Five People Who Should Not Take Over for Jon Stewart
In the wake of Comedy Central’s announcement that Jon Stewart will be leaving The Daily Show later this year, lists of suggested replacements immediately started popping up. Some of them are very good ideas: Aisha Tyler, Samantha Bee, a Samantha Bee and Jason Jones combo, Amy Poehler. But sometimes deciding what you don’t want can be helpful, like figuring out you definitely don’t want pizza for lunch. Here are some people we suggest Comedy Central cross off their own list of candidates.
Ricky Gervais: Gervais can be pretty funny! None of that funny was on display the last two times he hosted the Golden Globes, though, and Hollywood can hold a grudge, so it’s entirely possible Gervais would have some trouble finding guests. That means 22 minutes of chatter with Stephen Merchant and/or making fun of poor Karl Pilkington.
Brian Williams: The joke has been made, and we’ve all had a good chuckle, but it’s time to put this one to bed. Under different circumstances, Williams might have been a good candidate for his own “funnyman does news” show, after retiring gracefully from the NBC Nightly News desk—his “Slow Jam the News” bit with Jimmy Fallon is fun, and he can certainly take the piss out of other media outlets. Ironically, his current punch line status would make this feel like Williams steering a little too hard into the skid.
Louis CK: The man himself covered the idea of a late night run in Season 3 of Louie, in a three-episode arc. CBS intimates that Letterman might be retiring, so CK avatar Louie dares to try out for the spot…and loses out to Letterman. A mess at first, Louie actually settles into a pretty decent rhythm during test shows, but a comedian like CK works best free-range, and constraining him with a desk and suit and rigid format seems cruel. Fun fact: In the third episode of Louie‘s arc, the Dean of Late Night re-ups his contract for another 10 years. In real life, Letterman announced his retirement 18 months later.
Roseanne Barr: This would probably be really wild and refreshing for a week’s worth of shows. Barr has never given even a single crap about ruffling feathers, and she’d prove a challenge to the political guests. But after that first week, things could go entirely off the rails, leading to an abrupt departure, or the network might ask her to tone things down a bit, leading to an abrupt departure.
A Hologram of George Carlin: You laugh, but this idea is not as far-fetched as you might think (witness the Tupac “performance at Coachella in 2012). It might seem tempting for Comedy Central to “resurrect” Carlin, one of the most biting and insightful comics of the last 40 years: He’s got an established “brand,” he’s funny…. But odds are he’d become the first self-aware hologram mid-taping, say all of the seven words you can’t say on television, and stomp out of the studio.