Many of us have been in a serious state of denial about Jon Stewart's final The Daily Show episode on Aug. 6. How can this be real? He's gotten us through multiple presidential elections (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and held countless politicians and pundits accountable — all with his signature biting, intelligent wit. And how can he do this to us with the 2016 presidential election just fifteen months away? Plus, Donald Trump has thrown his hat into the ring and surely that's a reason to stay — the material will write itself! But, if we must lose him, we also must look ahead and ask ourselves: What will Jon Stewart do after The Daily Show?
To seemingly cushion the blow, Stewart's final episode will be 50 minutes long to allow for some surprises, The Washington Post has reported. Unless one of the aforementioned surprises is Stewart telling us, "Just kidding, I'm not going anywhere," I'm finding it hard to get psyched. But enough about me and the struggle I will endure in a world without Stewart hosting The Daily Show.
Here are some of my suggestions for him — because I know he's waiting with baited breath to hear my advice:
1. He Could Become A Correspondent For A "Real" News Network
Sure, The Daily Show kept us in stitches the majority of the time — I frequently had to watch a segment more than once because I couldn't hear all the dialogue over the sound of my own laughter. But, some of Stewart's best moments came when he temporarily took off his comedian hat and spoke with complete and utter candor and earnestness.
Last year, he highlighted the unfortunate American practice of denying much-needed medical care to returning veterans. And, after the tragic Charleston shooting in June, Stewart made no bones about the fact that there are no jokes to be made after such an occurrence. His monologue that night was more articulate, insightful, and wise than what we heard from many politicians. And let's not forget his epic take-down of Judith Miller, the disgraced New York Times journalist whose faulty reporting helped convince Americans that the invasion of Iraq was necessary.
In fact, over the past year, the Daily Show moments that stand out the most in my memory are when Stewart got super serious. He's incredibly intelligent, well-read, and passionate about politics and he had plenty of cordial, light-hearted debate with his Republican guests, but it was always clear just how knowledgeable he is about political issues. It would be amazing to see him take on a correspondent role at a "real" news network, because I genuinely think he would be an asset.
2. He Could Do A Standup Tour (Please?)
He's confirmed that it's a definite possibility! I probably couldn't afford tickets or anything, but seeing Jon Stewart on stage is a totally legit reason to whip out the credit card and live it up for a night. Plus, just imagine how hilarious the material would be if he had weeks to write jokes, rather than the rapid turnaround that's been necessary during the show's run.
3. He Wants To Spend Time With His Family, And I Guess That's Acceptable
When he announced his departure last February, Stewart expressed that he looks forward to spending more time with his wife and two children: "I'm gonna have dinner on a school night with my family, who I have heard from multiple sources, are lovely people." During an interview with Catie Lazarus later that month, he joked that his kids will want nothing to do with him in about four years, so now's the time to embrace family bonding. Why does he have to be so perfect? It's stuff like this that makes it really hard for me to stay angry with him for abandoning us viewers.
4. He Should Run For President In 2020 (With Stephen Colbert, Naturally)
By my calculations, his kids will no longer want anything to do with him by 2020 — so he'd better not use family time as an excuse. Stewart's better versed in politics than many of the politicians that have appeared on his show and I bet his State of the Union addresses would be the best in presidential history. And, let's be honest, many of us have been dreaming of a Stewart-Colbert ticket for years.
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