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Jon Stewart Leaving Daily Show

jon-stewart-daily-show-promo

Jon Stewart is stepping down as the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” after sixteen years.

AV Club (“Jon Stewart says he’s leaving The Daily Show“):

Ending one of the most venerable and trusted careers in making a complete mockery of the news, Jon Stewart has announced that he is stepping down as host of The Daily Show. According to sources who were there (some of whom are alreadypassing word along on social media), Stewart let the news slip at the taping of today’s episode, telling those in the audience that he’s retiring. No word yet on when exactly he’s leaving, whether this means he’s ending his time in the anchor chair to focus on being a Serious Movie Director now, or just how much this is Brian Williams’ fault. Presumably all of this information will be revealed in time—and delivered by Stewart himself tonight on your television. We’ll update when we have more.

UPDATE: Comedy Central just sent out this official statement confirming the news, and saying that Stewart will remain with The Daily Show until the end of the year. It also says that the show will “endure for years to come,” suggesting that it won’t end with Stewart.

POLITICO (“Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show“):

Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show,’ will step down later this year, the president of the network confirmed in a statement to POLITICO on Tuesday.

“For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none,” Michele Ganeless, President of Comedy Central, said in a statement.

“Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera,” Ganeless continued. “Through his unique voice and vision, ‘The Daily Show’ has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come.”

“Jon will remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year,” she wrote. ”He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.”

All good things must come to an end, I suppose, but I’m not sure why in this case. Stewart isn’t Johnny Carson, who hosted “The Tonight Show” for thirty years, but then nobody well ever be that again; the audience is just too fragmented. Carson arguably retired too early—he was in his early 60s and lived another thirteen years–but Stewart is only 52 and it’s hard to imagine where he’ll go to have a bigger impact.

His protege, Stephen Colbert, moved on a few months ago but did so to take over “Late Night” from David Letterman. But “Tonight” already has a new host and one who’s younger than Stewart. I suppose there’s always making movies but, if “Rosewood” is any indication, that’s a step down.

Colbert’s slot has been taken over by Larry Wilmore, who I loved on “The Daily Show,” but thus far “The Nightly Show” has failed to live up to my lofty expectations. It’s not particularly funny and, while it tackles genuinely important issues, it does so poorly, using guest that aren’t particularly famous and, more importantly, offer no especial expertise on said issues. And, as I’ve already noted, don’t compensate by being particularly funny.

Regardless, I wish Stewart well in whatever it is he does next. He seems like a genuinely good guy and he’s certainly very talented. I’ll miss DVRing his show and watching it the next day.

 

 

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Argon says:

    Noooooooooooo!

    If he could just hold out for just one more election season!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  2. James Pearce says:

    Has it really been 19 years? Man, I’m getting old…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  3. Somewhere, Craig Kilborn is staring at his phone waiting for it ring……

    It’s too bad the John Oliver has already moved on because I think he already proved during the time he hosted while Stewart was off doing his movie that he could fill the big chair quite well. Other than him I’m not sure who could follow in Stewart’s wake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. ernieyeball says:

    Before there was the Daily Show there was the Larry Sanders Show. Jon would Guest Host for Larry on occasion.

    Warning: Not Suitable for Work, Children or Puppies!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0QHw-3zZ4Q

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Pinky says:

    This is a blow for everyone with an attention span under 140 characters, who needs to be fed their news in small smirks.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 48

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Somewhere, Craig Kilborn is staring at his phone waiting for it ring……

    It’s too bad the John Oliver has already moved on because I think he already proved during the time he hosted while Stewart was off doing his movie that he could fill the big chair quite well. Other than him I’m not sure who could follow in Stewart’s wake.

    Running/hosting a talk or comedy show is tough, not as easy as it looks. I admire all of those guys – it takes good writing and you’ve got to be “on” 5 days a week for at least 40 weeks a year.
    Me? It’s subjective, but I might go with Assif Mandvi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. ernieyeball says:
  8. I’m actually glad. Ever since Stewart came back from his Rosewater sabbatical, it’s been obvious his heart just isn’t in hosting The Daily Show anymore and he’s been counting down the days until he can go pursue his new directing passion.

    I just hope they don’t replace him with Jason Jones, who filled in for Jon last time he was absent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. Hal_10000 says:

    So, Colbert Sullivan and Stewart all leaving. 2015 is going very poorly indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  10. @ernieyeball:

    Apparently Brian Williams needs a new job…

    And he does apparently have fake news experience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  11. @al-Ameda:

    Me? It’s subjective, but I might go with Assif Mandvi.

    Of the current correspondents, I like Assif Mandvi and Jon Hodgman best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. Colbert’s slot has been taken over by Larry Wilmore, who I loved on “The Daily Show,” but thus far “The Nightly Show” has failed to live up to my lofty expectations. It’s not particularly funny and, while it tackles genuinely important issues, it does so poorly, using guest that aren’t particularly famous and, more importantly, offer no especial expertise on said issues. And, as I’ve already noted, don’t compensate by being particularly funny.

    I completley disagree with this and currently like Wilmore’s show better than Stewart’s. He’s not as funny as Colbert, but give him time to find his legs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  13. Tony W says:

    I would love to see a female host – I’m thinking Tina Fey

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    @Tony W: Samantha Bee! 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. Paludicola says:

    First the Colbert Report, then Andrew Sullivan and now this. It’s like the rug is being pulled out from under me. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has been a pretty big deal for me. I’ve been watching since it was hosted by Thor, Norse god of thunder or whoever the heck. When Jon Stewart started hosting it, I didn’t even have a beard. To put that in context, I’ve had a beard for, by now, a majority of my life and even friends whom I’ve known since kindergarten can’t imagine me without it.

    I really wonder who will replace him. I’m sure that’s typical. John Oliver was the obvious heir apparent, so apparent that he leapfrogged waiting for a vacancy. I can’t really think of who would be appropriate. A Jason Jones and Samantha Bee double-act for hosts would be a cute trick with some heritage, but I don’t see that succeeding. Jessica Williams would be an interesting wildcard pick, but probably a little too wild. Perhaps, as was the case with Jon Stewart, they’ll look outside of the show’s staff. I think that I’d like somebody surprising. A woman would be especially refreshing.

    I don’t entirely agree on Larry Wilmore being a disappointment. It needs a great deal of refinement, but I the out-of-nowhere guests who are often mostly not white men have been refreshing. I’m bearish on its prospects, but I hope that it can last.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  16. Judy J says:

    I soooooo don`t want Jon Stewart to go, one of my mottos being, “Can`t sleep with him/can`t sleep w/out him”, but if he must go, I`ll try to be mature about it and wish him well. However, one last plea, “Leaving before the next election cycle!!!!!! Really?? Seriously?!?!?!
    As far as the next potential host. Jessica Williams, of course!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. Pinky says:

    Jon Stewart fans are always saying that he’s non-partisan, that he just goes where the jokes are. I wonder who his replacement is going to be – Dennis Miller? Drew Carey? Greg Gutfeld? A doctrinaire left-winger? My guess is, D.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 33

  18. Franklin says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Thread over. Set up by ernieyeballs, and spiked by Stormy Dragon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Pinky:

    I hope they choose someone similar to Stewart or Oliver. An intelligent, honest, funny individual who lampoons the powerful when they are being the most hypocritical.

    When conservatives are mad that the lampooning was unequal, they never consider that it was because conservatives, on the whole, are more ridiculous.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 2

  20. PT says:

    @Pinky:

    yea Pinky, maybe Greg Gutfeld, right?

    We got it from your first comment my man. You don’t like Jon Stewart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Ever since Stewart came back from his Rosewater sabbatical, it’s been obvious his heart just isn’t in hosting The Daily Show anymore and he’s been counting down the days until he can go pursue his new directing passion.

    I remember telling my wife after he came back from directing that he’d be gone within a year.

    Part of being a “creative” is looking for new stuff to do. I will miss him very badly indeed. But he timed it about right. Better to get out on top than to hang on like Dave Letterman, who was a pioneer and progressively lost his edge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    Larry Wilmore’s show is pretty awful so far. He had huge shoes to fill and I don’t think he’s come close. I want to give the guy a chance but I’ve never found him very funny as a performer – different story as a writer, where Wilmore has done some major work, including creating the Bernie Mac show and Blackish.

    I wonder if Tina Fey has some spare time, like a decade or so. Tina could do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  23. LaMont says:

    Jon Stewart is immensely talented – arguably responsible for putting political satire on the map. I’m going to miss watching his show. From now until the end of the year his ratings will probably go through the roof. I just hate that he will not be around, at least in this way, during the 2016 election cycle. Without the laughter, politics can tend to drive you insane. Jon Stewart fill that role perfectly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  24. michael reynolds says:

    Or, if Tina Fey isn’t interested. . .

    1) Chris Rock if he didn’t mind the pay cut.
    2) Marc Maron, though he may be too niche. Smart enough and funny.
    3) Bill Hader, though I don’t know how political he is.
    4) Husband/wife team Jason Jones and Samantha Bee.
    5) Louis CK in some alternate universe where he’d agree to be tied down.

    And of course Samuel L. Jackson on the grounds that really, is there ever a bad time to have Samuel L. Jackson involved?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  25. @michael reynolds:

    Lewis Black (who’s technically still on the Daily Show), although it would obviously only be a for a year or two until he finally gives himself that aneurysm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  26. John425 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Not near as funny as the doofus presently sitting in the White House and not nearly as hysterically, outrageously funny as Hillary running for the job.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 27

  27. cd6 says:

    @John425:

    You feel like you got a lot of anger man

    Maybe you out to take a break from the internet, and TV, and like, read a book or go for a walk or something

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  28. ernieyeball says:

    @John425:..???

    How many Presidential Elections have you won?
    How many Cabinet level posts have you held?
    You look like the buffoon to me!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  29. wr says:

    @Pinky: I agree they should go with Greg Gutfield. After all The Daily Show has been funny for years… time for something completely different!

    “Hi, I’m Greg Gutfield, Welcome to the Daily Show. Liberal suck! Obummer drools! Chicks are sluts! And what’s with all this whining about birth control! You want control a long time before birth — like nine months! Har har har! Liberals suck!!! Benghazi!!!!!”

    Yes, it will be a bright spot in our civilisation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  30. Tillman says:

    Give the show to Craig Ferguson. TV misses him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Hal_10000:

    So, Colbert Sullivan and Stewart

    One of these is not like the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky: Unlike people without a sense of humor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  33. Mikey says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    When conservatives are mad that the lampooning was unequal, they never consider that it was because conservatives, on the whole, are more ridiculous.

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” — Voltaire

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  34. Scott says:

    @michael reynolds: I agree Marc Maron would be an interesting choice. His interviews outside his comedy field are surprisingly good showing a pretty good intellectual range.

    As for me, what am I going to do at 10pm Central time? Watch local news stations? The Horror!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds: I like Wilmore´s show. The “Keep at a 100” is an amazing feature – specially because politicians and pundits that goes to Sunday Morning and cable news shows usually fail at it.

    It´s also a show that appears to be aiming towards a audience that less White.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  36. Barry says:

    @Pinky: “This is a blow for everyone with an attention span under 140 characters, who needs to be fed their news in small smirks.”

    I’ll put any single episode of ‘The Daily Show’ up against the entirety of Fox News, for accuracy and good news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  37. jewelbomb says:

    @Scott: While I’d love to see Maron hosting the Daily Show, I think the fact that Stewart seriously hates him would preclude this from ever happening. There would be something just a little too unseemly about having someone’s enemy act as their replacement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Another Mike says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    An intelligent, honest, funny individual who lampoons the powerful when they are being the most hypocritical.

    Not the way Daniel Greenfield sees it:
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/dgreenfield/how-jon-stewart-gave-us-obama/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  39. C. Clavin says:

    @John425:
    So much anger and emotion.
    Just like any little child who doesn’t get what they want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  40. @michael reynolds:

    4) Husband/wife team Jason Jones and Samantha Bee.

    Please no. Samantha Bee occasionally has moments but is mostly just… adequate and Jason Jones I don’t get why people think he’s funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  41. Tillman says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Because some of us have friends a lot like the character he’s playing. :) Other than that, I’d like to see what sorts of jokes they come up with in a co-anchor scenario.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Another Mike:

    Not a whole lot of substance in that article, just rage at black rimmed glasses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:
    Hey, Craig Ferguson is not a bad idea. Very smart guy, great off-the-cuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. Pinky says:

    @wr: You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  45. Pinky says:

    @PT: I liked Jon Stewart. He got soft. When Oprah calls you “important”, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve peaked 5 years earlier.

    I never liked Stephen Colbert. He just rubs me the wrong way. I’ve liked Craig Ferguson’s late-night work. (Actually, very similar to Greg Gutfeld’s kinkiness.) He’s probably not nasty enough to do political satire, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  46. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    I’ve liked Craig Ferguson’s late-night work. (Actually, very similar to Greg Gutfeld’s kinkiness.) He’s probably not nasty enough to do political satire, though.

    Craig Ferguson is a Glaswegian alcoholic former smack-shooting punk rock drummer who used to be a doorman at the after-hours club Save the Robots in the crack-ridden Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan in the 1980s and who, out of that background, managed to become a CBS talk show host.

    I…think he can handle whatever job you can throw at him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  47. PT says:

    @Pinky:

    To each their own. Colbert is a massive talent, and hilarious.

    I’ll meet you halfway though. I agree that Craig Ferguson is funny, and his late night run was very good. But I’m sorry, I can see zero similarities to Greg Gutfeld. I find Gutfeld to be something very close to @wr’s pardoy above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well…that certainly puts things in perspective.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  49. Pinky says:

    @Rafer Janders: My point is, he doesn’t like to be nasty. Doing political satire day in and day out requires a bit of an edge. Craig likes to have good-natured silly fun. If you’ve seen his Britney Spears monologue, you know what I mean.

    Edited – that should be “a bit of an edge, or a bit of an ego”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  50. Pinky says:

    @Pinky: Maybe a better example is Steve Carell. If you look at the work he did on The Daily Show, he never went nasty. He and Colbert used to do a Crossfire bit, and Carell always made himself the fool while Colbert made himself the bully. I don’t see Craig Ferguson making himself the bully.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  51. sam says:

    @Pinky:

    Carell always made himself the fool while Colbert made himself the bully

    Uh, you do know that Colbert was sending up Bill O’Reilly, right?

    Speaking of BillO. The single funniest thing I ever saw on Colbert was one of his interviews with the Bill.

    O’Reilly: Look, what I do on the show is just an act. It’s not real.

    Colbert: (In character and shocked): If you’re an act, what am I????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  52. Rafer Janders says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Well…that certainly puts things in perspective.

    More perspective — the singer in the same punk rock band that Ferguson was the drummer for, Peter Capaldi, is the currrent Doctor Who.

    Life can take odd turns if you let it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  53. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: I don’t know, is the satire that biting and edgy on the Daily Show? They have skits in which Jon Stewart talks to a hand puppet (which he’s wearing off-camera, poorly) about Guantanamo detainees. That seems less crazy than what Ferguson might come up with.

    The one quality in a replacement every pontificator has agreed on as being the untestable wild card is the interview segment, and Ferguson’s interviews are excellent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: Ferguson did a lot of hand-puppet stuff, actually. There are some great lip-syncing intro segments on YouTube. But satire is different from dressing up in silly outfits. The object of satire is someone else. The object of Ferguson’s humor was more often himself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. ernieyeball says:

    Let’s go 20 Minutes into the Future:
    Max Headroom
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPlotAwm8Y

    Mandatory Disclaimer: This was on ABC Network prime time in 1987. View at your own risk!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom:_20_Minutes_into_the_Future

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  56. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Even among alcoholics Glaswegian drunks are a special breed. Marc Maron (a sober ex-drunk himself) says it’s the drunkest place he’s ever been. Edinburgh and Liverpool tip their hats to Glasgow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0