June 18, 2013
Jon Stewart Nearly Quit ‘The Daily Show’ Because of ‘Asshole’ Colleagues
Posted on Dec 12, 2012
“The Daily Show” without Jon Stewart? That almost happened, the program’s star revealed during an interview with fellow Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert at the Montclair Film Festival in New Jersey on Friday.
And it almost happened because, according to Stewart, he had some pretty horrible co-workers.
Stewart, who took over “The Daily Show” hosting duties from Craig Kilborn in 1999, said he almost backed out of the gig because “what I did not realize is, a lot of the people who worked there were assholes.”
He continued: “I had, before taking [the job], some conversations with the powers that be there about the direction I thought we could move the show…. I wanted it to be satirical in the classic sense of the word, not the Spy magazine sense of the word where you just add adjectives like ‘pepperpot.’ ”
Stewart’s vision was met with resistance by the writers, who told him when they were first introduced that “this isn’t some MTV bullshit.” The Comedy Central host also said he felt as though staffers had discussed him ahead of time and that they did not share his enthusiasm for changing the show’s format.
Eventually, he phoned his agent and asked him to “get me the fuck out of this. These people are insane.”
Asked by Colbert how close he really was to quitting the program, Stewart responded, “I had to be talked down from a moderately high cliff.” He added that it took him about two and a half years to get a fully supportive staff at the show.
Stewart certainly has many fans who are glad that the satirist stayed.
Third Beat has more interesting tidbits from the night:
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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