After 15 seasons, Jon Stewart will sign off from The Daily Show. The satirical news show was an integral part of the political conversation- Jon Stewart’s voice was louder than most networks, let alone shows. Stewart launched a new genre of journalism and created the careers of Stephen Colbert and John Oliver. Without him, broadcast journalism won’t be the same.
Comedy Central seems to be letting all of this slip away. Last year, both Oliver and Colbert left to different networks. Stewart was left to rebuild his empire- launching The Nightly Show with Larry Whitmore with some success at filling in Colbert’s time slot.
The Daily Show has gradually been dragged down by fresher concepts from Colbert and Oliver. The quality of the writing has gone down dramatically in the past few years. His jokes have become stale after being overused. The highlight of the show became Stewart’s interviews and not his commentary. Colbert stole last year’s Emmy from The Daily Show, which was on a winning streak having 11 consecutive wins.
No word yet on who’ll replace him or where he’ll go- but we expect him to be a producer for the show even if he leaves the desk. While it’s hard to imagine The Daily Show without Stewart, remember that he wasn’t the first to host the show. Craig Kilborn sat behind the desk for three years before Stewart took over.
After his last joke, Stewart has an open calendar. He’s shown an interest in directing. He had left the show last summer to make Rosewater, which was an official selection in all the major film festivals. It’ll be interesting to see what his next step is.
No matter what he chooses to do, he’ll always be remembered for his incredible work on Comedy Central. He’s been a critical part of broadcast journalism for more than a decade. The political landscape will never be the same. The greats have gone (Jon and Steven). The network’s got big shoes to fill- huge.