Tom RostonIndependent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @DocSoupMan.

Doc Soup: The Audacity of Hope

by |

Maybe it’s the Obama campaign, but the activist in me is coming out and I’ve got something I’m fired up about. I have to admit, it’s not entirely a selfless cause. It’s something that could have great political impact, but, just as important, it’s something that could make us all laugh. And I think we all need some of both right about now.
Jon StewartThis idea started with the really impressive box office receipts for Bill Maher‘s Religulous. The movie has already made more than $4 million, and, let’s be honest here (see my review from last week), the movie stars an a-hole. So, what if, what if, there was a documentary that starred someone whom (most) everybody loves? What if Jon Stewart starred in his own Morgan Spurlock-Michael Moore-Bill Maher-like documentary? Imagine the laughs! Imagine the sharp critical jousting! Imagine the groundswell of support for whatever cause Stewart decides to focus his wide, gimlet eye on! Like, for starters, how about the economic mess we’re in?

Ah, but then who should direct such a doc with such immense potential? Larry Charles (Religulous), Spike Lee, Alex Gibney seem like choices that studio suits would gravitate towards, but I don’t think they’d work. I guess Stewart would probably feel most comfortable with one of his Daily Show cohorts, but may I humbly suggest Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) or Joe Berlinger/Bruce Sinofsky (Brother’s Keeper)? I think those guys could guide the film and know where to put the camera, but, most importantly, let Stewart do his thing.

I put a couple calls in to Stewart’s people, and I don’t think there’s anything in the works. What gives? We need you now, Jon, more than ever before. Get out there, make a feature doc, and change the world! Stop hiding behind that Comedy Central desk. Your country, your planet, needs you.

And so, I submit to you, POV website readers and Internet passers-by, to sign my petition to get Jon Stewart to make a feature documentary. I assume if we get more than 500,000 signatures, then some producer is bound to get the financing for the project, and for Stewart to be unable to not respond to the call. So, respond to this post in the comment section with a Yay or a Nay for Stewart to make a feature doc.

The audacity of hope, indeed.

Disclaimer: If there are fewer than 5 responses to this post, then, Jon, please don’t take this as a lack of support, or a forecast of limited box office. Let’s just assume America’s activism is currently focused on the presidential election. Wink-wink.

Tom Roston
Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He comes to us as a ten-year veteran of Premiere magazine, where he was a Senior Editor, and where he wrote the column, Notes from the Dream Factory. Tom was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, GQ, New York, Elle and other publications. Tom's favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi - Godfrey Reggio 2. Hoop Dreams - Steve James 3. The Up series - Michael Apted 4. Crumb - Terry Zwigoff 5. Capturing the Friedmans - Andrew Jarecki
  • Karen

    FOREIGNID: 17677
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    YAY!

  • Shirley

    FOREIGNID: 17678
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I would totally watch a Jon Stewart documentary!

  • james

    FOREIGNID: 17679
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    STEWART FOR PRE-PRODUCTION IN ’08!

  • Jennifer G.

    FOREIGNID: 17680
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    I vote yay!

  • Becka

    FOREIGNID: 17681
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    Hey I’m number 5! We’ve met our minimum goal! I would LOVE to see a doc done by Mr. Stewart.

  • Joy

    FOREIGNID: 17682
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    YAY!

  • John

    FOREIGNID: 18336
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    We would like to nominate you for a FreedomToBlog.com Best of Blog Entry.
    Please visit our site at: http://www.freedomtoblog.com to submit your blog entry!
    Benefits include:
    1) Permanent Backlinks to your blog
    2) Fully SEO optimized for maximum exposure
    3) A chance to be published into a top 500 best of blog book"