Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do after a long weekend of dealing with disgruntled late night writers and shitty trailers for shitty movies. Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert opened up about The Daily Show in two different forums.
Stewart spoke at length with British publication The Guardian, where he was candid and held nothing back in an article that was posted on Saturday. Noting that while it was mostly a positive experience hosting The Daily Show, the veteran comedian was growing restless:
“‘It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.'”
Stewart also expressed disappointment in a couple of interviews he’s conducted on the show, including one with President Obama, who may not have lived up to expectations of many Liberals, especially during his first term:
“Stewart, who describes himself as ‘a leftist’, has always hammered the Democrats with the vigour of a disappointed supporter, and subjected Obama to one of his most damaging interviews during his first term: the president admitted that his 2008 slogan probably should have been ‘Yes We Can, But…’ At the time, Stewart laughed, but today he admits with a shrug, ‘It was heartbreaking. It’s generally heartbreaking – that’s what the gig is.'”
His biggest regret was his 2011 interview with one of the architects of the bungled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
“‘He just went into the general gobbledegook.’ Stewart puts on a pretty good imitation of Rumsfeld: ‘Mnah mnah mnah, well, you have to remember, it was 9/11 mnah mnah.’ I should have pushed, but he’s very adept at deflecting.’ He looks genuinely crushed for a moment, then rallies: ‘That interview with Rumsfeld went shitty, but it’s still just an interview. He’s the one who has to live with the repercussions of what he really did, so there’s nothing that could happen on my show that carries that same level of regret.”
But Stewart has no qualms with stepping away from the anchor desk for incoming host Trevor Noah, especially now with the 2016 election season in full swing…:
“If anything, it was the prospect of the upcoming US election that pushed him to leave the show. ‘I’d covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one,’ he says.”
…and the 24/7 news channels, like Fox News, presenting distortions of the facts in favor of propaganda and ratings:
“‘Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing,’ says Stewart. ‘I live in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds, hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease.'”
Stewart puts his retirement in a nutshell:
“‘If Oprah can leave and the world still spins, I honestly think it will survive me.'”
In the meantime, former Daily Show correspondent and host of the first spin-off series, The Colbert Report, hosted an hour-long question-and-answer session with Star Wars creator George Lucas during New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival on Friday night. In addition to getting some tidbits out of the filmmaker (Lucas is waiting to see the latest Force Awakens trailer on the big screen!), Colbert himself revealed a secret: He never wanted to replace Jon Stewart.
“‘Don’t you think the perfect choice to replace that Jon Stewart fella would have been you? And now you’re working at Late Show, where nobody sees you,’ Lucas quipped, to which Colbert responded by saying that he was previously on at 11:30 p.m. and will now be on at 11:35. He never wanted to take Stewart’s gig because he would forever live ‘underneath his shadow.'”
Much like those Star Wars prequels live underneath the shadow of Episodes IV-VI.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart airs Mondays – Thursdays at 11pm Eastern/Pacific on Comedy Central.
Late Show with Stephen Colbert premieres Tuesday, September 8th at 11:35pm Eastern/Pacific on CBS.