February 14, 2015
Who should replace Jon Stewart?
Earlier this week, Jon Stewart, one of my secret TV boyfriends, announced he is leaving his gig as host of The Daily Show after almost 17 years ("16 years and 5 months longer than any other job I've held...").
Damn. Stewart is smart and funny and has become an important part of our political and social conversation.
Though Stewart may call himself the flag bearer of fake news, he reported and impacted the real news, championed fairness and decency, put a spotlight on smallish books and movies, and launched the careers of Steve Carrell, Josh Gad and Stephen Colbert, among others. And he called out insanity and hypocrisy all over the place, especially Washington and Fox News.
So with Stewart thanking people for watching and for hate watching, and then moving on to new adventures later this year, who should replace him?
Assuming top tier names like Amy Poehler (who would be amazing) would not be interested, here are some other good ideas...
The stand up comedian and co-host of The Talk is faster and edgier on her own -- she is smart and political and tremendously entertaining. And yes late night could certainly use a female host.
The actor and comedian who recently departed his late night CBS gabfest is more outspoken and political in his stand-up than he was on that show... and while yes he will be another middle aged white guy on late night, he will be informed and outspoken. A Stewart-ish replacement.
After subbing for Stewart last summer, Oliver left The Daily Show for his own terrific weekly HBO series; that contract has to have an out clause, and he should come back. His temp gig showed he would be great at this.
And some bad ideas...
Host of the new Daily Show spin-off The Nightly Show is now forging his own take on late night news comedy, and he falls somewhere between John Oliver rants and Bill Maher round tables... leave him where he is, the show is starting to cook.
The suspended NBC anchor is funny and charming and apparently good at making crap up, and yep he has time on his hands, but I would rather see him do a serious mea culpa and comeback... on a show I don't watch.
While this one is more of a flier and may work, it is more likely to be a train wreck... she is fast and funny, however we have yet to see her doing anything really political or grounded.
Two other names mentioned in the media are Alec Baldwin or Rosie O'Donnell; while both have the time now, recent history shows are better guests than hosts. Don't go there.
Aside from maybe Patton Oswalt, who else should be a contender?