Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Jon Stewart to retire from ‘the Daily Show’

Jon Stewart on the set of the Daily Show

Jon Stewart, one of the foremost TV satirists and astute media critics of our time, will be leaving the anchor desk of the Daily Show later this year.

From the NYT (“Jon Stewart Will Be Leaving ‘The Daily Show’ on a Career High Note“):

Jon Stewart, the comedian who turned Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” into a sharp-edged nightly commentary on the news, the people behind it and the media reporting (and sometimes misreporting) it, said on Tuesday that he would step down from the program after more than 16 years as its anchor.

Mr. Stewart disclosed his plans during a taping of the program on Tuesday. His announcement that he would depart was confirmed by Comedy Central, which said in a statement that he would “remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year” but did not elaborate on Mr. Stewart’s next steps or the future of the show.

Mr. Stewart, 52, became the host of “The Daily Show” in 1999, entering with the identity of a hard-working standup, if not necessarily known as an astute political commentator.

A decade and a half later, his satirical sensibility helped turn “The Daily Show,” where he also serves as an executive producer, into an influential platform for news and media commentary, both in the United States and around the world. Under his direction, the program has been a humorous release valve for politically frustrated (often left-leaning) viewers and a bête-noir of (often right-leaning) critics who see too much collusion between politics and the fourth estate.

According to Mashable, the Daily Show has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards during  Stewart’s 18-year tenure. It deserves the accolades.

However, I can’t help but think that Stewart is leaving at the right time.

I’ve basically stopped watching the show. I found both it and Stewart to be getting stale. I was glad when he took a three-month break to make the film Rosewater. But the break didn’t seem to revive him.

While I’m not sorry to see him go at this time, when I remember some of the brilliant monologues and comedy bits he performed with his talented ensemble after he’s gone, I’ll miss him terribly.

Tue, February 10 2015 » Main Page, Media