I’ve watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since 2003. In 2o10, my wife and I were two of 200,000 standing in the Washington Mall for the Rally To Restore Sanity (And/Or Fear). It was The Daily Show’s Indecision 2008 coverage where we heard about President Obama’s election, and indeed has been the way we’ve gotten through much of the malarchy of every election cycle. We’re going to miss him for 2016, which promises to be an even crazier year than 2012 on both sides.
I don’t always agree with Jon Stewart. Some of his pieces on religion made me cringe. I’ve never been a huge fan of him referring to Fox News as B——- Mountain, even when they might have deserved it. And even as the most trusted name in fake news I learned to take some commentaries with a grain of salt. For starters, I have on occasion actually enjoyed something I ordered from Arbys.
But I know I’m going to miss him. And I’m kind of wishing that John Oliver would break his contract with HBO and come back over (even though he’s doing some fabulous work over there). I’m not really keen on any of the current correspondants taking over the center chair. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jessica Williams and Jordan Kleper is hilarious, but I don’t think anyone has quite the same ability to be funny and thoughtful as quickly and interchangeably as Stewart.
You know what I do think would be a crazy, left field, awesome move for The Daily Show to take? Bassim Yousef.
Yousef hosted an Egyptian version of The Daily Show, poking fun of dictators, generals and the state in an arena that was frankly more fraught with peril than it ever has been in America. And he was funny. Just watch last Monday’s episode of The Daily Show to see how funny. His show was torn off the air in Egypt and he spent some time under varying degrees of custody. Frankly I was happy to see him alive and well and on TV. But seriously, here’s what we’d get:
- A lot of the same charm, charisma and timing of Stewart.
- An international view, something that Oliver and other correspondants have already proven can be beneficial.
- Something different, but proven and in line with what we expect and want The Daily Show to be.
This is not me saying that there wouldn’t be other great choices. But this is a choice that I feel gives the best of both worlds, the need for the show to be different and not a copy of its tenure under Stewart, but a way to be the same and still satisfy the audience.
As you can tell I’ve been thinking a little about this.
Ultimately I’m glad that someone will be sitting in the chair, though if Jon suddenly changed his mind and wanted 10 more years that’d be okay too. The show has been a way to become engaged with the news and political life that isn’t oppresive and depressing. It’s been a way to find out about interesting books and movies (some for gifts). And it’s just been a great landing spot to process the events of the day.
Hopefully, next year, it still will be.