With his final Daily Show planned for Thursday, August 6th, Jon Stewart took a moment this week to survey the legacy of his iconic Comedy Central run – by talking about food. The comedian-host stopped by “The Daily Show Podcast Without Jon Stewart” for a hilarious “exit interview” that quickly devolved into grub-specific memories from the set. The 26-minute chat is available to stream at the Daily Show website.
Stewart joined Daily Show writer-producers Adam Lowitt, Steve Bodow and Jen Flanz for his podcast debut, calling the experience “a creepier radio show – a radio show in a closet.” After establishing the food-centric theme, the host launched into a rant about the staff’s Wednesday egg sandwich breakfasts – revealing an important “executive decision” of switching from kaiser rolls to English muffins. “I don’t know if that was when we won our first Emmy, but it changed the dynamic,” Stewart deadpans. “It was the biggest change in the atmosphere of the building.”
Another “innovation,” he noted, was “restaurant Thursday.” “I remember after 9/11, Jen saying, ‘Everything has changed. We should have Thursday lunch from restaurants just to boost the spirits. Because, if not – and I remember this clearly in a meeting, Jen stood up and said, ‘The terrorists win.'”
Stewart also discussed the tricky science of trying to get his stamina up before a taping with “the right amount of sugar and caffeine.” Later, he praised the miraculous benefits of a particular bagel: “The feeling I get, the pleasure I get when I come in and there’s still a cinnamon raisin bagel there is worth more than any disappointment I might feel on the occasions when it’s not there,” he says.
The staff attempt to shift the conversation, asking what advice he’d give to new Daily Show host Trevor Noah – but Stewart keeps the food theme running. “You’ve gotta make it your own,” he said. “And this show, to be frank, has been designed around the way I eat: breakfast, lunch and a snack.
“Look, he comes from a different place than I do, a different culture,” Stewart continued. “He’s younger than I am. The metabolism is very different. He may be able to handle more than one Fudgie the Whale at a time. But the suggestion I would make to him is one that says: Get what you need, nourishment-wise; give yourself a treat, decadent-wise; but respect that your metabolism is not necessarily the metabolism of the room and that other people may want to make a protein shake without you standing behind them, going, ‘Ooh, look at fuckin’ Richard Simmons over here!”
To end the podcast, Stewart paused to reflect on his legacy, cracking, “I can honestly say I leave this building fuller than it was when I got here.”