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Top 10 Jon Stewart Replacements for The Daily Show

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With Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show, America is losing a leading satirical voice who not only spoke truth to power for local and foreign governments but was also a biting media critic, calling out those many would’ve considered his peers (though he held them in higher regard) from Fox News to CNN and even network anchor chairs.

We are also losing one of the really good interviewers of our generation. It sounds crazy, but in many ways, Stewart was able to break down the toughest of guests with the guise of humor and get real answers out of politicians and others in power who would’ve been able to deflect barbs across cable news.

Here are some candidates to replace him:

First, a list of candidates that are almost certainly unlikely due to other commitments and/or their star has already risen too high and they’re not leaving Hollywood: Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brian, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and (sadly) John Oliver. 

10. Olivia Munn

Munn spent a short time on TDS after a stint on various smaller basic cable shows (including Attack of the Show). Being a correspondent was a huge step to stardom, and she’s been in bigger movies and shows since, like Magic Mike, Iron Man 2, The Newsroom, and Mortdecai. Sadly, although she’d be a fine anchor, her lack of writing chops might keep her stepping into this role and her future is probably brighter on the big screen anyway.


9. Chelsea Handler

Although she was bandied about as a possible replacement for Letterman and she’s seen as a comic with a similar sarcastic style, her ratings were terrible over at E! and she may be seen as too abrasive to have the wider appeal that Stewart held.


8. Chris Hardwick

Once upon a time, The Daily Show wasn’t just about politics and Fox News critiques. Under Craig Kilborn, the show had a much wider appeal. Hardwick has been crushing his role @Midnight and could return the show to a time where the top story was just as likely to be about the latest Marvel movie than the war overseas.


7. Jessica Williams

My biggest question here, and maybe it’s too cynical of me to even think about, is whether or not Comedy Central would go with a black female host (in a typically white male dominated landscape) with Larry Wilmore following her. If they’re willing to “pull that trigger” (nothing should be stopping them), tt would be a bold move, and I think Williams could be a very good replacement for Stewart.

The only potential drawback here is that her background was mostly in improv and (as I said about Munn) she may be better on camera than leading the show in the creative way that Stewart did.


6. Nick Offerman

99% of us may know him simply as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, but the reality of Nick Offerman is a far different kind of comic who has plenty of views (and sarcasm) about everything…just one thing: After his run as Swanson, he may need to do the show sans mustache for people to take him seriously. He has acting credits going back to 1997 and has written, directed and produced.


5. Samantha Bee and/or Jason Jones

Both Bee and Jones have been in character for TDS long enough that long-time viewer might not take the duo seriously as “straight men” when it comes to delivering news. Still, they’ve hosted the show before (and did a marvelous job doing so) so this isn’t very far fetched, and the co-anchor situation could help redefine the show post-Stewart.


4. Louis C.K. 

Louis is the kind of comic who appears more interested in doing his own thing, but it he could ever be “tied down” creatively to an animal like TDS, it could be fantastic. He’s relatable enough to break down A-list celebrities into a real interview atmosphere, but strong enough to stand up against a stonewalling politician. Like Stewart, he also runs the gamut from usual self-deprecating likability to occasional fits of impotent rage.


3. Amy Poehler

Like Offerman, she’s ending her run on Parks and Recreation and unlike her former SNL castmate Tina Fey, she doesn’t have the directing and producing major movies bug. In fact, her production credits right now revolves around Broad City which is a Comedy Central show. She also has serious comedic writing experience and has crushed it behind an anchor desk before.


2. Jason Sudekis

Sudekis brings much of the same disarming likability and charm a younger Jon Stewart once brought to the chair. He left SNL and 30 Rock for a shot at the big screen, but he was reportedly weighing a return to SNL as recently as last year after Hollywood didn’t quite go his way. He was a writer for a few seasons under Seth Meyers on Saturday nights, but the biggest question is whether or not he would command the anchor desk or a interview in quite the same way.


1. Neil Patrick Harris

To me, this is a no-brainer although it might cost Comedy Central a little more coin than some of these other candidates. Like Sudekis, NPH is as likeble as they come. He hasn’t done a ton of writing, nor is he a pure comedian in the stand-up/improv/sketch sense, but he’s certainly funny and has produced (and hosted) numerous award shows while also crushing a guest hosting stint on what is now Live with Kelly and Michael. 


Written by Michael Schottey

February 10, 2015 at 8:44 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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