Host moved focus from pop culture to politics

When Jon Stewart was pitched “The Daily Show” following the Craig Kilborn-hosted version, he wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to be just another talkshow host to be absorbed by Hollywood’s publicity circuit.

“I didn’t think it was something I wanted to do,” Stewart says. “I felt that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it in a slightly different way. I wanted to make it more relevant to the things I was interested in. Less pop culture and more media culture and political.

“I wanted to … make it a more emotional show about things I really thought about. You know, I have a really hard time caring about how Jennifer Lopez is really feeling about Marc Anthony. If that was going to be an aspect of the show, I wasn’t interested.”

Adds Stephen Colbert: “I don’t think he has anything against celebrity. He has a good time with them. What I admire about Jon is he tends to talk about the story he cares about. I don’t think we care that much about celebrity to give it your all for 10 years. It’s the palette cleanser, not the meat.”

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