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John Mulaney wishes he would’ve been asked to host The Daily Show five years after he was.
The comedian, whose new special John Mulaney: Baby J is now on Netflix, recently discussed being asked to host the Comedy Central talk show after Jon Stewart left in 2015.
“It was shortly after the SNL 40th anniversary,” Mulaney said during an appearance on Doug Herzog and Jen Chaney’s Basic! podcast. “I had a sitcom on Fox. They’d aired all 13 [episodes], but it was canceled. It didn’t do good numbers, but at least critics reviled it. So, it was a fun time.”
The Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers voice star recalled when then-president of Comedy Central, Kent Alterman, asked Mulaney if he wanted to take on the hosting role following Stewart’s departure.
“I was extremely flattered that y’all were asking me about it,” Mulaney said. “I sensed they would be big shoes to fill. I think I also was gun-shy from putting myself out there at that moment after the Fox run. And I sensed all eyes would be on whoever came after Mr. Stewart.”
He continued, “It wasn’t the right thing at that moment, but I remember saying to Kent, ‘I wish it was five years from now.’ And he went, ‘Yeah, but it’s not.’ I mean, I just remember Kent had a great tone of, ‘I hear you. I’m here to hear out anything you have to say, but it’s now, and we’re asking you about it, and we can’t talk hypothetically for that long at this dinner, John.'”
Trevor Noah eventually took over for Stewart and left his post in 2022 after seven years at the helm. “My time is up, but in the most beautiful way,” the host said when he announced his departure in September. Comedy Central filled his seat with a series of rotating guest hosts who emcee the show on a weekly basis.
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