The Problem Podcast
The Problem With Jon: Mailbag Episode
We finally checked our voicemail and hereby present our first ever mailbag episode. Jon is joined by Chelsea, Jay, and Robby to engage with your questions, comments, and criticism about the show and Jon’s increasingly fragile appearance.
The Problem with Jon Stewart Podcast
Episode 10 Transcript
Jon Stewart: How many are going to be over today? This is this is our mailbag. We don’t have a song for this. Do we? Like mailbag!
Chelsea Devantez: Well, let’s get one.
Robby Slowik: Yeah let’s get one.
Jay Jurden: Oh is that it?
Jon: Oh we’re listening to people’s comments and feedback.
Chelsea: Da da da da da.
Jon: On the – oh sorry, I got to wrap up. Sorry.
Robby: We’re getting reprimanded by our producer.
Jon: Okay,, everybody. So today’s episode is a very special episode of the podcast. This is our most anticipated podcast, at least around the office. It’s going to be mailbag time. We’re going to get audience feedback coming out as it’s called “Come at me, bro.” And that’s going to start. We’re here with Jon. That’s me. Jay.
Jon: And Chelsea.
Jon: We set up a hotline. Some of our audience members called in and left their opinions, their thoughts, their dreams, their anger, their cursing. They left it on there. We then answer them. It’s feedback. Chelsea and I have not heard this, Jay. Have you heard this?
Jay: I have not heard flying in blind.
Jon: So Jay, Chelsea and I are flying in blind. Robby, on the other hand, has – did you curate these or you?
Robby: Yes. I-
Jon: Did you have to sift through them?
Robby: – Yeah. So our coordinator, Norma and then Caroline, she’s one of the PA’s, they sifted through like hundreds –
Chelsea: Yeah, how many did we get?
Robby: – Oh, three, 400. We got 400-
Chelsea: And we capped the voicemail too right like –
Robby: We did cap it yeah.
Chelsea: Like so there might have been more than 400, but we said no –
Jay: There was a day where they said, “Stop.”
Jay: “Stop calling.”
Jon: Is that what the kids mean by no cap?
Chelsea: That is not.
Jon: All right. I didn’t –
Jay: Big cap on that meaning no cap.
Jon: Big cap, no cap. Robby is someone who has seen the continuum of this.
Jon: I assume it runs the gamut generally because this is what happens to me in my regular life from overly praising to the death penalty.
Robby: So this was I will say, you’re unbelievably annoying because we were like, this is called Come at me, bro.
Jon: Come at me, bro.
Robby: What’s your problem with the problem? Let Jon Stew have it.
Jon: You got a problem?
Robby: Yeah, that’s exactly. That’s it. And what we got was like 300 voice messages like, “Thank you so much.”
Jay: Oh no.
Robby: “For all that you do.”
Robby: And it’s like, I can’t – play these. It would be the Kim Jong UN Radio Hour.
Jon: Oh my God.
Robby: If we played these for you.
Jon: That’s hilarious.
Robby: So Caroline, one of the PA’s, took it on herself to try to drum some of this stuff up, so she went to reddit –
Jon: Stirred the pot a little bit.
Robby: – Stirred the pot one –
Jon: Chum the water.
Robby: – Exactly. Yes. So she went to read it the septic tank of the internet. And she went to these conservative subreddits and she’s like that corporate shill Jon Stewart’s back again –
Jay: Wait a second, she found my account.
Robby: – Yeah.
Chelsea: Oh my God.
Jon: Aw this is awesome.
Robby: “He’s like Pitching is liberal trash all around. He’s never been – ” By the way, it really spewed out of her, like it came very naturally.
Jon: Really? That’s exciting.
Robby: She’s like –
Chelsea: She dropped the hotline number?
Robby: Yes and she’s like, “I found I dug around. I found a number you can call to let him know how you feel.”
Jon: She went Project Veritas on that shit.
Robby: And then that thread got like dozens and dozens of comments.
Robby: That’s like, “I watched the first episode and I was so touched.”
Jay: Wait, so Caroline went BlacKkKlansman? Caroline went BlacKkKlansman on this.
Robby: Yeah, exactly. And then all of the responses were like, “Jon is a treasure. How dare you – ” We couldn’t even drum it up.
Jon: You couldn’t even get subreddits?
Robby: No. Even the subreddits of, like, very conservative people that outwardly hate you.
Jon: Well, I’m excited. This is the largest buildup. [LAUGHS]. This is going to be –
Jay: It also sucks that we radicalize a PA to get this.
Robby: That’s true.
Jay: I’m sorry that we lost one.
Chelsea: She actually left the show.
Chelsea: She’s working on the Greg Gutfeld comedy hour.
Robby: Well, let’s kick it off shall we?
Jon: All right. Let’s do it, man.
Robby: All right.
Jon: Let’s do it. Here we go.
Robby: So let’s kick off –
Jon: Set it up, Robby. You’re going to DJ.
Robby: – I’m deejaying it. So there was some criticism when there was some, it was unfortunately constructive and thoughtful which is annoying.
Jon: Oh boy.
Robby: But let’s get let’s get into it.
Jon: All right.
Robby: We’ll kick it off with Chase from Iowa, who has a question that I think is on a lot of people’s minds.
Jon: All right, Chase.
Caller: “Hey, Jon, big fan.”
Jon: Good start.
Caller: “I’m just wondering one thing.”
Caller: “How much do you weigh?” –
Caller: – “I just am genuinely curious. Are you? Are you a solid human or are you frail like the Queen of England? There’s going to be no in between, in my personal opinion.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: First of all, it’s a question that’s on more minds than just Chase’s –
Jon: – Because I hear that a lot and I can- I can tell Chase he’s from Iowa, which is, you know, it’s the heartland.
Jay: Cornfed, Chase.
Jon: It’s America’s food basket. And it’s so so I can see where that concern would come from. I think what I would say to Chase is I’m far closer to the Queen of England than I am comfortable with –
Jon: – That there was a time in my life where if you were to suggest that I was in any way physically resembling the Queen of England, I would scoff.
Jon: Now, when you suggest it I’m like, Yeah, I don’t think I could even put it on that crown she wears, I’d be like, that’d be a lot.
Chelsea: You know what –
Jon: That would – That’d be a lot for my head muscles.
Chelsea: You know what I love about this voicemail. It’s just so nice to see a man on TV get bullied for his weight. You know, it’s usually the women taking this hit.
Robby: We’ve come so far.
Chelsea: And I just – I just love to see the equality happening right here.
Jon: Can I tell you what the bullying is? It’s not about the amount. I think what he’s suggesting is, are your bones hollow, like a seagull? Like, I think he’s, I think he’s almost bullying me for lack of weight.
Chelsea: Yeah. Oh yeah.
Robby: Yes. Yes.
Jon: And maybe even concern that with climate change –
Jay: Oh yes.
Jon: And the increased –
Chelsea: Food insecurity.
Jon: – Volatility of the weather patterns. Not so much food insecurity, I think he’s worried about wind.
Chelsea: Oh [LAUGHS]
Jay: Yes. Yeah, we’re going to go. We’re going to be down here in a couple of days and just be flying a Jon kite. [LAUGHS]
Jon: I got to tell you, though, it’s a great one to start off with because now we’ve sort of set the parameters for the thing, which is some of the audience thinks I might be dying.
Jay: But Jon –
Jon: So they’re going to go easy.
Jay: – Jon, pivot, pivot. You know what? Actually lose more weight, become the Timothee Chalamet of Gen X. That’s who you could be. They could be like, “Look at this.”
Jon: Jay –
Jay: “Look at this sexy sexy man.
Jon: – Can I tell you something I’ve always admired your ability to see the good side.
Jon: To see the positive in this for me to suggest that I’m going to become the Timothee Chalamet of the AARP.
Jon: Almost a contradiction in terms.
Jon: But I’m delighted to give it my best shot.
Chelsea: That’s a good goal.
Jon: And by the way, around 160.
Jay: Oh, okay.
Jon: Yeah, around 160, by the way, stone.
Jon: No, no, stone.
Robby: Just like the Queen of England.
Jon: That’s right.
Jay: That’s what bird swallow to stay heavy.
Jon: I do everything in stone. All right.
Robby: All right. We have –
Jon: Give me another one. Give me another one.
Robby: Next up we have Michael, who I can only assume is from Chicago.
Jon: Wait. Michael Jordan?
Jon: All right. Let’s hear.
CALLER: “Hey, Jon and the cast of The Problem with, well, you’re doing a lot of amazing work, Jon did famously shit on Chicago style pizza.”
Jon: Oh boy.
CALLER: “Well, I understand he’s a little jealous being from New Jersey and all.”
CALLER: “You guys have tomato pie, which is to Chicago style pizza what Piers Morgan is to journalism.”
CALLER: “So thanks everyone – “
Jon: That’s a stretch.
Caller: “ – that’s part of The Problem with but fuck you, Jon Stewart.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: Let me tell you something, it began in the most Midwestern way possible.
Chelsea: So nice.
Jon: With, but also saluting you with the proper, I’d like to address the problem with.
Chelsea: Yeah no.
Jay: Jon and the staff of the problem with.
Jon: Sticking to protocols.
Chelsea: And I like that he made sure he was like everyone else, “great job.” It was just you.
Jon: Yeah, it’s very few times in life to somebody start off with something that’s so adheres to protocol so beautifully that ends with, “And fuck you.”
Jay: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Jon: It’s unusual.
Chelsea: You know, I got to say though, I lived in Chicago for seven years and I’m I’m with him man. Deep dish is where it’s at. Chicago style is what’s up and fuck you, Jon Stewart.
Jon: No one has ever disputed that it is food.
Jon: And I’ve, and I’ve never in any of this, you know, this is not an Arby’s situation where you’ve challenged your bowels to war.
Jon: The deep dish pizza. The thing that always surprised me about deep dish and I’m going to get in the taste or whether it’s pizza which it isn’t. It’s more when they make it and they come to your table and they make you stare at the cheese pull.
Chelsea: That’s the exotica.
Robby: That’s the best part.
Chelsea: That’s the foreplay of the pizza eating.
Jon: But I’m not –
Jay: I’ve been in Chicago, there is actual porn there. You don’t have to settle for pizza.
Jon: – I was going to say, like, I’ve been to Vegas and seen magicians make less of a fucking deal –
Jon: – Of making a tiger disappear than a waiter at a deep dish pizza place for the fact that cheese, when heated, has elasticity.
Jon: Yeah, I was just –
Chelsea: Coming at big cheese.
Jon: – Yeah, and I was just like when he pulled it up there, I was like, “You know what, motherfucker? Stay there for 30 seconds and watch what happens? Because guess what? You won’t be able to move.”
Chelsea: Jon and his 160 pounds.
Chelsea: You know, I think you maybe need that deep dish. I think these two voicemails go together.
Jon: They do.
Chelsea: You need the deep dish up that.
Jay: I’m going to confess something. Pro deep dish?
Chelsea: Pro deep dish.
Jay: Anti deep dish.
Jay: Anti deep dish have written about it. I don’t think –
Jay: Yeah, I don’t think it –
Chelsea: What a platform.
Jon: Like a dissertation?
Jay: It’s a casserole. No!
Jon: It was a casserole.
Jay: It’s a casserole, and I love a good casserole, which is what the Midwest does best. But it’s very casseroley.
Robby: I just know when I was in Chicago, everyone’s like, “You got to check out Lou Malnati’s.”
Robby: Which to me –
Jon: Lou Malnati.
Robby: Sounds like Illuminati I was like, “The anti-Semitism in this town.” [LAUGHS]
Chelsea: Oh boy, oh boy.
Jon: That’s when they pulled out, and there’s just one guy in a triangle that comes out of the pie. Here’s what’s interesting when we did the bit on the show s***ting on deep dish pizza as a casserole, as an above ground swimming pool for rats like –
Jon: – We, you know, did the whole gambit. Really ran through the whole fucking thing. And at the end of the bit, sang the praises of maybe 12 five borough pizza joints from Brooklyn to Staten [Island] from Denino’s to Totonno’s. You know what I’m saying?
Jon: The only people that sent us pizza were from Chicago.
Jay: Oh no.
Chelsea: That’s right.
Jon: We got sent just dozens and dozens and dozens of deep dish pizzas. And like New Yorkers like, “Yeah, it’s fucking good. But don’t think you’re getting a discount.”
Jon: Like, meanwhile, the Chicago people were like, “You know, you really s*** all over this. Try one.”
Chelsea: “Here’s 20 pounds of cheese for free.”
Jon: That’s right and then Lou Malnati, actually came on the show and I had to taste it in front of them. And because he was there and I’m not crazy about conflict, I was just like, “Mm!”
Chelsea: I’m sorry, did you just say you’re not crazy about conflict?
Jay: Chelsea, wait a second. Back track.
Jon: I did.
Jay: Jon, you are an amazing actor.
Jon: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Robby: And so I just realized now we really have a Midwestern theme because our next caller is from Indiana and this is Zachary, and he’s got a very legitimately thoughtful question.
Jon: You know what? Our show might be the high fructose corn syrup –
Jon: – Of television it’s only appealing to America’s –
Robby: It’s subsidized in the Midwest.
Jon: – Yeah. That’s exactly right.
CALLER: “Hi, my name is Zachary from Indiana. My concern has to do with your first episode the issue of burn pits left behind by the United States.”
CALLER: “I feel like the issue was covered more on the domestic side, returning veterans not getting veteran – ”
CALLER: “– VA benefits.”
Jon: I know where he’s going with this.
CALLER: “While that is a concern of mine, I also feel that the show overlooked the Afghan issue.”
Jon: No. No.
CALLER: “Burn pits.”
Chelsea: Oh you’re not on the phone.
Jon: I’m not on the phone with him.
Robby: He’s a pretend man.
Jon: Yeah he’s going to keep going. All right.
CALLER: “The Afgans have to live with that.”
Jon: Yes and Iraqis by the way.
CALLER: “And I think that the show failed to cover the environmental problems on the people that we fight.
Jon: Not going to argue.Yeah.
Jon: You know what?
CALLER: “Yup, that’s it.”
Jon: Oh. All right.
CALLER: “Thank you so much.”
Jon: You’re very welcome. The only thing that was missing is, and I feel like this should be the sign off for every call, “And fuck you Jon Stewart.”
Jon: Again, like incredibly thoughtful. Well thought out. He’s dead on right. Now we did have, if I may throw in the word bonus content, but if you remember, so we had two big panels. One was the veterans themselves who had been experiencing the health effects of this sort of thing. And the second panel was where we were going to have a larger discussion about the thing in that panel discussion. The exact point that he made, we made. Every time you export something that is corrosive to your own culture, think of –
Jay: Like deep dish.
Jon: – Like deep dish. Think of what it does to a culture that doesn’t have the infrastructure or benefits that even we have. So if you look at something and you say to yourself, this is a tragedy in a industrialized, wealthy country. Think about what that tragedy is in a less industrialized, poorer country that is left with this. He’s absolutely right. It should have been done more forthrightly and not in bonus content. And fuck you, Jon Stewart.
Chelsea: And you know, we covered this on our newsletter, our first issue. There’s a lot of really great articles you can read and I this also calls back to Agent Orange and the similarities with that, like the Vietnamese people, are still dealing with the effects –
Chelsea: – Yeah.
Jon: It’s mutagenic. I mean that that’s carried through generations.
Chelsea: Yeah, they’re still currently dealing with it, and our veterans are still not getting care for that one.
Jon: No, no question. And it really speaks to, you know, I’m trying to figure out if it’s recklessness or malevolence or some combination of both because you do feel like, “Boy, are we malevolent or are we just fucking reckless?”
Jon: And we just walk away after, you know, are we the bull in a China shop that just walks out of there? Like “I, I found that receipt.”
Jon: You walk out –
Chelsea: That feels right.
Jon: – And the whole fucking place is trash.
Chelsea: That feels right for what America is.
Robby: I feel like you can only do the same thing over and over and over again and still get away with reckless at a certain point it’s just it is malevolence.
Jon: All right. Yeah, okay.
Jon: I was trying to be gentle there but now who was that that said that?
Jay: You have to go easy on the US government?
Chelsea: That was Zachary.
Jon: Zachary had mailbag moment of the – -It’s not a mailbag, though I guess if it’s voice messages.
Jay & Robby: It’s a voice mail bag.
Chelsea: It’s a voice – oh boy.
Robby: We share an office. We have a bargain hunter with an update for you.
Jon: Beautiful. Let’s bring it.
CALLER: “Hey Jon.”
Jon: Oh boy.
CALLER: “It’s your friend Chrissy from Texas.”
Jon: Hi Chrissy.
CALLER: “I noticed your your book, ‘America Citizen’s Guide to Democracy’ is currently selling on eBay for two dollars and 90 cents.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: Thank you so much Chris. Wait that’s it?
Chelsea: That’s it?
Robby: That’s it.
Jon: That’s the only comment?
Robby: Just had an update for you.
Jon: Why not just title that, “Hey, what’s up? You bargain basement, motherfucker?”
Chelsea: Hey listen you can be a Zachary you can be a Chrissy. You can be concerned about what we’ve done over in Afghanistan, or you can be tracking your book on eBay.
Jon: And, by the way, would have been so much – I think we should do this again. Like you would do the fortune cookie. You always have to add at the end of whatever you say. “Fuck you, Jon Stewart.”
Jon: It’s just it’s got to be embed.
Chelsea: You know what I think we should do?
Jon: Of any kind.
Chelsea: I think it should play the clip of the first voicemail just at the end of each of these.
Jon: Like a little –
Jon: Like a tag. Yeah. Then we would be doing morning radio.
Jon: That’s what you do in morning radio you just you hit that tag just like, “Fuck you Jon Stewart.”
Chelsea: Wait wait wait.
Jon: Let me ask you a question if you’re on eBay. Does that come up? Like does – is eBay algorithmed in the way that other social media is like, for instance, if you express an interest in political satire, will your page be populated then? In other words, could this have come across his radar –
Jon: – Naturally.
Jay: I think if you’re on eBay, then your dial-up connection has to get started first, right?
Jon: Oh, Jay.
Robby: Taking shots.
Jay: Doesn’t you- don’t you have to go to the [Jay mimics AOL Dial Up Internet Connection Sound].
Jon: Jay, do you shop online?
Jay: Yes. Yes. You can buy –
Jon: See that makes no sense.
Jay: You can buy things on Instagram now.
Chelsea: I’m going to say something really fucked up.
Chelsea: Instagram, you know, is watching and reading your phone and listening to you and whatever. And to that, I say thank you because, man, they send me the ads they send me exactly what I’m looking for.
Chelsea: Oh yeah, I’ll be like, “I’m kind of looking for some – ”
Jon: But what does Instagram advertise?
Chelsea, Jay, & Robby: Oh.
Robby: Whatever you want.
Chelsea: I bought this sweater on Instagram.
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Robby: It reads you. It knows what you’re into.
Chelsea: It knows what I like.
Jon: I know but it’s not a store. It’s just pictures.
Chelsea: No, it’s just like a data –
Jon: It serves you up the exact right ads from third parties. It knows everything about you and everything it offers you as an ad. You’re like, I want this.
Jay: Even from a Google search standpoint.
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Robby: It takes your cookies from all over the internet.
Chelsea: And this is what –
Jon: By the way, I just want that. I want you to say that to me again, but I want you to stare in my eyes. When you say it.
Robby: Jon, it takes your cookies from all over the internet.
Jay: Jon. Jon, look at me. Look at me in the face when I take these cookies from you. Okay? These are my cookies now, boy.
Jon: But I have to say the reason why I don’t like shopping online. So for those who don’t know, Nina is a wonderful woman who has helped me with wardrobe for many years.
Jay: If it weren’t for her, Jon would just wear burlap. That’s it. Just a burlap.
Jon: So Nina found me a T-shirt that I like very much. So I was like, “Oh, what’s the name of this company? I’m going to go, I’m going to go buy some more of these.” So I go home and I go online to the and I find the T-shirt, but there’s eight different kinds of that T-shirt. So it’s that T-shirt. And then they’re like, “Do you want the slim cut of the Egyptian cotton or do you want the poly slim? Or do you want the short man’s cut? Or do you want?” And I was just like, I don’t fucking know. I’d have to see it.
Chelsea: You didn’t click the Queen of England featherweight cut?
Jay: Yeah. You didn’t get the seagull outfit?
Jon: Okay, now we’re just doing a hurtful call.
Jon: Now, now it just feels like. But you understand what I’m saying, like –
Jon: Who knew that there was any of those? I’m accustomed to you go to a store. This T-shirt is there. You feel it. Maybe you go into the dressing room and put it on and-.
Jay: Maybe take whole pictures in that dressing room and you send them out. And then someone says, “Jay, you don’t got put all this on the internet all the time.” And then you go, “I thought I looked good.” And then he goes, “Weren’t you buying a shirt?” And I say, “Yeah, eventually I’m going to put this shirt on but there’s was a full length mirror.” And then, you know, Chelsea says, “Jay, we got to talk about what you put on Twitter.” And then you could do a cool segment with Jon and you buy a T-shirt.
Robby: Jay is not kidding. I’ve seen his Instagram.
Chelsea: You know what?
Jon: So, so exactly what, Jay said? That’s what I said.
Chelsea: All right.
Robby: All right. We better keep this thing moving.
Jon: All right. Keep it going. Keep it going.
Robby: This is going to be a long episode. This is actually again, a thoughtful, nuanced question.
Jon: Aw Jesus.
Jay: Why do people have to get smart?
Jon: All right.
CALLER: “Hey, Jon, really enjoyed your interview with Janet Yellen.”
Jon: Oh thanks.
CALLER: “But throughout the interview, you were rightfully so lambasting exploitative and evasive, shadowy tactics that companies use in order to basically avoid paying for taxes and infrastructure that they utilize.”
CALLER: “You cited Wal-Mart, for example.”
CALLER: “I guess it’s hard for me to juxtapose you doing that –”
Jon: I know where this is going.
CALLER: “With working for Apple.”
CALLER: “And I guess I was just wondering how you come to terms with that.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: First of all, super easy to come to terms with it.
Jay: Super easy to come to terms and agreements with it. You just click a box.
Jon: That you just click a box. He’s what he has found is the dilemma of all dilemmas, which is where do you draw the line of principled action and criticism while still living the exploitative life that we all live to some point? Now, Chelsea and I used to have this conversation. Do you remember we had this conversation?
Chelsea: Oh yeah. And you know, I’m ready to fight it out again.
Jay: Wait. About what?
Jon: It was about. So I had friends that had voted for Trump and the people that I like that are, you know they’re –
Jay: I’m from Mississippi. I know a lot of people like that.
Jon: Okay, so you know, like that I don’t disqualify them from being around them and being friendly with them based on certain things. And your point was that that’s –
Chelsea: Jon, I said they’re all racist.
Jon: Oh right that’s right. She said they’re all racists.
Chelsea: And you were like, “They’re not all racists.” And I was like, “Every one of them.”
Jon: Every one of them. It wasn’t as nuanced a conversation as we might normally have. And I was like –
Chelsea: And also, I didn’t say that I was new to the job. I said something much lighter. I felt then and now.
Chelsea: That’s a vote for Trump was a racist vote.
Chelsea: And you felt I was putting myself on a moral high ground like everything I like I don’t have any sort of isms or whatever to me. And you were like, “You have a phone.”
Chelsea: “Made in China.”
Chelsea: “By children. How do you live with yourself?” Maybe you’re –
Jon: Come at me, bro!
Jon: Come at me, bro.
Chelsea: That is a zero sum game. So if we want to discuss how phones are made and how I’m a consumer and what type of crimes I purport by having an iPhone that is all valid. But none of that takes away from the argument or fact, that voting for Trump was a racist decision.
Jon: I don’t think it was about a racist [decision] it was that you don’t care enough about race to make that choice to distance yourself from them.
Chelsea: And I’m saying that’s racism.
Jon: Oh, oh I see what you’re saying.
Chelsea: I’m saying, like by not caring or thinking it didn’t matter or thinking it was okay is absolutely a racist act.
Jon: So let me ask you a question in that. What role does grace play in our society?
Chelsea: I think – yeah.
Jon: Because if you if none of us and I don’t want to like he who is without sin cast the first stone because you’re right, you have to be able to make commentary. But at the baseline of that, doesn’t there have to be an appreciation that we all participate in exploitative processes?
Chelsea: Um I yes, yes. But yes, I will give you that. I will give you that.
Jon: Boom. Boom.
Chelsea: And yeah, I will give you that, but I still don’t think it detracts from what that decision meant and did and what that vote did. And listen, the fact that I’m saying this on a podcast where all the callers are men, my life is going to be over in the comments.
Chelsea: It’s going to be over. But I do –
Jon: Comments blocked.
Chelsea: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Jay: Comments. If you attack Chelsea, please make it about something else.
Jon: Yes. Thank you.
Chelsea: I also think grace is something else. I think grace does play a big part in it.
Jon: But doesn’t that seem definitive? I guess my point is like because we all participate in those things. Isn’t it hard to make blanket definitive statements like if you voted for Trump, you are by necessity, racist?
Chelsea: No, I and I would still say that now, but I will say this I participate in racism. We all – this is a racist society. It isn’t an equal society.
Jon: But if everything is racist, nothing is racist.
Chelsea: No, that’s not true. Everything is racist.
Chelsea: It’s true. That is the base level of our everything built in our society has racism within it.
Chelsea: And and to vote for Trump was to take it up a notch. I think it’s also how we look at the word, “racist,” because I think especially white people, it’s like, “That’s racist.” They’re like, “But I don’t want to kill all black people.” And you’re like, “Yeah, that’s not what racism means.” Racism simply means not saying something when someone says something offensive 20 feet away towards a black person like, racism is passive.
Jon: Couldn’t that be shyness?
Chelsea: It could be. But it is –
Jon: How about this? A vote for Trump is a vote for shyness.
Jay: We want a meek candidate.
Chelsea: I just think I think racism is very passive action that most people take in life. And I think when you vote, that’s a very active action and you’re choosing one that will be worse for people of color. You can’t pretend it won’t. You can say other things matter to me more, and that’s fine. And it doesn’t mean like you can’t hang out with them. You can. It’s just but it is a fact that it was a worse vote.
Jon: So you’re saying every decision that we make is, in essence, racist.
Chelsea: I think we live in a racist society.
Jon: Right. Is it also sexist?
Jon: And classist
Chelsea: Homophobic. And classist.
Chelsea: Class – it’s classism gets overlooked. Probably the most.
Chelsea: But what we do, it’s like you have to actively work against it to not be those things, which is all to say that like, I don’t think I’m like without sin.
Chelsea: I just did think when you do make a vote like that, you can’t pretend it’s not affecting a certain group of people more than it’s going to affect you.
Chelsea: If you are a white person.
Jon: Right. And if you buy – and if you buy a vote and you can’t pretend that it’s not affecting a certain group of people.
Chelsea: Exactly, exactly. And I think both are true, but they’re not. One doesn’t cancel the other out.
Robby: I would like to –
Chelsea: I also went to all your friends houses, and I like lit bag of shit on fire.
Jon: But doesn’t it, but doesn’t it cancel it out if you pointing out somebody’s sin right, and then they point out, you’re sin like so we’re even.
Chelsea: No, no, no, you can’t. I can point out your sin, and we need to talk about how you vote and what that vote’s going to do. Then you can point out my sin and –
Jon: To be clear, though. I did NOT vote for [Trump].
Jon: I just want to make it clear here.
Jay: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We want –
Chelsea: We should clarify that.
Jay: – We want everyone to know that Jon does not vote. I’ve never even looked at it.
Jon: It wasn’t about that the vote was racist. It was that my proximity to someone who voted that way was deemed as because I was still had proximity to them. That was racist.
Chelsea: Oh, I didn’t even know that’s what I was insinuating. Can you believe the balls I had on me as your staff writer?
Chelsea: That, but that’s not what I meant.
Jon: I remember saying in that moment. “Girl, I like the cut of your jib.”
Chelsea: “You’re going to be head writer one day.”
Jon: “You’re hired.”
Chelsea: No, no, no. Of course. I mean, I mean, like, I have family members like, you know what I mean.
Chelsea: No, no, this is it. I very strongly felt like the vote was racist, but I didn’t think feel like I was arguing what a proximity to a person who voted for Trump meant.
Jon: So what is the responsibility? Okay, maybe this gets it to a different conversation.
Jon: Right? What is the responsibility that we all have when faced with participating in exploitative systems? So if I am friendly with someone who voted for Trump and that’s a racist vote, what’s my responsibility in that? So putting it into like a more maybe productive place, what is our responsibility in participating in those systems? Like how how should I have handled that?
Chelsea: My personal thing is that and it’s not a correct answer. It’s just that you try. So I know Postmates is fucking over delivery drivers constantly. What? What is my try? I try to tip a bunch of tip in cash. Is that fixing it? No, but I try.
Jon: But so but if I argue with my friends, which I do –
Jon: – Is that considered trying?
Jay: Oh, 100 percent.
Chelsea: I think that’s the best thing you can do, be their friend and talk to them.
Jon: Argue with them?
Chelsea & Jay: Yes.
Jay: Not only they argue with them. Give them s*** about it constantly. The best part about anyone who voted for Trump was that every now and then, if you are a person who didn’t and you got to say, “Man, look at your boy, your boy is f***ing up.”
Jay: “What is he doing now?” And they go, “I mean, you know, you know, he’s actually his figuring stuff out.”
Jay: Yeah I guess.
Chelsea: I guess all I’m saying is that like, everything sucks and is really painful, but all you can do is try.
Jon: Wait, wait, wait. So they haven’t watched the show?
Jon: But that’s okay.
Jay: That’s the premise of the show.
Chelsea: Everything sucks and is really painful.
Jon: Everything sucks and it’s really painful. But we got somewhere.
Robby: We did get somewhere.
Jay: We fixed it.
Jon: That was come at me, bro. We didn’t fix it, but you know what we got to? We got to an under – like, because you felt the tension rise when we didn’t quite understand each other, we didn’t feel each other. And then all of a sudden we kind of felt each other and the misunderstanding kind of cleared. And we kind of got each other and man.
Chelsea: And I learned that you think I called you a racist six years ago.
Chelsea: And I still have a job. That’s nice.
Robby: The question was, how do you justify working for Apple? And we solved racism guys.
Robby: So feel good about it.
Jon: Oh wow.
Robby: Feel good about it.
Jon: That’s awesome.
Robby: And also check out the new MacBook Pro.
Robby: This is a caller. Another unnamed caller with some advice for young comedy upstart Jon Stewart.
Jon: Bring it, bring it.
CALLER: “Hey, I know you guys are starting out and trying hard, but you’re laughing at your own jokes and it’s kind of stupid. You know? But I know you’re starting out. Act like you been there. See ya.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Robby: Act like you’ve been there Jon.
Chelsea: Act like you been there hurts more than, “Fuck you, Jon Stewart.”
Jon: A little bit more.
Jon: I wonder if the laughing at your own stuff because it is a performative tic to some extent, like for instance, if you go out and do comedy right when you guys are out and you’re doing comedy, you’re performing pretty much the same thing that you’ve performed, you know, hopefully a few hundred times before because you’ve honed it, but you would smile or laugh or chuckle. It is performative, and I think what he’s saying to us is, “Hey, you’re okay.”
Jon: “It’s not your fault.”
Robby: What a sweet spin.
Jon: It’s not your fault.
Jay: Jon I feel like –
Jay: I feel like you can still like you can still be-
Jon: It’s not your fault.
Jay: Wait a second.
Jon: Jay. It’s not –
Robby: Don’t don’t do this man. Don’t do it.
Jay: Jon he gave you the same advice that sportscasters give someone when they celebrate a touchdown. Too much. Come on, young man. Act like you’ve been there.
Jay: He sounds like every high school football coach slash history teacher that just like, come on, act like you’ve been there.
Jon: Act like you been there.
Jay: Act like you’ve been here before. Come on. We don’t celebrate first down. Come on.
Robby: Classic sports talk radio.
Jon: The thing is, he was a laid back. He was not a fire and brimstone coach. That was very much like, “Fellas. Come on now.”
Jay: “Come on now.”
Jon: “You got to act like you’ve been here before fellas because if you don’t –”
Robby: Head coach Sam Elliott.
Jon: And you know what I would say to him, when you’re using a voice machine? “Act like you use a voice machine?”
Chelsea: Yeah act like you use a voice machine?
Jon: Come at me, bro!
Robby: A voice machine.
Jon: Come at me!
Robby: All right. Let’s keep this going. A another unnamed caller who I’m going to dub Bon_Jovi_Fan_73, she wants to talk Jersey with you.
Jon: Oh, that’s one of my favorite topics.
CALLER: “Hey, Jon.”
CALLER: “What’s your favorite thing about New Jersey that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. And also, what’s your least favorite thing about New Jersey? Anyway, thanks. Love you. Bye.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Chelsea: She loves you. I like that she called us from the bath.
Robby: She had such a soft-.
Robby: It felt like listening to Delilah on the radio.
Jay: Oh my goodness.
Robby: This one’s going out to a Jon Stewart.
Jon: This is a long distance dedication. I mean, least favorite thing about New Jersey, I mean, I think most people would agree it’s the carcinogens.
Jon: It’s hard not to point to environmental hazard as as the thing.
Jay: If people forget, you take one bridge out of New York and you go, “Oh, that’s a factory factory.”
Jon: Yeah, that’s one of those things where you’re like, “What does that thing make?” I think it makes odor.
Jon: I think that’s an odor factory.
Jay: What’s it make? Kids sick. That’s about it.
Jon: But my favorite thing about New Jersey is I happen to like a good caprese salad. And in New Jersey, you can get one and this is zoning. This is legal. This is the way it has to be. New Jersey. Every 12 feet, you have to have a caprese salad. You have to be able to buy one. You have to know how to make one. You can be pulled over and asked spot checked to make it a caprese salad.
Jay: Are you a purist? Are you a purist? Because there are some salad purists that go, “This is what’s in a crazy salad. This is what’s in a Waldorf. Don’t you dare deviate.”
Jon: Here’s so here’s the thing. A caprese salad it’s just merely has to be mozzarella. What do you got, a little mozzarella in there. You can put it in there with anything. If it’s mozzarella and let’s say playing cards right? Caprese salad.
Chelsea: It’s the deep dish of salads.
Robby: It’s the deep dish of salad. That’s what it sounds like.
Chelsea: It’s the deep dish of salads is not really a salad.
Jon: Caprese salad and carcinogens.
Robby: The state flag in New Jersey.
Jon: If that’s not on our license plates by Thursday.
Robby: Okay, next up, we have a caller, Pete from Staten Island.
Jon: Oh Jesus, this is going to get bad.
Pete Davidson: “Hello, Jon.”
Pete Davidson: It’s Pete.
Pete Davidson: “Davidson, unless you know other Pete’s that sound like a 1940s chain smoker.”
Jon: Get the f*** out. Did he really do this? Oh my God.
Pete Davidson: “Congrats on your show! I’m thinking of you. I like when we go to the Knick Games and I pretend you’re my dad.”
Pete Davidson: “I love you, Dad.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: Love you, pal.
Chelsea: Aw that was so sweet.
Jon: That’s so nice. You know, what’s funny when we go to the games? Because it really does like. So I bring my son usually. So it looks like I’m both of their dads because my kid sort of resembles, like if you had two sons and one of them had like a growing problem. Like that. So they sort of resemble each other, but in different sizes.
Chelsea: It seems like one of them is really into tattoos like one of your sons, really –
Jay: But also, because of, like, hype beast culture.
Jon: Yeah, Nate. That’s Nate.
Jay: They’re dressed the same.
Jon: That’s exactly right. But it really does look like he’s in between the two of us. So it could be that Pete and I are Nate’s dad.
Jay: Oh my God. On the flow chart of like the evolution of man. It’s like Nate, Pete, Jon.
Jon: By the way, like, such a lovely guy.
Robby: So sweet.
Jon: Such a good hearted guy like love hanging out. We do have a ball.
Robby: I just opened for my friends special that Pete was directing. It’s the first thing Pete’s ever directed.
Jon: Oh really?
Robby: Yeah. So we’re sitting in the back in the green room and another comic is in there and he turns to Pete. He’s like, “Where can I go smoke a cigarette? And Pete’s like, “I just been smoking them in the green room.”
Robby: And he’s like, “I’m not famous. I can’t.”
Jon: But that’s what I love about him because he’s also unexpected. Like when we did that benefit, you know? And you know, the reputation Pete has is like, oh he’s a f*** up. He’s got the tattoos and he gets high and all that shit. He’s like a producer.
Jon: Like he’s like, “Here’s how the show’s going to go. So I’m going to bring it out there. We’re going to do like three minutes. I’ve created some vignettes. The vignettes will roll as we go.” And I’m just like, Holy shit, this guy – he’s a producer.
Robby: People think that people can, like, accidentally get super successful in show business is just like, not the way it works.
Robby: Okay, call it that I’m guessing doesn’t bank with JPMC, who has a pretty thoughtful question about your conversation with CEO Jamie Dimon.
Jon: Bring it. Come at me, bro.
CALLER: “Hi, I just want to leave a message regarding the interview with Jamie Dimon. So I noticed that he used inner cities and inner city youth quite frequently when he was talking about society and the issues with society and problems. And I feel like that’s a very coded way of saying Brown and Black people.”
Robby: Not that coded.
CALLER: “It felt very on the border of racist to me, and I was surprised that Jon Stewart didn’t call that out because it’s not just inner cities that are having issues with education, right? There’s also issues with the rural areas, too. Thank you.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: That was the most pleasant castigation –
Jon: – Of my lack of fortitude in that conversation. You know, sometimes in those conversations, I can’t. You want to say something that’s like, I’m pretty sure I always say, like, “Yeah, it’s not just poverty and things, not just in the cities, it’s in rural and everything.” But I may not have said it to him, but you’re right. We generally we –
Jay: And we’re saying it now.
Jay: If Jamie Diamon said inner city, he was trying to “Dangerous Minds” his way out of being a bad person.
Jay: He was like, “Yeah, yeah, these kids with the cornrows and they get in the military and get a haircut.”
Jay: And I was like, “What are you talking about?”
Jay: Also, she said that there are dumb places everywhere in the country, in the rural and in the Midwest, and I want to take a moment to say the Midwest is so dumb. They think deep dish is pizza.
Jon: Oh Jay. Well now again that gets us, though let’s get to a productive point. What do you do in that conversation? Do you say like, well you say inner cities like poverty is the problem everywhere. Education is a problem everywhere.
Jon: But I think I was blowing past it to get to another point. You know what it is? Here’s what it speaks to. The problem with being present. It’s so hard to remain present sometimes, especially in conversations where you have an intention, because if you have an intention, it’s one of the things that I think is the hardest thing to do in interviewing people is, you know, you know, I get a head of steam up when we’re talking about the economy, we get all these other things. So I’ve got intention when I’m talking to Jamie Dimon. And he might throw in a ton of shit into that that I’m not recognizing because my intention has got me myopic.
Jon: I put blinders on. This happened to me with Rumsfeld. I had such an intention with him. I was going to prosecute this and he was going to walk out and say, “Sir, thank you, sir.”
Jon: I have learned. And like, right at the beginning of the conversation, I go, “So when you guys were selling the war –” “Well, we didn’t sell it. We presented a case.” “Well, you presented all the positive cases and that’s a sales job.” “No, I didn’t really. It’s presented the case.” But I had such an intention that I was like, “Fuck that, let’s just move on.” And that night I realized, “Oh. That was the essence of the entire conversation.” If I hadn’t had blinders on, I would have realized the entirety of the conversation should have lived in the difference between selling and presenting, and that should have been everything. But I was so fucking intent on like, “On page 221, you suggest that the inspector, Hans Blix.” Like I was so up my own ass that I missed the whole thing that was right in front of me. I was so mad at myself.
Chelsea: And I think that’s a super interesting point, and I don’t think that’s a one to one of the Jamie Dimon. I think there was a whole second conversation available in the fact that you were talking about the economy, and he sees the economy as poor Black and Brown people in rich white people.
Chelsea: So every time he’s talking about poor people, he is talking –
Jon: But didn’t I say I thought I said to him, but you’re blaming education for intractable poverty.
Jay: You said that and I want to also say that escalation is a rhetoric tactic, but also dismissal is so if you would have fallen for the inner city trap, there is a chance that you wouldn’t be able to talk economics with the person you brought to talk economics with.
Robby: It’s another conversation.
Jay: And that’s the toughest part. When someone even throws, not necessarily bait out there, but if someone falls into a trap, you go, “We could talk about this, or we could keep talking about what I actually want to talk to you about.”
Jon: Right. Right.
Chelsea: Or we can talk about how fucking racist you are.
Jon: But there is a way I think of, to her point, making clear that you see the ruse while not deviating from your intention. And that’s the part sometimes I can struggle with. If you have your intention and somebody throws that out there, you have to be deft enough to be able to say. Well, that I think is not necessarily the case, and certainly there’s poverty and all these other pockets, but getting back to that’s where the real art of it is. And sometimes I just that’s just f***ing –
Chelsea: Well I also think he’s possibly like, you would have to say, “What do you mean. You say inner city a lot? What do you – what types of people are you talking about when you say inner city?” And make him confront what he –
Jon: But don’t you think – wouldn’t that then I be passive aggressive because I know.
Jon: If I do that, then I feel like I’m being not honest.
Jay: I’m so sick of these callers trying to make us better people.
Jay: I liked it when they were just telling us we suck.
Jon: Here’s something about better people. I remember after that Rumsfeld interview. Like losing, I think I lost more sleep over that interview than he lost over the entire war.
Jay: Oh my God.
Jon: That’s how fucking –
Robby: I don’t think he lost a minute of sleep over that war.
Chelsea: I think he slept better.
Robby: I’m confident that’s true.
Jay: Hey, can I say something right now? I think he’s sleeping pretty good right now.
Jon: He’s probably sleeping very well, you know what he did to me after the interview that was fucking brilliant? He sent me a note because he knew. I mean, he knew what I was about and he knew what I was trying to do. And he sends me a note afterwards. “Loved the conversation. Sorry, we never knew each other when we were younger. I bet we’d have been friends.”
Jay: Oh no.
Jon: And I was like, “Oh wow.” That dude just on his way out –
Jon: – Turned around, smiled at me and kicked me in the f***ing balls.
Jay: Jon that’s like if you’ve ever seen someone bomb and someone goes, “Great set, man.”
Jay: That’s what he just did.
Chelsea: No, what he did is a, “You have fun up there.”
Jon: “Yeah, was that nice? Was that good? Hey, how’s the audience?”
Jon: Seemed a little – Seemed a little quiet.
Jay: Are they done seating yet?
Jon: Yeah, yeah.
Jay: All right.
Jon: But that’s very interesting stuff.
Jon: And it’s funny because there’s again, like there’s people that can bring that point up and you shut them out. And then there’s people that bring that point up. You’re like, you know what? I should think about that. That’s interesting.
Chelsea: Yes, thank you. What’s her name?
Robby: Unknown. She didn’t give a name.
Chelsea: Thank you, unknown, lady.
Robby: So just a couple of very short, sweet ones.
Jon: Okay. Bring it.
Robby: This one –
Jon: Comes to me, bro!
Robby: No we’ve actually got some positivity for you here.
Chelsea: Oh boy.
Robby: Here we go.
Jon: All right.
CALLER: “Jon, I don’t care what other people say or think.”
CALLER: “I think you look great.”
CALLER: “Your silver hair makes you look very distinguished. And listen, fuck anyone who says otherwise.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
Jon: I’m going to make that my ringtone.
Chelsea: It is the most underrated compliment. That’s like your mom being like, “Wow, you look so great this year because and you know, you struggled. You struggled for a while but wow.”
Jon: Oh but Chelsea, here’s the thing. I’m not blind.
Jon: Like he’s not telling me anything [I don’t know]. It’s not one of those things you have to turn to you guys and go, “Guys. Am I?”
Robby: Am I?
Chelsea: I got a bunch of texts that you’re a certified silver fox.
Jon: Smoke Show baby!
Chelsea: Smoke show!
Jay: Smoke show, slam P, silver fox, daddy. I’m going to explain those words to you.
Jon: Here’s the thing about the smoke show it is what a fire gives off as it’s being put out.
Robby: We have one more voicemail and I think we should just get to.
Jon: All right.
Jon: Let’s get to it. Let’s get to it.
Robby: Here we go.
CALLER: “Hey, Jon.”
Jon: Hey. Same guy?
CALLER: “Same guy as before.”
CALLER: “And listen, man, I just saw a recent picture of you.”
CALLER: “And actually, I would like to take back what I said before.”
[VOICEMAIL CLIP ENDS]
CALLER: “You do look like shit. Times a bitch.”
Jon: Oh, that –
Chelsea: That’s it?
Jon: I want to hire that dude.
Jon: Like, that is fucking where it’s at.
Jon: You know what?
Jon: Here’s what I want to say about that. You came at me, bro, and you won.
Jay: Oh, wow.
Jon: Like that. Brilliant. What an enjoyable way to spend a podcast. I say we do this more frequently. I truly appreciate. Robby, Jay, Chelsea. We are taking a short break for the holidays during that time. Is our answering machine on?
Chelsea: I think as long as you have a good therapist, we go forward. Yeah.
Robby: I love that you’re on a track to –
Jon: Never been in therapy.
Jay: We gather you here in this podcast –
Robby: This is an intervention.
Jon: Never. Self-medicated for some time. Yeah. Yeah. Never.
Chelsea: I –
Jon: Never! Chelsea never. Never.
Jay: Make sure to use promo code, THEPROBLEM, for Better Help.
Chelsea: I –
Chelsea: – I’ll meet you in your office. We’re going to talk about this.
Robby: A lot of people hold on to a conversation with Donald Rumsfeld for 16 years. That is normal behavior.
Jay: Jon, is there a couch in your office, at least?
Chelsea: How did you get through –
Jon: Oh I’ve slept on a couches? Don’t get me wrong, I have been on couches, just not talking to anybody.
Robby: And how did that make you feel?
Chelsea: Let’s get a therapist call in. Podcast over.
Jon: All right.
Jon: You can use this time that we are taking a break to catch up on any of the episodes of our television program, which you have not seen yet. The link is in the episode description. You can re-listen to the podcast. Your last resort, you can also spend time with your families in terms of the holidays.
Robby: And that type of thing. We will be back with new episodes of podcast, of the TV show, of the newsletter.
Chelsea: Hot plug. Newsletter, TheProblem.com.
Robby: Can I tell you something? A newsletter is for those of you who don’t know, it’s like a podcast in your own head that your eyes make. So we appreciate you guys. Thank you so much for joining us for any of our episodes or podcasts or any of these types of things. And we will see you all soon. I was about to say happy holidays, but I remembered that there was a war on Christmas, so I should probably say Merry Christmas.
Chelsea: No I like it. Preps for those voicemails. There’s a war on Christmas.
Jay: Say it. Say “Happy Hanukkah” and say nothing else if you want.
Chelsea: Say “Happy Holidays.”
Robby: Just go “Happy Hanukkah?”
Jay: Go happy Hanukkah.
Robby: Wow. Wow. Steer clear.
Jon: Even my children would disown them. All right. We’ll see you guys soon.
Jon: The Problem with Jon Stewart podcast is an Apple TV Plus podcast and a joint Busboy production.
CALLER: “Fuck you, Jon Stewart.”