I recently learned that Jon Stewart may be leaving the Daily Show next year. I worry that we will be losing something very specific in Stewart as the host. What he brings to the table is a higher intellectual standard. It’s clear to me that he holds everyone to a higher standard, including his audience.
I stopped watching Colbert early on. I think Colbert is funny (maybe even funnier) but Stewart goes for jokes that require the audience to see the absurdity in politics in a way that points toward the truth. I’ve only seen a few segments of John Oliver’s show (I’d love to pay HBO for access but I’m not willing to pay a cable company for that access!). I remember when Oliver was hosting the Daily Show and I felt like he was mostly pandering to the audience. I don’t like to feel patronized like that. But the few segments I’ve seen on his own show are mostly thoughtful. So there’s reason to hold out hope.
I don’t know what we can expect from Stewart in 2016 but I’m looking forward to it. Here’s to you Jon Stewart! May you keep raising the bar!
Update: if that (first) link still isn’t working, try cutting and pasting this: nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/10/jon-stewart-rosewater-in-conversation.html