Selecting Stewart’s successor

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Several of us on the editorial board, and likely many of our readers, have been devastated in recent months by the announcements of two important departures: Stephen Colbert from “The Colbert Report” and Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” “The Colbert Report” has officially ended its run, as of December 2014, but “The Daily Show” has not yet announced a date of departure for Jon Stewart, saying only that his tenure will end during 2015.

Colbert, recently rocking a delightfully overgrown beard, will be taking over for David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Show,” while Stewart has not yet announced any future plans.

Each of their departures leaves a massive hole to fill for their respective time slots. Relatively quickly, Larry Wilmore, formerly the “Senior Black Correspondent” on “The Daily Show” replaced Colbert’s Comedy Central timeslot with the newly titled “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”

Stewart’s replacement has not yet been decided, which caused us to debate who we would like to see take his place, or if we even want the show to continue without him.

To many fans, Jessica Williams, a correspondent on Stewart’s show, quickly emerged as an option to replace Stewart. Unfortunately for her supporters, Williams threw water on that rumor with a series of tweets, saying: “I am extremely under-qualified for the job.” While some thought that she was underestimating herself, we believe it is safe to assume that she knows what she is talking about.

We discussed the potential of a woman taking the place that Stewart has left and many of us feel that it’s about time a woman gets a late-night show, slots that have been almost exclusively reserved for white men.

Some initial names thrown out were Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer, all of whom could be good fits. Samantha Bee could also very well be in the running, as the longest-tenured correspondent of “The Daily Show”; she debuted in July 2003.

We discussed that Poehler, Fey and Rudolph seem to be part of the older guard – although Fey, the oldest of the three, is only 44 – and are already so established that it would be unlikely for Comedy Central to choose one of them to host “The Daily Show.” Indeed, Comedy Central seems to pick up-and-comers more often than already established stars. Schumer and Silverman could be chosen, as we argued that they are less established on television, though both either have or had shows on Comedy Central.

We believe that a woman should not be chosen as the new host for the sake of political correctness, but Comedy Central should acknowledge the wealth of female comedic talent right now and consider it while choosing a successor.

We finally discussed the legacy of the shows. We considered that Fox News may not be as laughable to such a wide audience if not for these two leaders, but do we need someone like that anymore? John Oliver has carved out a niche for himself with “Last Week Tonight.”

Perhaps we need someone to forge a different path than what “The Daily Show” has provided so far. Maybe that new path will include Amy Poehler or Amy Schumer; we’re excited to find out, regardless.