Jon Stewart Confirms That NBC Tried To Hire Him To Host Meet The Press


Jon Stewart confirmed in an interview that NBC did try to hire the late night comedian to host Meet The Press, but Stewart never seriously considered their offer.

The Daily Show host told Rolling Stone,

My guess is they were casting as wide and as weird a net as they could,” he says. “I’m sure part of them was thinking, ‘Why don’t we just make it a variety show?'”

Stewart says he never seriously considered taking the gig. “I felt like that was one of those situations,” he says, “where someone says, ‘We really like what you do. Why don’t you come over here and do something different, maybe something you don’t do as well, for us?’ I can understand notionally where it comes from. News and entertainment have melded in a way. But they would be overcompensating on the entertainment side. That’s certainly not an outlandish decision, although I don’t necessarily think that’s the best direction for it.”

What’s more like is that NBC understood that Stewart is a top notch interviewer, who could have brought an instant intellectual infusion to Meet The Press. Stewart’s reason for not wanting to move to Sunday mornings makes perfect sense. What if he was no good at doing a serious news show?

Jon Stewart is a comedian. Without comedy to fall back on, what kind of show would he be able to do? Stewart probably could have been just as successful on Meet The Press as he has been with The Daily Show, but if he would have taken over Meet The Press, it would have had to have changed into more of an entertainment show.

The interesting thing is that Stewart would have brought a different audience to Sunday mornings. He would have shaken up the stuffy and stale Sunday shows. I can’t see Stewart be happy with sitting a studio while John McCain rattles off the nine millionth version of the same pro-war talking points that he has been using for decades.

In the end, NBC was forced to settle for the stale, stuffy, and oh so Beltway conventional Chuck Todd. It is a shame that the country will never get to see what Jon Stewart could have done with a Sunday morning political talk show.

Stewart seems to know his limitations, so it was probably best for everyone that he decided to stick with Comedy Central and let someone else go down with the sinking Meet The Press ship.

8 Replies to “Jon Stewart Confirms That NBC Tried To Hire Him To Host Meet The Press”

  1. I don’t think Jon Steward turned it down because “he seems to know his limitations”. He’s way more eclectic than just comedy. I think it may have been because he likes being the “go to” comedian for the young millennials who, quite frankly, get their political education from his show! And not just the millennials…

  2. You’re probably right, JustSue…
    Still, he might have had greater impact had he done MTP.
    He has disappointed me.

  3. Offering Stewart to host Meet The Press is proof that TV news executives can’t tell the difference between news and entertainment. No wonder there is so little real news on network news shows anymore.

  4. The news and entertainment experiment was tried already. It didn’t work out so well. The people watching it thought it was real news and factual, resulting in a lot of people believing lies and utter nonsense. Unfortunately, they, Faux News, are continuing with this experiment. :-). On the serious side , moving to Sunday morning, John Stewart would have lost his biggest audience, the youth. They don’t get up Sunday mornings to watch political shows. Some of them don’t even get up Sunday mornings. I think John made the right decision.

  5. It would have put limitations on him — A one hour show one day a week — NOOOOOOOO.

    It’s one of the reasons I say Maddow is not a good fit for it either. Neither she nor Jon would be good sitting with likes of McCain & the old BS talking points. Maddow & Stewart are 2 of the very few that actually are fact based & do research — the almost non-existent thng — research.

    MSNBC has very few fact based shows. They’re now more lazy, lack research and just report/read info as if reading from AP or whatever. They’re now to where they’re in competition with CNN to see who’s Fox Lite.

  6. No way John Stewart could do an episode of MTP and keep a straight face. He could have turned MTP into a great comedy show. That, I would watch. MTP has become nothing more than a soapbox for blowhard Republicans and Neocons. They haven’t done a real interview in years.

  7. He copped out. He could have been of great service in cutting the b.s. and holding the politicians to their words. I am disappointed. He should should do it. Challenge himself! He looses credability in my eyes!

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