Jon Stewart to leave ‘The Daily Show’

Jon Stewart

Comedy Central

No, not forever. Just for long enough to make a movie. Life must be interesting for Jon Stewart. It’s hard to picture him as anything but the host of The Daily Show, the gig he’s had for a staggering 14 years. But before that, he was just another struggling actor and stand-up comedian with big dreams. Well, it’s time for some of those dreams to come true.

Comedy Central just sent out a press release stating that Stewart will be absent from The Daily Show for eight weeks to direct his first feature film, Rosewater. Based on a book by Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was illegally imprisoned by the Iranian government for several months in 2009, the flick looks to combine political absurdity with the creeping horror of the totally insane world we live in. So basically just like an extra-long episode of The Daily Show then.

It’s not a comedy, which is interesting, but after doing the same job for fourteen years I’d want to stretch out a little bit too. Stewart worked with producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) to help get the project off the ground, so it’s kind of a big deal. The movie will be produced by Stewart’s own company, Busboy Productions, and starts shooting this summer. Stewart will be absent from the anchor desk from June through October while the movie is in production.

Replacing him is a frequent Daily Show correspondent, John Oliver. Oliver has been with the program since 2006 and quickly became a breakout star, willing to put himself into increasingly absurd situations to deliver a good story. He also already has his own Comedy Central show, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, so he’s used to the pressure. How he’ll fare at anchor is anybody’s guess, but we didn’t know how Stewart would do when he replaced Craig Kilborn and that worked out just fine.