According to The Huffington Post, Comedy Central is beginning to compile a "short list" of potential replacement hosts for The Daily Show. The news outlet says Comedy Central's decision on its next host "could affect how much influence the show has on the 2016 presidential campaign." The network is also reportedly considering how Stewart will remain involved in the show's production going forward. Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Entertainment Group, said that matter was still up in the air. "It's not out of the question," he told The Huffington Post.
Herzog also provided further context for the reasons Stewart announced his leave. "I think Jon wanted to get this off his chest and put it out there. He's been carrying this for a while, and now we'll have to discuss [next steps]," Herzog said. "He'll take a deep breath, as will we, and figure out what's best for Jon Stewart and best for The Daily Show, in that order."
Following Stewart's retirement announcement, there have been two kinds of thought pieces floating around the Internet. First, what Stewart should do next. (Spoiler alert: A great number of people think he ought to run for office.) Second, and perhaps most timely, who should replace him as host. More specifically, "replace him with a woman."
The plea for late-night shows to snag a lady host has been around for some time. But, it came into much sharper focus when Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Craig Ferguson were replaced by Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and James Corden, respectively.
There's a petition going around to promote the show's correspondent Jessica Williams to host. The Guardian notes that "the ladies of The Daily Show consistently knock it out of the park and leave those perfectly nice men in the comedy dust." The Hollywood Reporter's created an online poll of who ought to replace Stewart, featuring several women. The names Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Sarah Silverman all make appearances in lists of women who would make great late-night additions.
Though I personally believe women don't need late night slots because they're already killing it elsewhere (think Inside Amy Schumer and The Mindy Project), it's clear that if the show is looking to influence an election, perhaps another middle-aged white guy isn't the best option.
Herzog didn't provide any names for this "short list" of candidates, but he did rule out John Oliver. "He already has a job," he told The Huffington Post. And, Herzog isn't ruling out female candidates. "All good ideas are being considered," he told Adweek. "We're happy to have anybody that we believe is going to be funny enough and smart enough to sit behind that desk."
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