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7 badass contenders for Jon Stewart’s seat

It's time to infiltrate the boys club.


Rae Votta


Posted on Feb 11, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 1:55 pm CDT

Jon Stewart announced his retirement Tuesday—he’ll step down at some point this year from the The Daily Show. Comedy Central has reportedly confirmed that it will continue the show without Stewart.

After more than 15 years of Stewart, and three years of Craig Kilborn before him, it’s high time the show breaks down the late-night boys club and hires a lead anchor that is not another straight, white, and male comic. There’s plenty to pick from in the wake of Stewart’s departure, from seasoned correspondents to all sorts of interesting comedians. Here are seven badass options.

Jessica Williams

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Pros: She’s the name on every Tumblr user’s lips in terms of a replacement. She’s had several breakout correspondent moments since joining the show, and can further connect the series to a younger demographic.

Cons: She’s still very young, and not the most senior woman on the show right now. She hasn’t been tested in the anchor position yet, so it’s a gamble.

Samantha Bee

Pros: She’s got years of experience on the show, and even some behind the desk during a recent Stewart sick day. Bee has been on the show since 2003, and is the longest-serving correspondent in its history—there’s more than enough talent and chops in place to cruise here.

Cons: Canadian.

Amy Pohler and Tina Fey

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Pros: We know they’re hilarious, we know they can host, and we know they are competent anchors. They’re a TV dream team of funny women.

Cons: They’re extremely famous, and both surely busy with different career aspects like film and scripted television projects of their own, so this is just a reach for the stars moment. But either is a surefire instant hire.

Aisha Tyler

Pros: She’s devastatingly funny and smart, and has held hosting gigs on E! and as part of The Talk on CBS. She’s also got geek cred that rivals Stephen Colbert.

Cons: She’s hardly a household name, and errs more toward the side of geeky pop culture than political—a big problem given the show’s biting history of government satire.

Amy Schumer

Pros: She already commands her own funny Comedy Central show and has the balls to say anything in an interview. It’d be fast-moving, big laughs.

Cons: She suffers from the “not a household name” issue that many of the other women face, she also may be too R-rated for the host chair.

Laverne Cox

Pros: Trans visibility in the past year has finally increased across media, and a trans host for The Daily Show would be a huge step forward. Plus, Cox is hilarious and smart.

Cons: An untested host in high profile settings, like most other contenders we mentioned. But that’s kind of the point—it’s time to attack new perspectives and frontiers. 

Who did we miss? There’s tons of other well-qualified women for the job, and hopefully Comedy Central gives them a reasonable shot at the desk.

Photo via Comedy Central/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 11, 2015, 12:57 am CST