Former Daily Show writer Wyatt Cenac Represents His Black People

Black and Jewish writers are often not shy about representing their people’s interests in the media.

I have an Orthodox Jewish friend who writes and produces TV and he says he gets asked to approve jokes about Jews on a show to make sure they don’t go too far.


Fox News was already on Stewart’s case over the offensive impression. In response, Stewart was planning a segment entitled “everything I do is racist.” When Cenac heard this, he raised his objection over the whole bit in an email to the Daily Show staff.

“I was the one black writer there. It was this thing where it’s like, when you’re the one — whether you want to or not — you’re speaking for everybody. I felt like I had to speak for all the minorities, because there’s nobody speaking for them,” Cenac told Maron.

When Cenac emphasized his reservations again during a writers meeting, Stewart blew his lid:

“He got incredibly defensive. I remember he was like, ‘What are you trying to say? There’s a tone in your voice.’ I was like, ‘There’s no tone. It bothered me.’ … And then he got upset. He stood up and he was just like, ‘Fuck off. I’m done with you.’ And he just started screaming that to me, and he screamed it a few times. … ‘Fuck off! I’m done with you.’ And he stormed out. I didn’t know if I had been fired,” remembered Cenac.

Following the incident, Cenac had an emotional breakdown.

Added Cenac, “I represent my people, and I try to represent them the best that I can. I gotta be honest if something seems questionable, because if not, then I don’t want to be in a position where I am being untrue not just to myself but to my culture, because that’s exploitative.”


* Are we supposed to care about this overly sensitive ‘writer’? Ok, he’s had his 15 minutes, now he can shut the f*** up. It must be horrible carrying the weight of the entire black community on your shoulders. As a black woman, dude, I don’t need you to look out for me. Get a grip…..and, a job that won’t hurt your ‘feelings’.

* “In May 2014, Cenac sparked controversy during an appearance on This American Life by joking about the speech patterns of people with Down syndrome.”

Guess it’s okay to make fun of people who have trouble representing their group.

* Wow. Being a writer is still a job. Sounds like he is just over sensitive and mad because Jon wasn’t his friend but his boss. Newsflash: being a writer is still a job and your not always friends with your boss.

* Toughen up cupcake.

* Cenac also had a run in with Norm MacDonald – another guy who is regarded as extremely nice. Maybe the problem lies with Cenac? Sounds like the guy is just walking around with a chip on his shoulder.

* Was Stewart’s imitation of Cain accurate or not? When he imitates Southern white politicians with a broad Southern accent is that also offensive?

* So comedy is funny when it generalizes and lampoons groups other than your own? You get to dictate the place that comes from and join in the fun in that case. But, of course, not your group. Your group is off limits. The lesson here is that we now know why Wyatt Cenac is not funny. He doesn’t understand comedy.

* How many time has Jon Stewart done accents of leaders and groups of people (jewish people included). I could seriously see the skit in question being done about G.W. Bush with an accent and no one bating a fucking eye.

* Cenac had the career opportunity of a lifetime and blew it. Now he hosts a standup comedy show, one night a week, in a hotel in Brooklyn, according to his own website. Stewart may be a difficult boss but who of us has not had to take s##t from one of those when we were trying to get ahead?

* After hearing about Cenac’s own Down Syndrome voice joke, it’s tough to look at his statement as anything but hypocrisy and an attempt at getting some publicity for himself off of Stewart’s final run. Looking at the comments below, it’s sad to see how sensitive the world has become… I guarantee: everyone who feels hurt, or thinks Stewart did something wrong with this bit, has also laughed at a joke at some point in their lives that would offend someone else somewhere in the world. Hypocrites – just like your pal, Cenac…

* Stewart uses the same sort of identity politics against his enemies, but isn’t man-enough to take it when it’s dished out to him. Typical liberal hypocrite.

The P.C. crowd is eating itself, and it’s kind of fun to watch.

* Wyatt said that he viewed Stewart as a father figure. This sounds more like an employee who wanted attention from someone they admired but were angry with because they didn’t have the relationship they wanted. So any attention is good….even negative attention. Throughout the interview, Wyatt came off as a child. Hurt feelings, father issues, expectations of his employer. And he’s no saint himself having made fun of people with Down’s Syndrome by using a funny voice. And what shitty timing to ruin Jon’s last two weeks. Wyatt Cenac is a child.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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