It is good that you linked those two shows because they do have some things in common.
I watched a few shows of the Daily Show and stopped when it became predictable - a major sin in comedy.
I think people who watch the Daily Show it fall into one or more of the following categories:
- supports a predetermined opinion they have about a subject
- feels a sense of community - others laughs - I belong
- mistakes cynicism for criticism
- mistakes cynicism for analytical thinking
- mistakenly think there is some research going, instead of just joke writers
- mistake it for a news show
I was thinking about comedy shows the other day and wondering how shows like the Howard Stern Show have such a strong following.
My guess is that people can get stuck in certain types of humor.
Bathroom jokes - grade school level
Sex Jokes - high school level
Differences jokes - ethnic, man/woman - college freshman?
Cynicism Jokes - The Daily Show - college sophomore level - sophomoric
Observational Humor - ? Level