Jon Stewart is opening up about his biggest regret when he was the host of The Daily Show after leaving in 2015. Stewart, who passed along the position to current host Trevor Noah, is also reflecting on what he feels was his biggest failure was while on the show. According to TV Line, in an interview with the New York Times, Stewart says the 2008 financial crises created an unfortunate "evisceration expectation" among viewers.
"That's the part of it that I probably most regret," he confessed. "Those moments when you had a tendency, even subconsciously, to feel like, 'We have ot live up to the evisceration expectation.' We tried not to give something more spice than it deserved, but you were aware of, say, what went viral. Resisting that gravitational force is really hard." The former host also mentions "the worst legacy" when talking about Bill O'Reilly. "The question was always, 'Why would you talk to him? Why do you have him on the show if you can't destroy him?' If you want to talk about the worst legacy on The Daily Show, it was probably that," he said.
One regret he didn't have was choosing to leave when he did. During a 2015 interview, he revealed why he chose to leave after 16 years of hosting, and it wasn't because he felt as if the show wasn't working. "It's not like I thought the show wasn't working any more, or that I didn't know how to do it. It was more, 'Yup, it's working. But I'm not getting the same satisfaction,'" he said to The Guardian. "These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it's OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that's when you realise, 'OK, I'm on the back side of it now.'"
In a separate interview with Howard Stern, he elaborated on why he chose to leave and admitted that he has zero regrets about doing so because it was the right time. "I think I got to a point where I kind of didn't think I could do anything else with it," he told Stern according to Entertainment Weekly. "And thank God I did, because before Trump came, you need somebody who's 32, 33, still has that type of energy — that type of stamina. That fire to go at it. I think I would have phoned it in." He added, "I was making decisions about bits towards the end of The Daily Show based on if I would have to change my clothes. That's how lazy I had gotten at that point."