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Has The Daily Show's Emmy Dominance Gone Too Far?

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Most people are sick and tired of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show romping through the Emmys, according to a recent GoldDerby.com poll. The Daily Show has won Best Variety Series for the past nine years in a row and many predict that it will prevail again on Sept. 23. Should The Daily Show step aside and let another deserving program win?

In the Emmy game, that would be called "pulling an Oprah" because that's what the Queen of Talk did at the Daytime Emmys after she won Best Talk Show nine times. Winfrey didn't bow out entirely -- she just yanked her TV show from the program race and herself from the separate contest for Best Host (which she had won seven times). Meanwhile, she encouraged her staff to continue to compete for Emmys in other categories like music, art direction, sound editing, etc.

Ellen DeGeneres, Candice Bergen and Bill Cosby, who each removed themselves from the competition after a string of repeat victories, also displayed such graciousness at past Emmys.

As one web commentator summed it up:

"On the one hand, it's not The Daily Show's fault the Emmys keep voting for them. They enter the race and enough voters pick them over the other contenders, period. It's not on them to force Emmy voters to consider another show. On the other hand, it's a classy thing to say, "We've been richly rewarded by our peers, thank you," and bow out of the race."

What's interesting is that last year it actually looked like Jon Stewart himself might agree that it was time he should lose. Some Emmy-watchers like me believe he tried to throw the match by submitting a blatantly lousy episode to the Emmy judging panel as a sample of his best work. In it, he mocked the ascot worn by CNN commentator Roland Martin -- and that was pretty much the highlight. Nonetheless, that episode beat Conan O'Brien's heart-breaking farewell to the Tonight Show and a special telecast of The Colbert Report featuring Stephen Colbert entertaining troops in Iraq while U.S. President Barack Obama beamed in via satellite.

This year it looks like Stewart submitted another dud -- the Feb. 16 snoozefest with a dull guest appearance by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It includes a painfully long and witless shtick by Larry Wilmore who accuses Asian American basketball star Jeremy Lin of getting too much media attention during Black History Month. If Stewart wins for this, it'll be clear to me that The Daily Show can win for anything.

I believe the best episode in the category was submitted by Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel, who entered his special post-Oscars show of Jimmy Kimmel Live featuring... Oprah Winfrey, of all people. Since Stewart refuses to "pull an Oprah" at the Emmys, maybe Oprah can intervene to pull victory away (graciously, of course) for Kimmel?

And if Stewart ends up losing to The Colbert Report, there's a further irony to ponder. Since Stewart is a producer of that show too, he'll still win an Emmy statuette if his Daily Show flops.

This story originally appeared in Huffington, in the iTunes App store.

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