Earlier this month, New York’s Gabriel Sherman reported that before settling on Chuck Todd to replace David Gregory as host of Meet the Press, NBC offered the gig to Jon Stewart. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the Daily Show host confirmed that he discussed the position with NBC. It sounds like it was easy to turn down, though, as one source put it, “They were ready to back the Brink’s truck up.” “I felt like that was one of those situations,” Stewart said, “where someone says, ‘We really like what you do. Why don’t you come over here and do something different, maybe something you don’t do as well, for us?’ I can understand notionally where it comes from. News and entertainment have melded in a way. But they would be overcompensating on the entertainment side. That’s certainly not an outlandish decision, although I don’t necessarily think that’s the best direction for it.”
“My guess is they were casting as wide and as weird a net as they could,” he continued. “I’m sure part of them was thinking, Why don’t we just make it a variety show?”
Stewart added that he isn’t interested in hosting a major network’s late-night show either (though he thinks Stephen Colbert is “going to be tremendous” when he takes over for David Letterman). “I had done a show like that 20 years ago,” Stewart said, alluding to the MTV talk show he hosted from 1993 to 1995. “The people spoke and felt that was not something I should do. They felt, in fact, that I should be locked out of the building. It also wasn’t something that I felt necessarily comfortably doing. I don’t think I’m particularly suited for it.” And so the guessing game about Stewart’s post–Daily Show ambitions continues.