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 SpurlockMichael MooreBill 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.

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Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He is a former Premiere magazine senior editor, who graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom's freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter and other publications. He has written several Kindle Singles, including the bestselling Kindle Singles Interview: Ken Burns. Tom's current list of favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi by Godfrey Reggio; 2. Hoop Dreams by Steve James; 3.Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley; 4.Crumb by Terry Zwigoff; 5. Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen