The Daily Show: 10 F#@king Years, Irving Plaza

The comedy: Jon Stewart wasn't there, although it was supposedly his party. No Carell, Colbert, or Corddry either. The only alum was Ed Helms, who demonstrated that he can sing close harmony and play bluegrass acoustic guitar solos. As for the present crew: John Oliver, the British guy, is clearly the guy with breakout potential. John Hodgman, who probably has the most interesting resume in the entertainment world right now, did his "resident expert" character and displayed total, unblinking commitment -- you got the feeling that you could try out all kinds of CIA interrogation tactics on him and he'd never break. Rob Riggle may have been the funniest guy in his frat, but he doesn't belong on TV, and Jason Jones did the kind of parodic non-comedy that you do when you can't think of anything funny.

The music: Eef Barclay (a.k.a. Clem Snide) suffered for lack of a proper band, and John Darnielle (a.k.a. the Mountain Goats) kind of suffered from the presence of one. I think Darnielle's brilliant and psychotic songs are more suited to the solo-acoustic-boombox Mountain Goats than to the polite-little-pop-arrangements Mountain Goats; I hope he realizes this soon.

Here's what I realized during Superchunk's set: Superchunk is the ultimate grup band. They still wear T-shirts and jeans, and they still jump around like teenagers, and their shows draw evenly from throughout their sixteen-year career, as though there's no difference between the work they did at 25 and the work they're doing at 40: they played the early quasihits "Seed Toss" and "Precision Auto" plus lots of things from the great mid-period album Here's Where the Strings Come In (including the mighty "Detroit Has a Skyline"), plus "Hello Hawk." A useful counterexample is Yo La Tengo, who have spent two decades making records that explore marriage and maturation, and who have always represented a model for growing up with happiness and integrity. (This is why they are so beloved.) Superchunk, some of the members of which are married with children, represent growing up without growing up. They encored with "Slack Motherfucker," an early '90s slacker anthem (kind of redundant, really -- are their any slacker anthems from other eras?) about the very early-'90s trope of making art while on the clock at Kinko's. "I'm working / But I'm not working for you!" Mac McCaughan sang. About a hundred balding 35-year-old men in sneakers pumped their fists. As one of them posted on the Merge Records bulletin board before the show:

Any idea on the time Superchunk is suppose to hit the stage? The potential babysitter is giving me a hard time about not knowing the time.