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Stewart, Norton Cut It Up for Comedy

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart host Jon Stewart managed to disarm the sometimes surly TV critics during his press conference at TV Critics Association press tour Friday in Los Angeles.

When one writer asked how Stewart felt about the growing popularity of his TV show, the host deadpanned, "You’re saying we’re the new gay?"

The show is also getting a lot of attention for its election coverage, dubbed "Indecision 2004." Nearly all of the Democratic presidential hopefuls have been guests on Stewart’s show, including Sen. John Edwards, who formally announced his candidacy on the show. Coming up, Daily Show "correspondents" plan to travel to New Hampshire and both party conventions. Says Stewart, "We have the advantage of not needing to be a news gathering organization."

Stewart did offer his opinions on cable news channels, calling them "relatively atrocious." Twenty-four hours of news, he said, is not enough. "It is good now that you have 24 hours and the crawl."

As for CNN, which used to be a corporate cousin when Time Warner owned half of Comedy Central, Stewart said, "There are 24 hours and only so many times you can page Dr. Gupta." He was referring to CNN’s medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Also Friday, Comedy Central welcomed its newest talent British comic Graham Norton who starts hosting a Comedy show in June. Norton will do a U.S. show for Comedy Central for two years and shoot a stand-up special for the channel.

When asked how his show will play with an American audience, Norton quipped, "Who knows, by June I could be the new Coupling."

Norton’s So Graham Norton airs on Channel Four in the U.K. and replays on BBC America.