Replacing Jon Stewart — And Why the New Daily Show Host Should Be a Woman

Posted on February 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm

My friend Nell Scovell has an excellent piece in the New York Times about why the “host of possibilities” that Jon Stewart’s departure from “The Daily Show” opens up should focus on a woman as his replacement.

t will be the sixth time in just over a year that a prominent late-night desk will be up for grabs. All this turnover would seem like a great opportunity to throw a female host into the mix. But it hasn’t happened yet. So next time, right? There’s always next time. Except next time probably won’t be for a long time. Most late-night hosts stay put for decades. It’s the closest thing to a Civil Service job in TV.

Scovell’s list is long and telling.  The departures of Matt Smith (Dr. Who), Craig Ferguson, David Letterman, Stephen Colbert, and Jay Leno all led to calls for women to be considered and replacements who are male.  No question that all of those replacements are enormously talented.  But are they the only talented options?  Or the most talented?

The one solace: Whoever gets Mr. Stewart’s job will do better at hiring women than Jay Leno and Mr. Letterman, but that’s only because you couldn’t do worse. Mr. Leno went off the air with zero female writers; Mr. Letterman is set to bow with just one. (I like the image that together they average half a woman.)

At this point, I’d cheer a host being joined by a female sidekick.

This week’s release “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” has the heroes go into the future.  There are some pretty wild predictions about what lies ahead, but for me, the one that I wish was less of a long shot is the future host of “The Daily Show,” my favorite of its correspondents, Jessica Williams.

Related Tags:


Gender and Diversity Race and Diversity Television

2 Replies to “Replacing Jon Stewart — And Why the New Daily Show Host Should Be a Woman”

  1. They should pluck Aisha Tyler off of The Talk and give her the Daily Show. I still miss her absence from Talk Soup, and how long has that been?

    Or maybe even Meghan McCain, who’s already in political circles.

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