central for Jon Stewart, who recently took over The Daily
Show on Comedy Central. He won't forget his day job when
he stars in movies such as the upcoming Adam Sandler romp Big
How did it come to pass that you took over The Daily Show?
happened because my old producer from my talk show produces
The Daily Show. After Craig decided to leave the show,
I had lunch with her. We were just talking about it and they
made a very compelling case about how much fun it would be.
After your hunk turn in Playing by Heart, does this mean
you're putting your film career on hold?
to weep) Yes, my filmography will suffer. I think I will
adopt the pace of one film every 35 years. Or maybe I will do
films in bulk. It's sort of like shopping at those stores where
you get 800 pounds of grain in bulk. I'll do 800 films and then
walk away for a little while. Honestly, the nice thing is I've
got flexibility on The Daily Show, so I can do some movies.
Is there a type of movie or TV role that you won't do?
I think 90210 is out for me. Of course, I could be that
guy with gray hair who is still in the 11th grade.
Do you have a problem with 90210?
I think it's weird when those kids on 90210 have hysterectomies
before they go to college because they're getting so old. But
maybe it's just me.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in New Jersey in a town called Lawrence. I go back.
I still have a bar tab I have to pay - just kidding. Anyway,
I went away to college and then I came back and lived with a
bunch of my friends in Trenton, N.J. I worked as a bartender
before breaking into comedy.
you go home again?
A. I still
go back there and play New Year's Eve. It's a good way to go
home, see your family, but still get to stay in a hotel so you're
not home that much.
What kind of kid were you?
I was very pleasant. Smallish. I don't think I was a troublemaker.
Nah, I had a lot of pretty good friends. I played a lot of sports.
This was back in the days that kids played outdoors and used
their arms and legs to run. We didn't have Nintendo. In seventh
grade, someone had Kong, this video game. You played it for
a couple of minutes and then said, "OK, that's stupid.
Let's go outside." I had a very nice childhood.
When did you know you were funny?
Dec. 11, 1964. No, just kidding. I was always a wise guy. Early
on it got me in some trouble. I was voted "Best Sense of
Humor" in high school. That was about the only accreditation
I have as far as being funny. Otherwise you have to take my
word for it.
And because it is the season, we must ask: When did you see
Star Wars for the first time?
was older. It didn't hit me the same way it hit all the kids
I knew. I mean, I never played with the Lando doll. I was 15
and I was the one standing there going, "Yesssss. Princess
Leia." I [couldn't] have cared less about stupid R2-D2.
I wanted to date the princess. I wanted to say to her, "Let
your braids down, baby."