In bittersweet news, Jon Stewart, star of The Faculty, is taking a break from The Daily Show this summer to pursue directing his first feature film. While I’m very sad that my evenings will be Stewart-free for a short time, I’m also happy that not only is he pursuing something he’s passionate about, but that we’ll get to see a Jon Stewart production in theaters eventually.
Stewart’s film is called Rosewater, and it’s based on the book And Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy. Bahari, a journalist, traveled to Iran in 2009 to cover the presidential election, and he was held captive there for 118 days. He had been on The Daily Show shortly before that, so Stewart has a connection to the story.
It certainly doesn’t sound like it will be a comedy, but Jon Stewart is so intelligent apart from being absolutely hilarious that I’m sure he can handle a drama. Although his next movie had better be a witty political satire. Got that, Jon?
The part of this news that makes me feel the most uncertain is the fact that correspondent John Oliver will fill in as substitute host while Stewart is gone. I think Oliver is really funny in his correspondent segments on the show, and his English accent is always welcome to my ears. But while I enjoy him in small doses, I’m not sure I’ll have the same positive reaction to him in the main hosting position. What makes Jon Stewart so entertaining to watch, to me, is the way he can tell jokes in a seemingly off-the-cuff manner. John Oliver always seems a little more rehearsed and artificial to me. Not that he isn’t funny, but I feel like it’s the kind of style that’s more suited to shorter, more heavily satirical segments, not covering news or interviewing celebrities.
Plus, since Oliver is usually the go-to guy for prank-interviewing people, I can’t imagine him interviewing guests in the same conversational, down-to-earth manner as Jon Stewart. I feel like it’ll be like The Colbert Report twice in a row each night, but one Stephen Colbert is sufficient.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. I’ll definitely check out Oliver’s hosting, and maybe he’ll pleasantly surprise me.