‘Daily Show’ host opens up about leaving show

Jon Stewart
FILE - This Nov. 30, 2011 file photo shows television host Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in New York. (AP Photo/Brad Barket, file)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – More than two months after announcing his departure from “The Daily Show,” satirist Jon Stewart, in an interview with The Guardian, gave a candid response on his decision.

“It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working anymore, or that I didn’t know how to do it,” Stewart told The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman. “It was more, ‘Yep, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’”

Now 52, Stewart took over “The Daily Show” in 1999, transforming it into the skewering news satire that holds a captive audience among largely left-leaning Americans. While criticizing politicians is a staple of the show, Stewart said little about the upcoming 2016 presidential election excites him.

“I’d covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one,” Stewart quipped. “I also felt that, for the show, you don’t want to leave when the cupboard’s bare. So I think it’s a better introduction when you have something providing you with assisted fuel, like a presidential campaign.”

No final date has been set for Stewart’s final episode as host of “The Daily Show.” Comedian and Daily Show correspondent Trevor Noah has been tapped as Stewart’s successor.

In his interview with The Guardian, Stewart describes his run at “The Daily Show” as a marathon, both as an exhaustive, demanding exercise and as a metaphor for how he made his decision to step away from the show.

“You don’t want to make any kind of decision when you’re in the crucible of the process, just like you don’t decide whether you’re going to continue to run marathons at mile 24,” Stewart said.

“Honestly, it was a combination of the limitations of my brain and a format that is geared toward an increasingly redundant process, which is our political process. I was just thinking, ‘Are there other ways to skin this cat?’ And, beyond that, it would be nice to be home when my little elves get home from school, occasionally.”

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