After stepping down as host of the well-received Daily Show last year, America’s beloved late night comic is finally staging his big television comeback.
Following in the footsteps of one of his most successful disciples, John Oliver, Stewart will be airing his new project as an HBO series. Though Stewart signed a contract with the network last November, he and his team have spent the better part of a year planning the project.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys told CNNMoney that the program is expected to begin some time in September or October, just in time for the presidential election, which many worried they would have to endure without Jon Stewart’s witty commentary, save the occasional guest appearance on other programs such as a surprise appearance on former Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.
The idea is that this format would allow Stewart to get the material out in real-time as events happen.
“Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me,” said Stewart, according to the Huffington Post. “I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again.”
The animation style, according to Bloy, will be simple, allowing the network to put the material out while the news is still fresh. There are also talks about putting the fragments together and airing them on HBO’s regular channel, perhaps as a half-hour show.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bloy clarified that Jon Stewart will be providing the voice of the animated character broadcasting the news.
“He is establishing an animation studio. He wants to get material out on a daily basis. The idea is that it’s an animated parody of a cable news network in an Onion-like portal. It will be his voice, in his actual voice, and his tone.”
As the project was originally intended to begin airing in early 2016, allowing Stewart to commence commentary on one of history’s most attention-grabbing elections, Stewart and HBO encountered a few setbacks delaying its release, possibly due to the new technology that graphics company Otoy is developing to get the shows ready in a timely fashion.
“It’s a limitless mind-blowing creative platform,” joked Stewart in an interview with Otoy’s company news site. “My dream is to someday understand how they did it!!!”
The four-year contract Stewart signed with HBO will allow him to produce television shows or films.
After stepping down as host of the Daily Show, he was replaced by correspondent Trevor Noah. Stewart has also tried his hand at film directing, with the 2014 release of Rosewater, starring world renown Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.
Along with Trevor Noah, who took Stewart’s place at the helm of the Daily Show, many other correspondents who got their big start on Stewart’s Daily Show including John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Samantha Bee have gone on to host their own comedy news talk shows.
“Jon Stewart led a revolution that changed the face of TV comedy on the ‘Daily Show,'” said former HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “He graced our network nearly 20 years ago, so we’re thrilled to welcome back his immense talents in this next chapter of his career.”
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