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What Will Jon Stewart Do Next?

Reid Nakamura |
February 11, 2015 | 8:43 p.m. PST

Film Editor

Jon Stewart (Twitter/@TheAVClub)
Jon Stewart (Twitter/@TheAVClub)
If you listen closely, you can probably hear the sound of Americans mourning the loss of their favorite late-night host.

Actually, you probably don’t even have to listen that closely because when Jon Stewart announced his impending departure from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” the internet collectively lost its mind. In his 16 years as the host of the nightly comedy news show, Stewart has built himself one hell of a fan base.

Much like when David Letterman announced his retirement and when Stephen Colbert announced his departure from “The Colbert Report” to replace him, the question on everyone’s mind is who will replace him? But that’s not the question we should be asking. Because no one can replace Jon Stewart, it’s that simple. Under his leadership, “The Daily Show” has won a record-setting 10 consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Variety Series, launched the careers of powerhouses like Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert and was found to have better informed viewers than Fox News.

READ MORE: Stephen Colbert To Replace David Letterman

The real question we should be asking is what will Jon Stewart do next? Let’s take a look at his options.

Host a different show

This one is an obvious possibility. He was long rumored to be David Letterman’s replacement on “The Late Show” before Stephen Colbert was given the job. He’s also been rumored to take the reins on “Meet the Press” in the past and has even expressed interest in being the first male host of “The View” (it was probably a joke, but you have to admit the timing couldn’t be better). 

There’s no doubt that Stewart would be great as the host of just about anything, and his fans would love to continue to see him on TV, but he’s probably done with television for the time being. Doing a television show, especially a nightly one, takes a lot of commitment and it seems like his departure signifies a desire to step back and reduce his workload.


Jon Stewart made his directorial debut last year with “Rosewater,” his adaptation of Maziar Bahari’s memoir “Then They Came for Me.” The movie wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, but it was well-received by critics and many saw it as an indicator of yet another of Jon Stewart’s many talents.

Run for office

This is an option that would probably prove to be divisive. Stewart clearly has the political acumen to make a viable candidate, honed over years of reporting political news, however mockingly. Stewart’s reputation as a man of the people—able to cut through the politics and speak plainly to his audience—would also be an asset to his campaign. 

READ MORE: 25 Movies To See Before The Oscars

But there’s no doubt that any campaign would incite some groans. Not to mention the fact that Stewart hasn’t shown any interest in running for office.

Mentor young talent

Speaking of things he hasn’t shown any interest in, but would probably be good at, “The Daily Show” has earned a reputation as an incubator for comedic talent in recent years, and any up-and-coming comedian would be lucky to have Stewart as a mentor. 

With former correspondents like Stephen Colbert going on to host “The Colbert Report” and soon “The Late Show,” and Steve Carrell starring in “The Office” and earning an Oscar nomination for “Foxcatcher,” it’s a reputation that’s well-earned. And let’s not forget Larry Wilmore and John Oliver who also have gone on to host their own nightly comedy news programs. It’s hard not to see Stewart’s leadership and guidance as a factor.

Take some time off

All eyes will be on Stewart when he moves on to his next project. There’s going be a ton of pressure for it to succeed, but if it’s anything like his incredible 16-year run as the host of “The Daily Show,” it’ll be a breeze.

Reach Film Editor Reid Nakamura here.



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