The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
He has long downplayed his influence, protesting that he is simply a comedian, but judging from the headlines when Stewart, 50, announced a summer sabbatical to direct his first film, Rosewater, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Daily Show is a must-stop for actors and authors, with a level of engagement and smarts that can drive sales and social-media storms, and is a launching pad for stars like Olivia Munn, to boot. Stewart was named in a 2009 survey as the most trustworthy journalist, and his stature has only risen since then. The host has in the past year landed interviews with presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and grilled Al Gore over the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera.
The married father of two is trusted by young viewers — Stewart now beats late-night leader Jay Leno overall in the 18-to-49 demo — who cite him as their main source of news. Daily Show correspondent and producer John Oliver will fill in for Stewart this summer, and though he is highly regarded, politicians may breathe a sigh of relief.
FUN FACT: Stewart performed as a caped magician for a children’s show at South Street Seaport sponsored by Caroline’s comedy club.