Jon Stewart: I Nearly Quit Daily Show Over 'A--holes' on Staff

Stephen Colbert talks to him in NJ theater

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 10, 2012 5:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Jon Stewart came this close to quitting The Daily Show—and after only one meeting with the show's staff, reports Third-Beat. "What I did not realize is, a lot of the people who worked there were a--holes," said Stewart during a sit-down last night with Stephen Colbert at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. His plan to shift the show from a news magazine to satire took an ugly turn in a meeting with the writing staff: "I walk in the door, into a room with the writers and producers, and the first thing they say is, 'This isn’t some MTV bulls--t.' ... And then I was told not to change the jokes or improvise." So he told his agent to "get me the f--k out of this" and "had to be talked down from a moderately high cliff." It took more than two years of "natural winnowing" to give him a supportive staff.

More revelations from last night:

  • Colbert said he used to sleepwalk, and once dreamed he was stopping ghosts from pouring out of his wife's neck. Sure enough, she woke up to find him gripping her throat. "What … are you doing?" she asked. Said Colbert: "I’m keeping the ghosts in."
  • One guest Stewart couldn't stand: Hugh Grant. "And we've had dictators on the show," Stewart said. "He’s giving everyone shit the whole time" and complained about a clip being used to promote Did You Hear About the Morgans? "Well, then make a better f--king movie," Stewart told him.
  • Stewart gave Colbert a little love, saying that "this is the most vulgar, profane, dirty, sick individual I have ever had the pleasure of laughing my ass off with."
Click for more. Or see why 20% of South Carolina voters want Colbert to join the Senate.

In this Sept. 23, 2012, file photo, Stephen Colbert presents an award onstage at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
Jon Stewart performs at the 6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert for injured service members and veterans on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, in New York.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
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