Barack Obama is a stimulating speaker. The Daily Show is of course an entertaining and provocative show. Barack Obama on the Daily Show less than a week before the election? Stomach-knotting, sweat-inducing and nerve-wracking. It will be hard for supporters to laugh during Obama's confirmed appearance on the news-comedy show Wednesday if they spend the whole time cringing at the thought of the Democratic presidential nominee making some sort of gaffe that would blow his commanding lead over rival John McCain. Opponents, meanwhile, will be far more ready to laugh at Obama than with him. (Video from Obama's Aug. 2007 appearance is after the jump)

As with his rumored November 1 appearance on Saturday Night Live (see second item), it's hard to see what Obama has to gain from his Daily Show gig, only what he has to lose. On the bright side, Obama has done remarkably well at avoiding major slip-ups thus far, the main exception being his comments about "bitter" small-town voters at what he thought was a private reception in April.

One sure bet: The candidate will be significantly more reserved than he was on the Daily Show in August 2007. Can you imagine the general election frontrunner joking about invading a small nation, as he does in the excerpt above? Only in your nightmares/dreams.


Jon Stewart, meanwhile, has surely been disabused of the fantasy of getting rid of the red/blue divide.

Click the video at top to watch.