The revolution will be streamed.
Jon Stewart, the famed former Daily Show host on Comedy Central whose comedic take on national politics dramatically altered the late-night TV landscape, has found a new home at HBO.
The subscription-based network announced Tuesday that it has inked a four-year production deal with the comedian, who has been in semi-retirement since signing off as host of the popular satirical show in August.
Under the deal outlined by HBO, Stewart will produce short-form content primarily for HBO NOW, HBO GO and other related platforms, all of which are streamed over the Internet. The network also noted that Stewart is collaborating with graphics company OTOY Inc. to develop “new technology” that will allow him to produce truncated clips on multiple platforms.
“Jon Stewart led a revolution that changed the face of TV comedy on the Daily Show,” Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming said in a statement. “He graced our network nearly 20 years ago, so we’re thrilled to welcome back his immense talents in this next chapter of his career.”
“Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me,” said Stewart. “I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again.”
The news should be music to the ears of legions of Stewart’s fans who have struggled to cope with the idea of a 2016 presidential election devoid of his often biting comedy.
When Stewart’s content will hit HBO’s multiple platforms is unclear. But when it does, viewers will be able to view his comedy on HBO mobile apps and streaming devices that support HBO NOW and HBO GO, such as Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast.
By signing with HBO, Stewart will join his former Comedy Central colleague John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Oliver landed at HBO after he temporarily took over the reigns of the Daily Show during Stewart’s absence as Stewart produced his first feature film, Rosewater.
Stewart is widely credited with reshaping political commentary on television. He essentially built a farm team of politically minded comedians such as Oliver, Stephen Colbert and current Daily Show host Trevor Noah, all of whom contributed as so-called “correspondents” prior to hosting their own respective shows.
HBO’s new superstar personality first began lecturing politicians from behind his desk as Daily Show host in 1999.
HBO has been aggressive in persuing larger-than-life figures to its network. Aside form Stewart, HBO announced that it has reached a deal with respected sports writer and podcast host Bill Simmons to create a weekly show for the network. Simmons had been editor-in-chief of Grantland, popular for its long-form sports journalism and unique perspective on sports and pop culture, which ESPN recently shut down.
Fans and commentators alike have speculated what Stewart’s post-Comedy Central life would look like.
Now that we know, presidential hopefuls should prepare for the worst.