Jon Stewart is eviscerating how he used to eviscerate.
While chatting with The New York Times Magazine’s David Marchese ahead of his upcoming movie “Irresistible,” the former “Daily Show” host got self-reflective. In the interview published Monday, Stewart identified the worst legacy of “The Daily Show” as the “evisceration expectation.”
Talking about former Fox host Bill O’Reilly, whom Stewart consistently called out, he said, “The question was always, ‘Why would you talk to him? Why do you have him on the show if you can’t destroy him?’ If you want to talk about the worst legacy of ‘The Daily Show,’ it was probably that.”
“That everyone you spoke to who you disagreed with had to be Jim Cramer’d?” Marchese asked, referring to how Stewart famously grilled the “Mad Money” host for apparent dishonesty around the 2008 financial crisis.
“That’s right,” Stewart said. “That’s the part of it that I probably most regret. Those moments when you had a tendency, even subconsciously, to feel like, ‘We have to live up to the evisceration expectation.’”
The comedian added that “The Daily Show” tried not to give “more spice” than stories deserved, but the show’s staff were always aware if something went viral.
“Resisting that gravitational force is really hard,” Stewart said.
Of course, sometimes even trying to resist is futile.
In a press breakfast in 2019, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver, a former correspondent for Stewart’s “Daily Show,” disemboweled headlines that claimed he disemboweled different topics on his show. Oliver explained that the show couldn’t help how segments are “repackaged after the fact.”
“It can be a little bit sad when you’ve worked for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks or months and months on something, and then it’s ‘Takes a sledgehammer to the face of person TK,’” Oliver said.
Elsewhere in the wide-ranging New York Times interview, Stewart also addressed President Donald Trump, calling him a “malevolent Mr. Magoo,” adding that the fact that his administration “has not changed its practices” is what stood out to Stewart most over the last few months.
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