First Letterman’s leaving. Then Colbert goes in Dave’s stead. And now you’re taking Jon Stewart away from me too?!? Damn you Late Night Gods!
Still, we most soldier on, and we have about a solid year left with Stewart, and that gives us plenty of time to find a solid replacement. Here are just a few nominees from the Sound on Sight staff.
Why does Jon Stewart have to leave? Now where will we learn about the news? It seems hard to fathom him not being there, but it looks like it will be a reality. While there are many correspondents on his show that they could move forward with, let’s look at the landscape of late night and ask what we need more of: girls. And what girl would be better than Amy Poehler. With Parks and Recreation finishing up, Poehler is technically free to pursue other opportunities, and many know of her famous “Really?’ segments on SNL and Weekend Update. She is hilarious, personable, and would be able to bring the same intensity as Stewart, but with a different look and perspective.
How likely is this? Poehler would be a major get for any network, let alone Comedy Central, and an expensive one at that. She retired from the Golden Globes after just three hosting stints. Would she be likely to settle into a regular late night slot? – Zach Dennis
One of the many reasons Stewart’s run on The Daily Show was so successful was the comedian’s ability to mock those who deserved it without devolving into humorless mean-spiritedness, a trait that has also been displayed by Joel McHale on The Soup. While the targets may be different, McHale’s ability to skewer the hypocrisy seen on reality shows and the people on them would be a welcome characteristic in the new host of The Daily Show. McHale would also be able to put his own spin on things while still retaining the positive aspects of Stewart’s tenure, and these factors make him a great choice to take over The Daily Show.
How likely is this? It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. McHale has a proven track record as a host, with the following and acclaim that puts him on the cusp of bigger things. Dare we dream? – Deepayan Sengupta
As helmed by Jon Stewart, The Daily Show grew from just another late night talk show to being on the cutting edge of satire and cultural discussion. Retaining it’s humour and self-reflexivity, the show was remarkably consistent throughout the entirety of Stewart’s tenure but with his announcement of retirement, it is time to take the show in a new direction. Though a fairly recent addition to the team, Jessica Williams has already made herself an invaluable addition to the Daily Show. Bright, funny and intuitive she has quickly become one of the highlights of the show and in many ways, Jessica Williams is the natural heir to the Daily Show throne. She would bring a youthful energy and an invigorated point of view. Already one of the shows stars in many respects, she brings the added weight of being a woman of color, in a very white-washed, male dominated late show arena. As the show itself is often flexible to the whims and preferences of its show runner and host, it will be exciting to see how she chooses to express herself under the increased pressure and to see where she plans on taking the activist minded tone of Stewart’s tenure.
How likely is this? Hot Tub Time Machine 2 recently predicted that Williams would be the host of The Daily Show in 2025. As a serious frontrunner for the job, hopefully she settles in quickly. – Justine Smith
John Hodgman – Deepayan Sengupta
Numerous comedians have gained popularity from their turn on The Daily Show and gone on to bigger careers. Among that group stands John Hodgman, whose deadpan delivery style makes him the perfect fit to ascend to the mantle of Stewart’s chair once it’s vacated. Hodgman has shown a flair for dealing with the absurd on numerous occasions, whether it’s in his standup or his podcast Judge John Hodgman, and it’s a flair that would serve him excellently when dealing with the political and other newsworthy events at the end of every day. The fact that Hodgman has shown the makings of a great interviewer on occasion is icing on the cake, and makes him a worthy successor.
How likely is this? Not very unlikely, given Hodgman’s established presence on the show. If Stewart’s successor is to come from within, Hodgman will certainly be a strong contender for the job. – Deepayan Sengupta
Jason Jones and Samantha Bee
Yes, he’s another middle aged white guy, but if we’re really playing the game of who is Jon Stewart’s successor, following Colbert, Oliver and Wilmore, Jason Jones is the guy. Jones just looks the part. He can play the super cool ironic action hero and in the next scene completely become the fool. He’s got 10 years on The Daily Show, making him more senior than any other “full-time” correspondent (outside of his wife Samantha Bee), and he together with Bee could bring the show an entirely new dynamic as a power couple of co-anchors.
How likely is this? Jones and Bee together would make for the safest, status quo arrangement and possibly Comedy Central’s cheapest option. Until some other big name on this list expresses interest, consider them frontrunners for the job. – Brian Welk
While Ellen has mostly garnered a reputation for being friendly and positive on her own talk show, she has also proven her ruthlessness when taking down parties that incur her scorn. Her knack at controlling this aspect of her comedic ability, not in keeping it hidden but in knowing when to deploy it for maximum effectiveness, makes her a secret weapon that could turn The Daily Show on its head if she is given the job. Her perspective, both as a woman and a lesbian, will also be a fresh one on late night television, and could help shine a light on stories others might not notice.
How likely is this? Ellen is second to only Oprah as one of the power figures of daytime TV. With an established show all her own, she can get any job she wants, and how likely will it be for her to turn toward cable late night? – Deepayan Sengupta and Brian Welk
I’d be as crushed to entirely lose The Daily Show as much as you, but the truth is that with Stewart gone, it’s hard to imagine someone honestly taking up the reins. When Stewart left to make Rosewater and John Oliver filled his seat, the show was still essentially The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart’s staff has worked The Daily Show into such a calculated institution that no matter who you put in that chair, to some extent, it’ll always feel like a replacement. Unlike Colbert, Stewart doesn’t share his program’s name, but it’ll always belong to him.
How likely is this? Comedy Central isn’t stupid, and they won’t be ready to give up a brand and institution that has meant as much to building their network as South Park. That said, Larry Wilmore joked on the debut of The Nightly Show that Comedy Central was talking to him about making his show an hour long, and they genuinely may not have a better option. – Brian Welk