When John Oliver took over so Stewart could go shoot his first feature film, he pretty much was just a mouthpiece for Stewart, working with the same writers and serving as a place holder until the boss could come back from sabbatical. His show on HBO is so much different from what The Daily Show does, and it’s so much better for it. It’s allowed Oliver to do actual journalism, find his own voice, and see what he has to contribute to the conversation.
That’s what was always so great about The Daily Show. It was entirely Stewart’s vision, and we won’t have that vision without Stewart. Now that he’s gone, let’s give the show a rest and let someone new figure out how to take down our establishment one comedic peg at a time.
These think pieces and all their needless speculating are asking the wrong thing. It should not be “Who should replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show?” they should be asking, “Who out there has a new voice to create the next revolutionary show in late night television?” Whoever that is shouldn’t be shackled with the legacy that Stewart created any more than Larry Wilmore should have to put on an American flag pin and try to be “Stephen Colbert.” Cancel The Daily Show and find someone out there who can create a wonderful gem of her own. It’s the best thing for Stewart, for whichever poor soul has to step into his shoes, and for the audience — whether or not they’re willing to get over their grief and admit it.