As you know, Jon Stewart will be leaving his post at The Daily Show later this year to pursue endeavors known only to him. It’s the end of an era for a media personality who not only shaped how we think about comedy, but how we think about the way we take in the news, and who we trust to deliver it. Shoes that need filling don’t come much bigger, so there’s not much sense in trying. Jon Stewart is in a class by himself.
There will be time to reflect on his legacy when Stewart’s actual tenure comes to a close, but for now, let’s look to the future. Who will fill his significant shoes? We’ve got a few thoughts.
(And before we get into it, you’ll be relieved to know that we did not go for the obvious Brian Williams joke. You’re welcome.)
In the immediate wake of Stewart’s announcement, Jessica Williams was the name that got thrown around the most. The 25-year-old has been one of the most reliably funny of The Daily Show‘s correspondents, and she would add some terrific vitality to the stuffy anchor’s desk.
Rapper. Actor. Comedian. Glover has been a lot of things, but you get the sense he really has yet to find the perfect avenue for his seemingly boundless intelligence. The Daily Show would be an interesting platform for him to try it out on.
If you’ve heard Judah Smith, you know what a gripping, interesting, engaging conversationalist this Seattle pastor can be. It’s time the rest of the world knew too.
She hosted Talk Soup back in the early ’00s and proved herself a blisteringly smart and very funny comedian. The Daily Show is almost certainly trying to line up a lunch meeting.
Maron’s WTF Podcast is one of the better podcasts on the Internet right now, thanks entirely to Maron’s dizzying intellect and profound courage. The only problem is, guests may not want to open themselves up to the dangerous questions Maron likes to ask.
As a child star, he showed his prodigious talent. Is he ready for the big time?
This is almost too easy. Parks & Rec is rounding out its final season and Amy Poehler is one of the brightest minds in news satire, having cut her teeth on SNL‘s Weekend Update. Plus, who better to take the news media to task than Leslie Knope?
The ill-fated Pete Holmes Show never got the viewership it deserved. Holmes is a talented comedian and a sharp conversationalist. The Daily Show might just give his career the umph it needs.
The Daily Show‘s longest-running news correspondent. It’s been 12 years. Time for a promotion.
For a master of all art and media, helming The Daily Show would require the merest modicum of his deep well of talent.
After spending a few years as The Daily Show‘s “Senior Asian Correspondent,” Munn left for her regular role on The Newsroom. She’d be an interesting pick, with plenty of experience in the political satire field.
Mark Driscoll and Rob Bell
If producers want to go the “safe route,” then this is the obvious choice. Two, guys, just hanging out, talking current events. What could possibly go wrong?
Key and Peele
Comedy Central’s other rising stars, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, have been hitting satirical sketch comedy out of the park over on their show, Key and Peele. They’re smart, conscientious and really, really funny. What more could The Daily Show want?
Here’s a common refrain in 2015: John Mulaney’s stand-up comedy is excellent, but his sitcom, Mulaney, was pretty bad. The Daily Show would give Mulaney a chance to funnel his obvious talent in an environment more suited to his strengths. And, as a long-time writer for Weekend Update, he’s got some experience.
While promoting his Top Five film in 2014, Rock displayed the sort of sharp insights and political know-how that made him such an interesting comedian in the ’90s. As his career enters a whole new phase, it would be interesting to see how he’d manage a job like The Daily Show.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's executive editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.