Jon Stewart is leaving “The Daily Show” after 17 years on the job.
Obviously, fans and admirers were surprised and upset by the decision, but 17 years is a long time, and it’s not surprising that he wants to move on with his life. But what comes next for the show?
Most of today’s audience for the program isn’t even old enough to remember that Craig Kilborn was the host from 1996 until Stewart took over in 1999, and as a result, Stewart has become the singular most important icon for the show.
Larry Wilmore, host of “Colbert Report’s” replacement, the “Nightly Show,” was devastated that Stewart had decided to step down. It’s understandable, as there were endless possibilities for the two comedians to collaborate (much like Colbert and Stewart did when their shows aired back to back).
Without a doubt, it will be difficult to find someone to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes, but there are some wonderful choices for his replacement. Originally, there was quite a bit of buzz that current “Daily Show” correspondent Jessica Williams should fill the slot, but she has since taken to Twitter to deny that possibility.
Wired Magazine suggested that John Oliver could take the job, but it was just announced that his weekly show “Last Week Tonight” has been renewed for at least two more seasons.
Keeping all this in mind, my opinion is that the best possible contender for the job is Aisha Tyler.
This woman is so completely underrated, and it has been frustrating to see her get passed up for numerous other hosting gigs. Her resume includes hosting on “The Talk” as well as being Drew Carey’s replacement on “Whose Line is it Anyway.”
She lends her voice to the quick-witted and confident Lana from “Archer,” and had guest appearances on shows like “Friends” and “Modern Family.” Not to mention the fact that, as a woman of color, her voice would be a much-appreciated breath of fresh air in an industry hugely dominated by white males.
My vote? Scrap “The Daily Show” and just have Mike Myers and Dana Carvey do “Wayne’s World” every night. Their performance for “Saturday Night Live’s” 40th anniversary showed that they’ve still got it. After all, “The Daily Show” just can’t be the same without Stewart at the helm.
In all seriousness, though, this chance could serve as a much needed rejuvenation for the show.
Jon Stewart is a funny guy, but in recent years, it has felt as though the job was making him tired. Die-hard fans still watched every night, but for those on the fence, it will be great to see a fresh face serving up pinions and wit regarding current events.
Collegian A&E Writer Aubrey Shanahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @aubs926.