Jon Stewart: Late-night talk-show host?

Jon_lA late-night hosting gig on a major network is sort of likethe television equivalent of the Oval Office — sitting in that chair issupposed to mean that the majority of Americans find your presence bearable, and speculation about who might succeed you kicks into gear waybefore it seems relevant.

With Conan O’Brien set to take over Jay Leno’s Tonight Show seat in 2009, the late-nightreshuffle has shifted into high gear, with rumors floating about a potential moveby Jon Stewart (pictured). Broadcasting & Cablereports that NBC execs Jeff Zucker and Mark Graboff have recently ”wined anddined” the Daily Show host and hisagent, presumably hoping for Stewart to fill the 12:30 am slot that Conan will eventually vacate.

Jon Stewart on network TV seems like a no-brainer. He’sperfected the art of the charming, light interview; he’s clearly got the comedychops for the job, and he’s always been able to attract great writers. But thequestion remains: what would Stewart sacrifice in a move from cable tonetwork TV? While I don’t know if DailyShow is quite the ”must-see” viewing that it was during the last election cycle, Stewart’ssatire has become part of the pop-culture consciousness — probably of thepolitical consciousness, as well, though he would humbly downplay thatbyproduct of his comedy. So would he lose any of his edge by moving to a less politically-engaged program?

I’m not a network night owl by any means, so I’m interestedto hear what the rest of you have to say. Would you like to see Stewart move toNBC? Are there any other candidates you think should be considered to fill Conan’s chair?


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  • Nagano 98

    Fascinating, Chris. I’m of the opinion that the only logical succession to Conan should be someone who is a barbarian. Barbaro? Beast on the mic? A rapper who may or may not have an affinity for psychotropic pills? I vote for Wayne. Weezy should fill the chair, is he lives long enough.

  • josh

    Remember the last time the host of the Daily Show made a move to the chair of a late night network television show?
    I have a feeling that this Onion story about Kilborn might not be far from the truth …

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/craig_kilborn_ready_to

  • Jill

    Jon Stewart MUST STAY!!! At this point, he is The Daily Show. He and the forum suit each other perfectly — the magic won’t carry.

  • mumblo

    John Stewart’s already had a late-night show. I was a fan, but sadly not many others were. He’s doing a tremendous job at the Daily Show and I, for one, look forward to him staying there.

  • michael

    The move for Stewart would most likely mean more money and more exposure, but who knows how much either of those two factors hold importance for Mr. Stewart. Selfishly, I hope he stays with the Daily Show. His leaving the show would open up a wide chasm of scenarios…such as, who would replace him on the show? Would the Colbert Report become the anchor and the Daily Show just an insignificant sidenote. The show has survived for 10 plus years, both with Stewart and Kilborn and if the spirit of the show is kept the same, then I cannot see it succeeding in a world where politics and those covering politics continue to grow more and more bizarre. The only way I want to see Stewart or Colbert leave prematurely from the smartest and funniest one hour block of television is if I read in the newspaper tomorrow, “Stewart/Colbert to run as Independents for the Presidential office in 2008″

  • Ceballos

    I’m gonna come at this from a slightly different angle:
    Now, I’m one of the biggest Conan fans in the world and I think right now he has a the best late-night talk show. But Stewart’s Daily Show is better (I believe it’s won the writing Emmy approximately 27 years in a row). I know a move to network TV would constitute more money and exposure for Stewart but why would he willingly want to follow Conan when his current show is, you know, better and more influential. (I guess Stewart in the late night arena may not be as good as Conan is late night).
    Anyway, I’m hoping Stewart stays on Comedy Central doing his thing with Colbert as his wing man and delivering one of the more excellent hours on TV.
    How about they take a chance on a lesser known comic to fill Conan’s spot…it worked for, you know…Conan!

  • Dio_K

    I love the Daily Show and am not much of a talk show fan. So I’d want him to stay forever. But everyone has to move on sometime. Perhaps he could make the NBC show more political? Selfishly, I can’t imagine TV without Stewart and his “madcap” political satire.

  • Jen

    I’m definitely more of a fan of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Dio_K is right about the political satire – I would really miss it. I can’t see him doing as much of that on late-night TV. Plus, I have to go to bed too early for work to stay up and watch late-night TV, but I can (and usually do) catch a rerun the next day. So if Jon Stewart went to late night, I’d either have to DVR it every night or never get my Jon Stewart fix.

  • eric murphy

    Craig Kilborn’s career is in limbo. Don’t do it, Jon. The Daily Show is one of the best. things. ever. Don’t be fooled by the rocks that they got, man!

  • Marci

    I hope Jon stays on the Daily Show. As for who I would like to see take Conan’s place….I think that Michael Ian Black would make a good replacement. I thought he did a great job that week he hosted Craig Kilborn when they were looking for a replacement.
    I’ve always loved Norm MacDonald. I think he would be an interesting choice to replace Conan.

  • melissa

    The Daily Show is one of my favorites, however, the interview portion of the show is not its high point — Jon has said this himself many times. I’m not sure a move to a more interview-based format would be a good one. I would really like to see Jon Stewart stay on the Daily Show until there is a better fit for him on network television.

  • Peggy

    Why not move “The Daily Show & “Colbert” to NBC? If its an “intellectual property” issue (with Comedy Central), they can just change the names of the shows.

  • Snarky

    Keep Jon at Comedy Central w/Stephen. There’s something to be said for loyality. Chelsea Handler would be a great host of a late night talk show. As a bonus, Wanda Sykes could do her “woman on the street” segments like she did on Chris Rock’s HBO show. Mr Zucker, you can pay me in “The Office” DVD’s for this winning idea.

  • Anonymous

    As long as its not Rosie O’Donnell, I’ll be happy. Let her go to satalite radio, there’s no way she’ll get “The Price is Right” job. She’s burned her bridges.

  • Brian

    That’s a big assumption that a late-night talk show is the premier spot in this day and age. What are people talking about more the next day at work…Conan’s monologue or what John Stewart did the night before? Seriously, the late-night talkfest era is over. Stewart and Colbert bring in more viewers and the eyeballs that advertisers want.

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