If you've been missing Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show, you're in luck. HBO announced Tuesday that the comedian has signed a four-year production agreement with the network. Stewart will create "short form digital content" that will be available to stream through HBO Now. While the exact details of the deal aren't spelled out in the press release, the network promises that the content will be "timely," and it will be refreshed "multiple times throughout the day" within the app. What that exactly means remains to be seen, but we're all for having more Jon Stewart back in our lives. The deal comes at a great time, too, ahead of the 2016 election. Jon Stewart hated election coverage, and he's said a lot about election seasons in the past.
When Stewart left The Daily Show, he told The Guardian in April that there were "moments of dissatisfaction" he had with the program. Could some of those moments include election season coverage? It seems more than coincidental that Stewart's departure coincided with the start of the buzz about the 2016 presidential election. According to The Guardian, it was in fact one of the reasons Stewart left The Daily Show when he did.
1. When He Said That Nothing Is Different
Despite the fact that Stewart had brilliantly skewered President Obama when he appeared on the show, he wasn't eager to do the same with the 2016 presidential hopefuls. According to Stewart, it was "heartbreaking" to interview Obama during his first term and mock his campaign slogan. He told The Guardian:
I'd covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one.
2. When He Piled On To Megyn Kelly's Criticism Of Karl Rove
In 2012, Stewart lambasted Fox News' coverage of the election night. Megyn Kelly had criticized Karl Rove for using faulty statistics, suggesting that Rove's math was something he "does as a Republican to make himself feel better." Later, on The Daily Show, Stewart added to Kelly's criticism, saying:
By the way — 'Math You Do As A Republican To Make Yourself Feel Better' is a much better slogan for Fox than the one they have now.
3. When He Explained What Election Night Is For News Networks
Stewart offered this gem in 2008, after President Obama was elected for the first time. Stewart said that the news networks were the "big stars of the night" — sarcastically, of course — mocking their coverage of the election. According to Stewart, a presidential election is enough news that it "needs no jazzing up," but enthusiastic outlets went overboard. CNN bore the brunt of the joke for featuring a hologram of Jessica Yellin in conversation with Wolf Blitzer. Stewart said on the show:
For the news networks ... election night is Christmas, Hanukkah, and your parents getting divorced all at once.
4. When His "Indecision 2000" Became A Pinnacle Daily Show Moment
As The Washington Post's Emily Yahr brilliantly explains, "Indecision 2000" was vital in propelling Jon Stewart and The Daily Show to the forefront of political news. The show's "Indecision" coverage won Peabody Awards in 2000 and 2004. The 2000 segment focused on the vote recounts in Florida and all of the drama surrounding tie situation. For instance, Stewart suggested that Floridians only loved "No More Gore" because it was a catchy slogan. As he put it:
We're still in the middle of either a) a constitutional crisis, or b) the funniest sitcom premise since She's the Sheriff.
5. When He Said Reporters Are Obsessed With Future Elections
Stewart often criticized news networks and reporters for their obsession with future elections. In 2013, Stewart used The Daily Show to remind viewers that an election had taken place in 2013, criticizing news channels for using the event to propel ratings:
The media spends months and months speculating on what's going to happen in this election, what might happen in this election. Then, on the eve of the election, they spend 10 minutes reporting on what actually happens and jump right back onto what it means for the next election.
Let's hope that Stewart isn't afraid to criticize the 2016 election coverage just as harshly as he's criticized news coverage of political elections in the past. Whatever his HBO Now "digital content" entails, it's sure to be sharp, witty, and just uncomfortably truthful enough to make you rethink your political opinions.