“In some respects, the heavier subjects are the ones that are most loaded with opportunity because they have the most — you know, the difference between potential and kinetic energy? — they have the most potential energy, so to delve into that gives you the largest combustion, the most interest..... those types of stories that can, almost like the guy in ‘The Green Mile’, suck in all the toxins and allow you to do something with it that is palatable.” — Jon Stewart, in the New York TimesThere are many things to like about that quote, not least the nerdiness of actually knowing the difference between potential and kinetic energy, and the suppleness to go with the metaphor and arrive at "combustion." It's got all the accuracy and rigour of his comedy. Stewart has performed an enormous pubic service these past few years. Not just because he is he funniest thing on TV, a position he has maintained for eight year. He has been the only broadcaster to run regular stories on Guantanamo and the torture of detainees, while every other network lowered its head and looked the other way. In England, he would be on course for a O.B.E. Here he is just a satirist.