Who Should Replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show?

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Alas! Alas! The Jon Stewart era is coming to an end. How wretched are we who live to see such days.

For 16 years, we’ve trusted him to blend fact with satire in a way that’s somehow more honest and informative than any true news anchor in the business today. And now he’s announced plans to depart The Daily Show at the end of the year.

What an asshole, right? Doesn’t he know we’ve got a presidential election coming up next year? That’s when we need him most!!

But The Daily Show will soldier on without him, and so must we. And what better way to console ourselves than with rampant and unfounded speculation about his replacement? Here are 26 names who may be in the hunt, along with our grades for each.

A is for Alec Baldwin (D-)

Funny and liberal… but his MSNBC show ended in disaster after generating no end of bad will at the network and bad press outside it.

B is for Ben Affleck (C+)

He’s good on SNL. And it’s an open secret he wants to run for senate someday… unless maybe there’s a chance to influence policy and politics without giving up the Hollywood spotlight?

C is for Craig Kilborn (C-)

The once and future host.

D is for David Letterman (D+)

He should be free by then. And there was a time he was truly innovative and funny. (Sadly, that time was the 1980s.)

E is for Ellen DeGeneres (D+)

She’s got the star power, if nothing else.

F is for Tina Fey (A+++)

Our patron saint of TV comedy writing brought SNL’s Weekend Update back from the dead and her powers have only grown since then.

G is for Glenn Beck (F)

We’ll just tell him we’re laughing with him.

H is for Joel McHale (B-)

It’s a rare gift to make condescending seem charming. His smirk and comic timing are ideal for The Daily Show, and his time on The Soup has been the perfect warm-up.

I is for Idris Elba (C+)

Mmm, Idris Elba… Wait, what are we talking about?

J is for Jessica Williams (A)

How fast did she establish herself as a superstar Daily Show correspondent? Like 20 seconds? That’s how fast she’d own that anchor chair as well.

K is for Kal Penn (B)

Did you forget Kumar served in the Obama Administration, like, for realz?

L is for Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver (A+)

You gotta figure Oliver was pissed when Colbert announced he was abandoning Comedy Central just weeks after Oliver took a huge roll the dice with a new HBO show. That cushy time slot should’ve been his! But the HBO gamble paid off big time, and Oliver could return home to The Daily Show at the top of his game.

M is for Rachel Maddow (B+)

Beloved by good liberals everywhere, and amazingly funny. Sure, she’d have to give up some legitimacy in news industry circles, but Comedy Central can offer her something MSNBC can’t—a half hour less show to fill every night.

N is for Neil Patrick Harris (B+)

Hey, he already wants to be a talk show host.

O is for Keith Olbermann (D+)

MSNBC’s saucy ex-boyfriend Keith Olbermann would fit seamlessly into Stewart’s chair with his liberal politics, dry wit, and willingness to call a dick a dick. Plus I think he’s currently hosting some random talk show about baseball in the middle of the night on TBS right now so Comedy Central could probably scoop him up on the cheap. (Maybe pair him with Craig Kilborn for some of that old SportsCenter magic?)

P is for Patton Oswald (B)

An incredibly insightful and original comedian, but he’d probably give himself a stroke if he made himself focus on all the bullshit the Republicans are up to every day.

Q is for Quit While You’re Ahead

John Stewart made The Daily Show his own. Without him, maybe it’s time to start from scratch. (Comedy Central has already announced the show will go on.)

R is for Paul Rudd (A)

Brilliantly witty, yet laid back. A skilled improv comedian. Don’t you just wanna hang out with this guy and shoot the shit about politics every night?

S is for Jon Stewart

MAKE HIM STAY!!! Pull a Kathy Bates and bash both his ankles with a hammer if you have to.

T is for Tits Time for a Woman!

Any woman, for fuck’s sake. How can there not be one damn late night show hosted by a woman? Time for The Daily Show to walk the progressive walk. A WOMAN. Or more specifically, Samantha Bee (B+).

U is for Brian Unger (D+)

Old school fans were pissed when Jon Stewart got the hosting gig over then-Daily Show correspondent Brian Unger back in the day. Maybe it’s time to rectify that mistake.

V is for Meredith Vieira (D-)

Although she’s not known for her comedy stylings, she’s quick and confident as a talk show host and, most importantly, her name starts with a “V.”

W is for Brian Williams (C+)

Ample experience delivering fake news. Highly likely to be available.

X is for David Cross (A)

Unafraid to make in-depth yet hilarious arguments against the bigotry and stupidity of the right wing, David Cross could pretty much take over for Jon Stewart mid-sentence without missing a beat.

Y is for You

Yes, you. We believe in you. You would totally rock at this. You can tell them we said so.

Z is for Aziz Ansari (B)

Fearless yet self-deprecating, just like Jon Stewart. Hip, yet erudite, just like Jon Stewart. Biting, yet loveable, just like Jon Stewart. Sexy, yet child-sized, just like Jon Stewart.

Other Long Shots:

Kim Kardashian: Might as well give her a REASON to be famous.

Elmo: He lives in New York City in a culturally diverse neighborhood so he would be a good commentator on social justice issues. Also, he speaks at a level Fox News viewers would understand.

Smart Gremlin from Gremlins 2:  Different direction, sure, but we need a different vibe than Stewart’s. Also, with time, Smart could really grow to shine and learn the nuances of government and journalism. Just don’t fucking get him wet.

Whose do you think should be the next butt in the anchor chair?

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  • Brewster

    L is for La Toya Jackson

  • Cy Chase

    JESSICA WILLIAMSSSSS

  • Jessica Williams would be an amazingly BOLD choice. I hear there’s an internet campaign to get Sara Benincasa. Frankly, I’d go with pulling John Oliver away from HBO and getting him back.

  • docmartn

    Ricky Gervais

  • iateaynrand

    John FugelsangMichael Ian BlackLouie CKAlthough Im still hoping for Jessica Williams or Samantha Bee to take over. Or Jason Jones, because damn he’s handsome.