"Host is clear"
Entertainment Weekly Online
January 8, 1999
by Josh Wolk


Jon Stewart answers questions from EW Online before asking his own on The Daily Show

Monday night at 11 p.m., Jon Stewart will grab the baton of sarcasm from Craig Kilborn: The 36-year-old comic takes over as anchor of Comedy Central's satiric The Daily Show. EW Online talked to the incoming wiseass as he prepared for his debut. 

EW: How will The Daily Show be different with you in the anchor chair? 
Stewart: I don't have Craig's Aryan diction. Also, I'll be writing, so there will be more arguments in the writers' room.... It's a different kind of writing than I'm used to. I'm used to more monologue-type jokes. Here, there's no setup at all. It's "Today in Montana..." not "Anybody here from Montana?" 

EW: Are you worried about the reviews? 
Stewart: That's the beauty of television, you can be terrible and still be accepted. If it doesn't work, we can call it Three Guys, a Desk, and a Pizza. Or we'll hire a pixie girl to spit out sarcastic wit. Or having a baby on the show has saved many a show, like in the later years of Family Ties. Or an alien baby -- how can you not win with that? One that used to be a rapper. 

EW: Did guesting on The Larry Sanders Show ever make you want to try your own sitcom? 
Stewart: Working on Larry Sanders brought back how much I liked going to work every day. But I felt like I had to get some of the other stuff out of my system, like doing some of the smaller film stuff (with roles in The Faculty and Adam Sandler's upcoming Big Daddy). If I had an idea as strong as what Garry (Shandling) started with, maybe I'd be more hell-bent on going in that direction. It was like I was deciding between an egg-salad sandwich and a tuna-salad sandwich and they walked in with flank steak. Did I really just use that analogy? I apologize wholeheartedly, I just ate lunch. 

EW: So why did you decide to go back to hosting a talk show? 
Stewart: The kind of show it was, the creative environment, being in New York. All those factors made it so obvious that even a dunderhead like me couldn't f--- up this decision, and believe me I tried. It was clear that it was a great and fun thing to do. I could have looked that flank steak dead in the eye and said, "I want rump roast."


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