Denis Leary on Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' Exit: "It's Not Too Late. ... Me and Colin Quinn and Chris Rock Will Write [the Show]"
Stewart sincerely told his old friend what he'll do after his last episode on Aug. 6.
On Tuesday, Denis Leary was the latest guest in Jon Stewart's parade of comedian friends who are bidding farewell to the Daily Show host in his remaining few episodes.
But Leary wasn't letting Stewart leave without giving him a chance to change his mind.
"It's not too late," he said. "We give [new Daily Show host] Trevor [Noah] some other show, OK? I'm telling you, me and Colin Quinn and Chris Rock will write this f—ing show for you for like [$25 million]."
Earlier Leary said that Stewart turned down a $50 million contract to stay on The Daily Show. Stewart interjected, "I think you're thinking of Chappelle."
Indeed, Dave Chappelle famously walked away from a $50 million deal to continue doing his megahit Chappelle's Show for Comedy Central.
Still, Leary claimed Stewart was offered a lot of money to stay. Stewart's latest contract, which he signed in July 2012 and ran through September of this year was worth a reported $25 to $35 million annually.
Instead, Stewart decided to leave the show on a high note to spend time with his family, something Leary called "very brave and courageous."
But he wondered, "What the f—'s wrong with you? Do you know how much f—ing therapy you could buy for your kids with $50 million? They're going to hate your guts into perpetuity. Who cares? They [could] have mansions to hate your guts in."
And he cautioned Stewart that in a few months his kids will be begging him to get a job. But Stewart insisted he'd be busy.
"I'm working. I'm just not on television," Stewart said of what he'll do after his final Daily Show on Aug. 6. "You know me. I'm going to be working clubs. I'll be writing. ... I needed more flexibility. That's all it was."
The humble, often self-deprecating host even admitted he did his best work as the host of The Daily Show.
"When you do something where you know you will never be as good at something as you were at this, you have to make peace with it," Stewart said. "And I've made peace with that."
He also had to make peace with leaving the people he works with every day, with Leary noting it was important to Stewart that those people were able to keep their jobs. And in fact, much of The Daily Show's creative team will remain intact when Noah takes over.
Stewart has backed Noah despite his replacement coming under fire for tweets that some interpreted to be anti-Semitic and misogynistic. And Stewart found a moment to humorously allude to that with Leary.
When Leary asked if he could still be a guest on Noah's Daily Show, Stewart joked, "I don't think he's crazy about Irish people. And if he is, you wouldn't be the one I'd start him with."
Watch an edited version of Stewart's sit-down with Leary below and click here for the extended interview.