our species. With their trademark wit, irreverence, and intelligence, Stewart and his team will posthumously answer all of life's most hard-hitting questions, completely unburdened by objectivity, journalistic integrity, or even accuracy.

Also available as an ebook and as an audiobook.

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Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
Like the "Daily Show" this parody delivers wittily framed absurdities in a sweetly deadpan way…like the show, [it's] best when it takes on subjects of real substance…That's why the funniest material is about religion and science.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Eight-time Emmy-winner Stewart (America: The Book) seeks to expand his audience to aliens who might land on earth after the extinction of the human race and be puzzled over the artifacts we've left behind. "Greetings... on behalf of not only ourselves, but the entire Viacom family," he writes in this laugh-out-loud, rollicking social satire. In place of skits there are elaborate, color illustrations accompanied by captions written with his trademark deadpan humor; for instance, a photo of a mother and baby-elephant holds the caption, "advances in contraception and industrialized food production allowed modern couples to have fewer offspring, while leaving the total weight of families constant." Nothing is off-limits here, not even Benjamin Franklin, whose pithy saying "Nothing is certain but death and taxes" Stewart expands upon. The book ends with a plea to the aliens to reconstruct the human race from DNA in the hope that, with guidance from the visitors, "we could overcome the baser aspects of our nature... and give this planet the kind of caretakers it deserves," revealing the tears behind Stewart's clown. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

E.W.com
Has it really been a full six years since Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show released their last book? Well, the delay's understandable. It's a daunting task to cover the history of a 4.5 billion-year-old planet (including the entirety of human existence) in 244 pages.

You'll recognize Earth's faux-textbook design and irreverent tone from America (The Book), and some gags recur nearly unchanged — the terrifyingly nude bodies of the Supreme Court justices are replaced here with the terrifyingly nude body of Larry King. But the subject's bigger, and the high concept higher. Earth is written as a Baedeker for the aliens who will eventually discover our planet after our species has expired, likely by our own hand. All the entries, hitting topics like love (''liking another person very very very very very very much'') and work (''that which we didn't want to do, but had to, if we didn't want to eat dirt''), are written in the past tense. It's the ultimate gallows humor: We had it pretty good, and now we're all dead.

Earth is The Devil's Dictionary for a new generation, twisting our lives in the light and bringing mordant humor to the commonplace. Despite the timelessness of most topics, the writers manage to be pretty lively at times, such as when they refer to the Grand Canyon as ''the biggest rift in Arizona not involving Mexicans.''

Earth isn't meant to be read straight through. It's designed to be perused, so you can discover at your leisure all the fun gags and wordplay crammed into its nooks and crannies. Because there are a lot. Enough, in fact, to make you believe this would actually be a fairly comprehensive guide for extraterrestrial visitors, just so long as they have a sense of humor. A–--(Staskiewicz, Keith)

Library Journal
Following the 2004 Publishers Weekly Book of the Year America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction—the Hachette Audio version of which won a Grammy Award—Stewart and the writers of his celebrated Daily Show together narrate this satirical overview of humanity written as though it were being explained to aliens of the future who discover Earth after the demise of all human life. Stewart, the primary narrator, explains religion, history, commerce, government, customs, and society in his trademark delivery. Unfortunately, he often swallows his punch lines, thus defeating the efficacy of many of the jokes. Perhaps his brand of humor is better suited to television. Nonetheless, this is a timely and entertaining title sure to do well among Stewart's many fans, who will doubtless laugh along. Recommended. [The Grand Central hc was a No. 1 New York Times and LJ best seller; see the review of the Grand Central hc, also in this issue, p. 122.—Ed.]—J. Sara Paulk, Wythe-Grayson Regional Lib., Independence, VA
Kirkus Reviews

A goofy guide to our planet, with literate ironist Stewart (America: The Book, 2004) at the helm.

Continuing in the vein ofAmerica, but with a touch more detail in both words and images, Stewart and hisDaily Showcomrades posit that someday soon the ETs we've been hailing for all these decades will arrive—only to find us gone. And why would we not be here? Well, Stewart relegates the possible answers to an appendix that opens, "At some point between the time this was written and the time you are reading it, we perished." Some of those possibilities include ecological catastrophe, nuclear holocaust, disease, robot rebellion and rapture—the last with a generous 30:1 chance of occurring, and evidenced by an "overall 'Jesus-y' feeling in the air." To gauge by the rest of the book, however, the end may well come by dint of our soufflé-like culture's having finally become too airy and collapsed. So it is thatEarthis studded with images of all those pop-culture and media figures that one would gladly leave the planet to escape, from Bernie Madoff to Nicole Kidman and J-Lo (or, if not J-Lo, a convincing simulacrum). Stewart lampoons with a broad brush rather than the scalpel with which he dissects pomposity and prevarication on his Comedy Central show. Some of his targets include creationists and school boards, fast-food restaurants, obesity, the medical bureaucracy, the Venus of Willendorf and, not connected to the aforementioned Venus, the use of the brassiere as an instrument of social control. George Bush doesn't escape, of course; but then, neither does Florence Henderson.

The legions of readers ofAmerica will know exactly what they're in for—and readers of whatever stripe, save those who are fans of McDonald's and Satan, are likely to enjoy this one.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594448860
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/21/2010
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

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(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Funny in places, awkward too...not like the show

    Jon Stewart's newest book, Earth, is fashioned as an encyclopedia of human history and life on Earth. For aliens. For student aliens. Sort of a travel guide to help aliens figure out what went on in this strangest of locations. He starts big, covering topics from Location and Weather, to Life (in all its forms), Basic Needs, War, Entertainment, Religion, and Medicine. It's similar to any encyclopedia a kid may have, except it's not for kids. It's filled with snarky humor, bitter irony, and more than a few awkward moments.



    He (and his team of writers) dish on everything with the trademark Daily Show kind of humor. For example, in discussing the extinction of the T. Rex, it says "couldn't reach heart pills stashed on top shelf". Regarding skunks and their possible evolutionary adaptation: "Skunks emitted a powerful scent to let potential predators know that they had just been hit by a car."



    It mocks the American culture of gadgetry, especially with an actual size Iphone and all its apps:

    Camera-replaced camera, film, lenses, standards for what constitutes a photo.
    Slurp-tasted your soup for you
    Virtual Zippo-Replaced lighter, except in sense of creating heat or light
    Chipotle-Located the nearest Chipotle restaurant
    Chipoto-potty-directed user to bathrooms within 100 years of the Chipotle they just ate at.
    And finally, it remarks "the Iphone could do almost anything except love you back".



    In discussing Entertainment, it explains for its extraterrestrial readers, "The two most basic modes of storytelling were comedy and tragedy. Tragedy allowed an audience to feel a charater's pain. Comedy allowed an audience to heartily enjoy a character's pain. Both modes originated in ancient Greece in plays featuring protagonists and antagonists, along with a large chorus so the less talented kids could participate."



    It is clever, and a few places had me giggling. A few places were shockingly offensive, even with the sarcasm in place. Visual plays on brand names, famous events, and celebrities are amusing. Sprinkled throughout are quizzes and scavenger hunts called "Earth Search", as well as some sample forms for aliens to understand the HMO application process. Some of the photoshopping and conceptual ideas are beyond inventive: The Periodic Table of the Synthetic that adds Axe body spray and Tang to the list of mankind's important chemical substances is epic.



    So...did I like it, beyond the laughs? The thing about Jon Stewart that I've always enjoyed is the topical humor in terms of current events-his take on politicians, laws, and world news. This was more pop culture history, and while funny, I can't imagine that even a resident of Earth would get some of the humor just a decade from now. It's sort of like reading the stories in a Reader's Digest-a cute little paragraph that makes you smile but you forget five minutes later. In other words, despite the underlying message of just how messed up the world is, there's really no clear focus beyond the irreverent* humor.



    *just try and find a reference to Jon Stewart that doesn't use this word

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    NOOK DOWNLOAD NOW!!!!

    As a regular viewier and fan, I am waiting diligently for the release of this book to download to the Nook, As I jumped the gun and bought the reader prior to the 50% price reduction. So jon probably understands this, no offense Jon I will get and read the entire book eventually........

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    My face hurt ...

    There's the expression "I laughed so hard my face hurt" ... Never have I had more continuous hours of laughter, and yes, my face did actually hurt. Does for the psyche what Prozac never could. If you're a fan of the show, you'll recognize the same brand of humor that has garnered eight Emmy's. This is a book I will sahre with friends and give as Christmas gifts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2010

    Jon tells us what politicians don't

    Anything connected with Jon Stewart is word that one wants and need to hear and read. I watch his show each time the show is presented. Right now his is on a 10 day break and we all wait for his words of truth and wisdom.

    2 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Really Really Funny

    This was terrific. Sigorney Weaver as the voice of the aliens was absolutely perfect for the audio version of this book. All of the other contributors to the audiobook were hillarious. Even if you read the book, get the audio. Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee add so much to the humorous tone of this book that it is worth purchasing it as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Funny (The Pages)

    Hilarious. Tons of pictures, fake graphs, satirical text. It's not designed to be read cover to cover, but more a few pages at a time. Even so, I did read it in big sections, and still had a great time.

    Just wish I could see the aliens' face (or whatever they use for one) when they read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Jon Stewart's Earth (The Book) Review

    "We're sorry we're not here to greet you in person. We invited you over, and you traveled who knows how many light years to see us, and you finally got here and we're not home. And we never will be. And we left the place a mess"
    It's likely that this will not suffice as a good enough apology for the future inhabitants of our planet. Probably because when they survey the wreckage of humanity they'll say something along the lines of, well, whatever OMG is in Alpha Centurion. So runs the premise of the Jon Stewart's newest book, Earth (The Book). Earth is a picture filled (thank god) and easy to read guidebook for those alien visitors to a planet that no longer has to worry about human infestations.
    Earth is filled with images of all those pop-cultures, imperfections, and annoyances that one would gladly leave the planet to escape. There is very little on this planet that does not have some sort of connection to something in this book. Some of his targets include creationists and school boards, fast-food restaurants, obesity, the medical bureaucracy, and the use of the brassiere as an instrument of social control. George W. Bush doesn't escape, of course. But then, neither does J.D. Salinger. This book will almost definitely make aliens breathe a sigh of relief, for they'll be glad that they didn't have to deal with the headaches of wiping us out.
    How we bowed out of existence however, is not a topic discussed heavily within its pages. The best explanation that Jon Stewart and his fellow writers at The Daily Show relinquish about our apocalypse is towards the end of the book in an appendix that starts out with, "At some point between the time this was written and the time you are reading it, we perished." Some of those possibilities include ecological catastrophe, nuclear holocaust, disease, robot rebellion and rapture-the last with a generous 30-to-one chance of occurring and evidenced by an "overall Jesus-y' feeling in the air."
    Overall, this book really shows how Stewart is just about the only figure on television that is able to get at the truth about the flood of idiocy and lunacy that has washed over the planet. Stewart has also become a pop phenom, which means that Earth is likely to be a big book. Deservedly-it's a lot of fun, with a serious message or two tucked away among the japes. Regular viewers of the show will know exactly what they're in for-and readers of whatever stripe, save those who are fans of McDonald's and Satan, are likely to enjoy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 3, 2010

    ANYTHING JON STEWART PRODUCES IS FUNNY AND GREAT & TRUTHFUL

    BOOK WILL BE IN MY AUGUSTA, MAINE STORE ON SEPTEMBER 21ST. I WILL BE THERE WAITING WITH BREADED BREATH:)

    0 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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