Jon Stewart Laments The Daily Show's 'Worst Legacy,' His Biggest 'Regret'

Jon Stewart

A half-decade after passing the Daily Show baton to Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart is reflecting on what he deems to be the biggest failure of his 16-year run as host.

Speaking to the New York Times, Stewart says his incendiary 2009 interview with CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer about the 2008 financial crisis created an unfortunate “evisceration expectation” among viewers. “That’s the part of it that I probably most regret,” he bemoans. “Those moments when you had a tendency, even subconsciously, to feel like, ‘’We have to live up to the evisceration expectation.’’ We tried not to give something more spice than it deserved, but you were aware of, say, what went viral. Resisting that gravitational force is really hard.”

Stewart believes this is one reason why he frequently received blowback for his relatively amicable chats with frequent guest Bill O’Reilly. “The question was always, ‘Why would you talk to him? Why do you have him on the show if you can’t destroy him?’ he recalls. “If you want to talk about the worst legacy of The Daily Show, it was probably that.”

While conceding he “sometimes” misses having a high profile platform to express his views, especially during these turbulent times, Stewart — whose big-screen political satire Irresistible bows June 26 in theaters and VOD — says the Daily Show is in “wonderful hands” with Noah. “[He] continues to elevate [it] in a way that I couldn’t have,” he adds. “My efficacy for that kind of conversation has passed.”