Posts From Author: jon stewart

A Year in Tehran

The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran by Hooman Majd NY: Anchor Books, 2014; 272pp “I advise you not to hang around the Americans very much.” This friendly advice, given to the author and journalist Hooman Majd by a doorman at a hotel in Tehran, while he is travelling with a CNN crew, in some ways typifies his experience at the hands of Iranian officialdom. In The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran, Majd chronicles the year he recently spent with his (American) wife and baby son living in his motherland. It was the year of what Majd calls Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “big sulk;” the Occupy movement; the main events of the Arab Spring. At a fraught political juncture, there is perhaps inevitably a strong Kafkaesque flavor to much of Majd and his friends’ interactions with the police and the government. But while this excellent, concise work of social commentary doesn’t shy away from politics, its fascination and pleasure lie just as much in its gentle revelation of everyday life in Iran. Nostalgia, an insoluble emotion at the best of times, ghosts both what has been and what […]
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Elliott Kalan Has To Be Funny Every Day

Do you watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart? We watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Do you know who Elliott Kalan is? If not, listen up, hotshot, because Elliott is the head writer on The Daily Show! Jealous? Well, as he told, “to be completely clear, objectively nothing is cooler than what I’m doing right now”. So you’re right to be. Elliott’s been in the chair since January this year, when he took over from Tim Carvell, who’d gone off to run John Oliver’s new show, Last Week Tonight (a weeklier version of the nightly news, as the ads say). He’s been working on The Daily Show for over a decade, starting as an intern in 2003. (That’s right, fellas: there’s hope! Read this great interview with Co.Create to find out Elliott’s tips for your meteoric rise…) He later became a production assistant, a segment producer, a writer… and now, head writer. Which, by and large, means that he has to be funny every day. And, presumably exponentially more difficult, make sure everyone else is funny every day. No mean feat. On the side, he’s one third of the movie-reviewing trio The Flop House (“a great listen for movie fans“, according to the New York […]
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