Jon Stewart returns to ‘The Daily Show’ for 2024 election cycle
Washington Post January 24, 2024
Jon Stewart is coming back to “The Daily Show” after nearly a decade.
Paramount Global announced Wednesday that Stewart, who hosted the talk show during its most impactful and popular years, will take up hosting duties on Monday nights beginning Feb. 12 — the Monday after the Super Bowl.
Stewart will remain as part-time host throughout the 2024 election cycle, with rotating hosts throughout the rest of the week. He will also serve as executive producer for every episode through 2025.
Stewart was given the Monday slot because Mondays are the most-watched day for the show during the week and a catch-up day for weekend news, according to the network.
“Jon Stewart is the voice of our generation, and we are honored to have him return to Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ to help us all make sense of the insanity and division roiling the country as we enter the election season,” Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Paramount Media Networks, said in a statement. “In our age of staggering hypocrisy and performative politics, Jon is the perfect person to puncture the empty rhetoric and provide much-needed clarity with his brilliant wit.”
Stewart headlined the satirical talk show from 1999 to 2015, turning it into a cultural behemoth where interview clips and segments frequently went viral for days after they aired. The show won 24 Emmys under Stewart and helped launch the careers of other successful comedians, including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Samantha Bee. During Stewart’s last year as host, “The Daily Show” had about 1.3 million viewers on average.
Stewart left to pursue other career opportunities, including a stint with his own social commentary talk show “The Problem With Jon Stewart” on Apple TV Plus, which was canceled in October 2023. He’s also been spending time on Capitol Hill, tearing into Congress over the 9/11 victims fund.
“The Daily Show” has been seeking a new host after Trevor Noah, who replaced Stewart, left in December 2022. Noah had about 70 percent fewer viewers than Stewart during his last season.
Since then, Comedy Central had been cycling through a rotating cast of guest hosts to fill the void, including Charlamagne tha God, Sarah Silverman, Leslie Jones and Michelle Wolf. Comedian Hasan Minhaj was seen as a leading candidate to take the gig, but a New Yorker report on his embellished personal stories may have hurt his chances. The network said last year that a permanent host wouldn’t be announced until 2024.
The comedy talk show landscape is much different than when Stewart headlined the show. Late-night comedy shows are generally struggling with revenue and ratings, as well as how to contend with more competition on streaming and digital platforms.