“These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realise, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now,’” Stewart told The Guardian in his most candid interview yet about why he’s leaving “The Daily Show” for other pastures. His last episode is confirmed for August 6.
As Hillary Clinton mounts her bid for presidential candidacy, Stewart also fessed up to feelings of disenchantment about covering the campaign trail. “I’d covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one.” And after 16 years helming one of America’s most iconic satirical news programs, for Stewart, those feelings were inevitable. “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.’”
READ MORE: Trevor Noah to Host “Daily Show,” But Late Night’s Revolution Remains Unfinished
Stewart said he also wanted to leave news material for incoming host Trevor Noah, the 31-year-old South African comedian who will take the reins later this year or in 2016. “You don’t want to leave when the cupboard’s bare… I think it’s a better introduction when you have something providing you with assisted fuel, like a presidential campaign.”
So what’s next for the civic-minded Stewart? He has not confirmed any formal plans but his 2014 Maziar Bahari biopic “Rosewater” showed promise as a filmmaker, so hopefully we can expect him to continue carrying that torch in one way or another.
READ MORE: Jon Stewart and Gael Garcia Bernal Talk “Rosewater”
Here’s Stewart announcing the end of an era:
Ryan Lattanzio is the staff writer for TOH at Indiewire. Follow him on Twitter.
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