Is the American political system broken?
Josh Lieb is the former Producer and Show Runner of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. His credits include stints as Executive Producer of NewsRadio and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He won 7 Prime Time Emmys as a producer and writer for The Daily Show. In 2009, he published a young adult novel, I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, which was a New York Times Bestseller.
Lieb was raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and graduated from Harvard, where he was an editor of The Lampoon, the college humor magazine. After graduation, he found work writing for Twisted Puppet Theater, The Jon Stewart Show, and NewsRadio. He subsequently worked as a producer or consultant on shows including The Simpsons, Drawn Together, Sirens, Nikki, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Lieb's tenure at The Daily Show lasted from 2006 to 2010, during which he also served as Executive Producer of “The Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear” and as co-editor and co-author of Earth: The Book.
In 2013, he wrote and directed a series of comedic shorts to raise money and awareness for the charity Water.Org. Stars featured in the shorts included Matt Damon, Jessica Biel, Sir Richard Branson, and Bono.
Penguin/ Random House released Lieb's second novel, Ratscalibur, in 2015.
In October 2016, NBCUniversal announced an exclusive writing deal with Lieb.
Josh Lieb: I sometimes feel like rooting for any political cause is, in a way, like rooting for a football team. You have about as much affect on it, and whoever wins has about as much affect on the . . . whatever happens in the world, or at least in this country. That’s strictly me speaking for me. It may be I don’t always feel that way. I . . . the . . . The things that bother me about, say, the world today and . . . and politics today . . . and I . . . I can’t . . . Maybe I would have thought the same 50 years ago. I mean everybody thinks their age is the worst. But I . . . I hate being lied to, and I hate . . . I feel like there are so many cheap lies being thrown at us. I think we are being . . . I hate being treated like an idiot, and you know our government treats us like an idiot. It treats us like a child. And I . . . I’m not saying, oh, this . . . this administration either. I . . . I will never forgive Bill Clinton for lying to me. He . . . He took me for a chump. He said, “I didn’t sleep . . .” Just say you fucked . . . Just say it. But he really . . . okay he said it. He said that sincerely. Alright, I believe you. Oh, you know, screw you. He . . . he really . . . he lied to all of us. And it . . . it’s like it’s not a big deal. Yeah, it’s a big deal. He really . . . He took us all for chumps. He thought, “Oh, I can lie to these people.” And you know you don’t just do that once. You do it in every occasion you can. I hate being lied to. I hate being . . . and . . . And I think . . . I think that’s related to the problem of the government treating us like we’re children. And which, you know, I think they think we’re stupid. And I think they think we’re children. And I think we act like we’re children, you know, because we let them do that, you know? It’s a give and take sort of thing. But you know the more they treat us like children, the more we act like it, and the more they take away from us. You know I’m an absolute, you know, freedom of this, freedom of that guy. I’m . . . I’m very pro-gun. You know I’m pro-school choice. I’m crazy, you know? But I just . . . I . . . I think we need to be treated like adults. I think we . . . Americans, you know, we have these hard won liberties, and we really just sort of have to cling to them every chance we can get. Because you know, they never get rid of laws. Every law they write basically gets stuck on the books forever, and they all infringe on our rights in some way. I mean I think in some ways we have to . . . it’s sort of our duty to fight every law that gets put on the books. Yeah. It’s . . . it’s . . . it’s hard not to feel a little trapped by if people lying to . . . It’s . . . it’s . . . it’s almost . . . it’s also like you don’t feel like necessarily they’re doing it in your . . . your self-interest. They’re . . . No it’s . . . Okay. Your mother drives you crazy when she, you know, tells you to tuck your shirt in, but you know she’s doing it because she loves you. When our government tells me to tuck my shirt in, I don’t know why they’re doing it. You know I think they’re just doing it to be bossy. So that’s how I feel.
Recorded on: 9/4/07
Rooting for a political cause, Lieb says, is like rooting for a football team.
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