Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show' Departure: I Didn't Want to Cover 2016 Election

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"I'd covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one," he said.

Jon Stewart is offering more explanation for his decision to retire from the Daily Show

The Comedy Central series' host of 17 years told The Guardian that there was no big moment that pushed him to leave the show. 

"It’s not like I thought the show wasn't working anymore, or that I didn't know how to do it. It was more, 'Yup, it's working. But I'm not getting the same satisfaction,' " he said. "These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it, and it's OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realize, 'OK, I'm on the back side of it now.' "

Stewart, who announced his departure on the show's Feb. 10 episode, also wasn't thrilled about the prospect of reporting on the 2016 presidential election. "I'd covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one," he said. 

In addition, he pointed out that the election is a good way to introduce viewers to new host Trevor Noah. "I also felt that, for the show, you don't want to leave when the cupboard’s bare," Stewart explained. "So I think it’s a better introduction when you have something providing you with assisted fuel, like a presidential campaign. But really, the value of this show is so much deeper than my contribution."

As for where he's headed, Stewart, who directed the 2014 film Rosewater, said he has "a couple of other projects on the burner" and is hoping to work on future big-screen projects.

He added about his impending departure: "Honestly, the country will survive."

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@THR.com
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski

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