Jon Stewart announced Tuesday that he would be stepping down as host of “The Daily Show” later this year. Despite the fact that Craig Kilborn served as the show’s original host, after 17 years Jon Stewart seems almost irreplaceable behind the desk of the long running Comedy Central series. However, the show must go on and Comedy Central will soon begin searching for the person who will bear the burden of replacing the iconic Stewart.
Here are six possibilities for the next host of “The Daily Show”:
1. Jessica Williams
If Comedy Central promotes from within – which they have a long history of doing, be it Stephen Colbert or Larry Wilmore – then no current Daily Show correspondent would be better suited for the job than Jessica Williams. While Samantha Bee has been on the show the longest of any correspondent – since 2003 – Williams has more appeal. Bringing an added level of diversity to “The Daily Show,” along with a youthful edge, Williams, 25, has been a breath of fresh air on the show since her 2012 debut and would be a bold, but brilliant play by Comedy Central to keep the series relevant long term. Plus, the “Senior Beyoncé Correspondent” has been hands down the funniest contributor on the show the past few years.
2. Amy Poehler
This one is a bit pie in the sky, but it is such a beautiful dream! With “Parks and Recreation” winding down it seems Amy Poehler’s schedule is about to have a big hole to fill. With the comedian’s years of experience as a “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live,” Poehler wouldn’t have any trouble getting laughs from behind an anchor desk. Poehler is one of the funniest people alive and while it is extremely unlikely she would accept the job, a fan can dream, right?
3. Olivia Munn
Five years ago Olivia Munn ended a relatively short stint as “Senior Asian Correspondent” on the Daily Show. Munn has gone on to become a huge star and it may be time for Comedy Central to bring her back. In addition to being super funny, Munn has been getting a crash course in broadcast news, playing a television anchor in the recently ended HBO series, “The Newsroom.”
4. John Mulaney
John Mulaney’s Fox sitcom, “Mulaney,” did not work out, but maybe the popular comedian could find more success as the next host of “The Daily Show.” Mulaney is a skilled standup comedian with a relatable persona that plays well with the younger demographics Comedy Central traditionally targets. He also has a longstanding relationship with Comedy Central, having produced multiple standup specials with the network.
5. Patton Oswalt
Standup comedian Patton Oswalt could be a fantastic, outside-the-box choice as Jon Stewart’s replacement. The comedian is always spot-on funny and followers of Oswalt’s Twitter know the comedian is aggressively fearless about who he’ll make the butt of a biting joke or critique, a necessary trait for the host of the satire beacon series. The pop culture savvy, politically minded comedian would fit nicely into the role behind the “Daily Show” desk.
6. Brian Williams
We’re only half joking here. Williams has displayed his comedy chops over the years with appearances on “30 Rock” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” It seems very likely – following his six month suspension – that he will be making an exit from broadcast news for a while. With much of the criticism levied against the anchor directed towards his penchant for entertainment, it might be time for him to fully take the plunge towards being an entertainer. Williams has the journalism experience to handle the politics of the comedy and the dry, comedic delivery to bring home the writing team’s jokes. Plus, with over 10,000 Twitter users joking about Williams replacing Stewart Tuesday night -- according to analysis by Brandwatch -- the move would likely be ratings gold. However, Williams’ heart is probably still in the news and the anchor’s reputation might be too tainted for even Comedy Central to touch.
Who would you choose to replace Jon Stewart? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.