After four days of seeing how Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart fared without writers after returning to the airwaves, I can issue my review:
The Colbert Show and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (now called A Daily Show) are more entertaining without the writers.
So even though my progressive sympathies are with those on strike, my TV watching sympathies say, "Stay away; let Colbert and Stuart keep on doing their own thing."
I've always enjoyed The Colbert Show more than The Daily Show, because Stephen Colbert is more of a natural improvisational comedian. His interviews are terrific, filled with witty spontaneities.
But now The Daily Show is almost equally pleasurable for me to watch without the irritating, and often infantile, sketches featuring other members of Stewart's fake news team.
This week the only time I reached for the fast forward button on my DVR was when John Oliver returned for a sketch about global climate change. Dreadful.
Colbert and Stewart clearly are capable of coming up with their own material – which I assume is what they're doing (some are suspicious about this).
If I were their writers, I'd be nervous after watching this week's "unwritten" shows.
Now that Colbert and Stuart are free, or forced, to make the content of their shows more purely reflect their own sensibilities, we're seeing that these guys can carry their own comedic water.
And that it's actually better tasting than what the writers had been pumping out for them.