Jon Stewart may be responding to the Bat Signal. Or, at least, he will be back in the neighborhood. When the political lampooning giant announced that he was leaving The Daily Show in February, the reaction was nothing short of panic.
“Jon Stewart, we need you in 2016!” the New Yorker moaned.
“Can We Survive This Election Without Jon Stewart?” Interro Bang wondered.
“After Jon Stewart, Can We Find The Funny?” Huffington Post asked.
Stewart, who on Thursday hosted a comedy show with President Barack Obama for the USO’s 75th anniversary, has kept a mostly low profile since leaving Comedy Central in February.
He was winding down the Daily Show just as Trump was beginning to hit full steam as a candidate.
“If Trump’s not running, then these last shows are going to be nothing but a cup of hot sadness.”
According to Vanity Fair, Stewart could not have known how crazy the 2016 election was about to become.
HBO chief Richard Plepler told CNN’s Brian Stelter Thursday that he had hopes that Stewart would get back on the air before November’s election. But he said Stewart isn’t signing on just to take shots at Trump.
“I think he’s clamoring at the bit to do something that he knows is going to stand out and be a new part of his artistic expression.”
— Variety (@Variety) May 5, 2016
He was referring to Otoy, the $300 million start-up that produces virtual reality content. Stewart has a four-year contract to work with HBO and Otoy, which he referred to as “limitless mind-blowing creative platform.”
There is some mystery surrounding the Otoy project. Its CEO Jules Urbach describes it as a completely different experience.
“The future of media and entertainment is not going to be constrained by a screen, nor consumed through monolithic apps or platforms.”
It sounds as if Stewart is stepping completely away from his old zone in the political realm.
Called by the New Yorker as “the last hope for bringing some rationality to the 2016 Presidential field,” Stewart had decided to leave The Daily Show after 15 years. As The Guardian explained, he said that the reason was mostly due to the cyclical nature of politics.
“It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.'”
Besides, he wanted to spend more time with his son and daughter, and meanwhile save a wayward bull named Frank that had escaped from the slaughterhouse.
Jon Stewart is a superhero in the eyes of more than cowboys. He was credited by many as being the necessary venting microphone for Americans, in the face of half-baked politics. Interro Bang said that Stewart kept the public united.
“We are a reflection of the fractured media landscape, peeling off to our own corners. One person likes Seth Meyers‘ snarky SNL take, another Bill Maher’s smug old white guy perspective.
“Some tune into the brilliant Stephen Colbert’s big tent talk show, while others like Larry Wilmore’s interesting, if not laugh out loud take on the news.”
“With Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, we were all tuning in together. That meant we all had to find some common ground. That common ground is now lacking.”
When asked in September if Stewart would return to TV if Trump were elected president, he said, “I would consider getting in a rocket and going to another planet because clearly this planet has gone bonkers.”
[Photo by Cliff Owen/AP Images]