Last fall, when Jon Stewart’s relationship with Apple TV+ came to an abrupt end, The New York Times reported that it was the tech company’s concerns over potential coverage of China and artificial intelligence that ultimately killed his short-lived streaming show The Problem With Jon Stewart.
Now, ahead of his unlikely return to The Daily Show as Monday-night host through the 2024 election, Stewart is helping to elucidate what drove his decision to part ways with Apple and ultimately get a second chance at his old desk. And he did not have particularly kind words for the company that let him go.
“I very much wanted to have some kind of place to unload thoughts as we get into this election season,” Stewart said on CBS Mornings Monday. “And I thought I was going to do it over at, they call it Apple TV+. It’s a television enclave, very small. It’s like living in Malibu. But they decided that they felt that they didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.”
Then, after skewering Apple, he turned more self-deprecating as he added, “Who better to comment on this election than someone who truly understands two aging men past their prime?”
As much as Stewart said he might wish he could “influence” the political landscape in the months leading up to November, he was realistic in the sense that he was never able to affect change when he hosted The Daily Show the first time. (George W. Bush was elected twice during that time, of course.)
“But I’m hoping to have a catharsis and a way to comment on things and a way to express them that hopefully people will enjoy,” he explained, describing his role as providing “air support for those on the ground who are actually doing the work.”