Jon Stewart gave a candid and lengthy interview with Howard Stern this week, and in it, he spoke to an issue that’s been on a lot of minds lately: Will he continue on at The Daily Show after 2015 when his contract is up.
From the interview, it sounds like he really is ambivalent, but if he does stick around after 2015, it probably won’t be for long.
“Will you re-sign next year,” Stern asked?
“I just don’t know,” he said.
He said it has nothing to do with contract negotiations, and that if he decided to hang it up, there’s nothing that Comedy Central could do to keep him. Over the course of the interview, he also mentioned frequently that the hours — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — have been keeping him away from his young kids (8 and ten). He said the “real question” ultimately was whether it was “just time for me not to be on television for a while. Is there something in me that needs not to be on television?”
There was a piece in Newsday the other day that suggested a post-The Daily Show possibilities for Stewart, including becoming a director, entering politics, or becoming a “serious newsman.” Interestingly, however, they didn’t hit upon what Stewart admitted he actually wants to do after The Daily Show. He wants to take the Seinfeld route and return to stand-up comedy, saying that he “loves it,” and that Seinfeld “did it right.”
“The only difference between me and [Seinfeld],” he said, “is that when you leave a topical show, you gotta be ready to leave because you disappear … you have to be sanguine about the decision that you’re gone,” as opposed to Seinfeld, who will live on forever in syndication. He did promise, however, that The Daily Show will go on forever, even if he leaves.
But, man: What does the world look like without David Letterman and Jon Stewart on our TVs every night?