As a long-time viewer of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart’s announcement that he is to step down as host of the Daily Show later this year made me very sad. Which is weird and a little bit silly, but bear with me.

The Daily Show and Jon Stewart have provided me a greater understanding of American politics, ever since the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11 and especially for the time that G lived and worked in the US. Stewart provided a perspective on the Zeitgeist in the US that often resulted in me muttering the words ‘are you fucking kidding me?’ to myself, as, yet again, Stewart provided another dose of political insanity and farce from ‘Merica.

Going by the media reaction, I wasn’t the only one struck by the announcement.

It felt like every news outlet in the world picked up the story and eulogised a still very much alive and on the air comedian. Of course, the speculation as to what Stewart would do after the Daily Show kicked off immediately – brilliant timing then from the social team at Arby’s who suggested Stewart should work for them.

Now, for those not familiar, Stewart has used Arby’s as his personal whipping boy for quite some time now. His beef with Arby’s is completely made up and utterly exaggerated, but as his regular insults will undoubtedly have led to social media chatter aimed at Arby’s, it’s no wonder that Arby’s social media team keep a close eye on Comedy Central when the show airs.

But, of course, there was no way that Arby’s would have the last word, as Stewart responded to the job offer on his show the next day (the sound quality on this clip is pants, you’re going to have to turn it all the way up)

I suspect we haven’t seen that last of this…

In the meantime, head over to the HuffPo for a compilation of some of Stewart’s best work.

Obama and Buzzfeed

There’s so much to love about Obama’s appearance on Buzzfeed this week, encouraging Americans to sign up for health care.

Now, while the video is a postmodern masterpiece of pop culture and political references, what struck me is how it was delivered.

It is not hosted on Buzzfeed’s nor on the White House’s YouTube channel.

Instead, it’s on Facebook’s video platform which is then embedded in a typically headed Buzzfeed post, “Things Everybody Does But Doesn’t Talk About“.

Clearly Obama’s comms team understand where there target audience is, how to reach them, what kind of language to use and that they can’t take themselves too seriously – despite the fact that this is the president of the United States and the importance of the message of getting health insurance.

Over 36 million views, almost a million likes and half a million shares in three day, and hopefully a lot of traffic to healthcare.gov.

Nicely done Mr. President.

Also, kudos for the ‘Thanks, Obama’ line.

Bits and bytes

  • Fabulous little PR Stunt by South West Trains this Valentine’s Day – subtly changing station names to things such as ‘London Waterlove’, ‘When Harry met Salisbury’, ‘Hampton Courting’… Cute, however, many of the comments did also point out that a cheesy pun doesn’t make up for a delayed train
  • Sick of being bombarded by ads everywhere you look? Students have hacked an Oculus Rift to build an augmented reality ad blocker that strips out brand logos from your field of vision. Now, you currently have to wear a somewhat obtrusive device on your head, but you could imagine this being something that becomes smaller and more portable over time
  • Facebook introduces the ‘legacy contact‘ – the person that will be able to take control of your profile when you die
  • And the award for stating the bleeding obvious goes to: Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo: ‘We suck at dealing with abuse

Videos of the week

Would you pick up a prescription from sorta Greg? Well… if it’s Heisenberg I just might.

Take a 2015 Mustang and a beautiful professional stunt driver. Then, ask a bunch of unsuspecting guys to meet her on a blind date they’ll never see coming. Welcome to Mustang Speed Dating.

And finally

What does your lunch say about you?

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