Jon Stewart is back in action, baby! The Daily Show alum just signed a four year production contract with HBO, which means we're about to see Stewart back on our screens sometime in the near future. According to the production pact, Stewart will be producing short form digital content that will appear on HBO Now, HBO Go, and possibly other platforms. While this news is admittedly exciting, what does it mean? The phrase "short form digital content" sounds like nothing but a mixture of vague, strung together words... right?
HBO explains: "Stewart will view current events through his unique prism" which leads me to believe that (duh) this content will revolve around Stewart's commentary on the news, politics, and pop culture. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.) The Los Angeles-based graphics company, OTOY Inc., will help Stewart develop the kind of technology necessary for him to produce this content, which will be "refreshed" throughout the day "multiple times."
First of all, YAS. But, second of all, you have to give us more than this! What kind of content can we look forward to? If it's being refreshed multiple times a day, it could be a sort of live Periscope situation. Or maybe something similar to Snapchat, where the content disappears after a short amount of time? Could they even be six second long video clips, like Vines? And how will OTOY Inc. be so involved? Stewart? Bueller? According to engadget, OTOY Inc. has been developing virtual reality video streams (think Periscope but in 3-D!), and, I have to say, if that's the direction this is heading, count me in. I can't think of anything more exciting than sharing a virtual reality with Jon Stewart as he talks to me about the war on bullsh*t. Amen.
Since Stewart retired form The Daily Show last summer, he's maintained a low-key profile, but, in his official statement about the project, he couldn't sound happier. "I’m so excited to be working with Richard [Plepler], Michael and the entire HBO family," Stewart said. "Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me. I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again." Unfortunately, HBO's not giving us a ton of information on what those few minutes of content entail, but rest assured that the new pact has a lot in the works.
In what I can only assume is an attempt to soften the blow of so many unanswered questions, HBO did let us know that Stewart was also given a "first-look option for other film and TV ventures," which will be "announced as they are confirmed." Stewart back on TV and in film? Yes and yes. Where do I sign up for this?
Like president of HBO programming Michael Lombardo said, Stewart, you've indeed led a revolution that changed the face of TV. Perhaps now it's time to you change the face of short-form digital content. And, even if I'm unclear on what that means right now, welcome back. I've (we've) sure as hell missed you.