Jon Stewart is happy to have stepped aside for more diversity.
On Thursday, the former “Daily Show” host appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” to talk about his new film “Irresistible” and more.
When the subject of “The Daily Show” under his successor Trevor Noah came up, Stewart insisted the new host has elevated the show from where he’d taken it.
“It’s not meant as a denigration of me,” Stewart said. “The evolution of show was also about opening our eyes to some of the realities of business around us.”
He continued, “When we started, it was—like pretty much everything in late-night comedy—that sort of Harvard Lampoon school of pasty white guys sitting in a room,” he continued. “Evolving the show past that took a really long time. It was a lot of work and often times it came with defensiveness.”
Stewart explained that diversity and inclusion are necessary to change the system.
“The reason is when you hire people from this business you generally hire from the interns that you formerly had on the show, but any intern who could afford to take three months off on college and spend that time polishing your grapes is going to come from a wealthy background, so all the people you were hiring were all socioeconomically at a very high level,” he said.
Stewart continued, “What we did before was diversity for diversity sake. It was ‘We don’t have enough women writers, let’s hire a woman. We don’t have enough black writers, let’s hire a black person.’ But what we realized is we weren’t changing the system, we were just granting access to a club everybody should have had access to in the first place.”
The former host added of his own time at the show, “It took 16 years to change at a glacial pace. For Trevor, it’s a part of him. It flows from him naturally … It makes it better. The show is better.”