There’s just something about Jon Stewart. Women love him and men want to be him. Outside of a few MTV projects early in his career, it seems as if everything Stewart has touched has turned to gold. He’s taken the idea of “comedic news” and made for himself an empire; an empire that has millions of rabidly loyal followers. When it was announced earlier this year that he would be taking a longer than usual hiatus from The Daily Show this summer you’d have thought he had simultaneously maimed a thousand puppies. Of course once people read beyond the headline, his star shined even brighter.
In 2009, Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian reporter, gave an interview with Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. In that interview Jones took on a persona of an American spy, albeit the worst American spy in history. In June of 2009, Bahari was arrested in Iran for espionage. A key bit of evidence against him? The Daily Show interview. Bahari went on to write a book, Then They Came For Me, based on his imprisonment in Iran. Jon Stewart optioned the book and is making it a movie, writing the screenplay and directing it which is why he is taking the summer off from The Daily Show.
Just when you think he can’t get any more amazing, he goes on and does just that.
So what would it take to get Jon Stewart to handle all our diplomatic relations? Well spoken, gracious, funny, introspective… does he at least have spinach in his teeth or something? Probably not. Talking with Bassem Youssef, a man described as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt” he made a point to comment on the role of satire and comedy in a democracy. Youssef was arrested earlier this year for allegedly insulting Islam and the Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. It was likely that situation which Stewart was referring to when he said:
Jon Stewart will return to The Daily Show in August.