When Jon Stewart decided to hang it up and turn the keys to “The Daily Show” over to Trevor Noah, we can only assume that he did so at least in part because he had bigger and better plans for himself, and “The Daily Show” just wouldn’t give him the room he needed to flex his intellectual muscles.

Well, it took him a while, but Stewart ultimately landed on his feet at Apple. Or maybe “landed on his head” would be a better way to say that.

More from Devin Gordon:

The grand return that Stewart finally launched last fall, The Problem With Jon Stewart, streaming on Apple TV+, is hosted by a guy who took a six-year break from television, and boy, does it show. According to the industry-measurement firm Samba TV, the fifth episode of The Problem With Jon Stewart has been streamed just 40,000 times, which is down 78 percent from the pilot, which aired on September 30, 2021. By comparison, HBO’s episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver that same week drew more than 800,000 viewers.

Stewart’s specific genius on The Daily Show was layering facts and complexity into jokes, and stitching punch lines together into George Carlin–esque political riffs. When Stewart was at the peak of his powers, no one could pack more ideas into 22 minutes of comedy. But something has turned. Now he’s the one who seems overwhelmed by complexity and prone to oversimplification. He’s the one who gets called out for fumbling facts, for missing the point, for being out of touch. It’s not just that Tucker Carlson has struck back with a Stewart-proof breed of sophistry. It’s not just that topical comedy doesn’t work as well as it used to. The problem with The Problem With Jon Stewart is Jon Stewart himself.

Womp-womp.

Is it possible that Jon Stewart isn’t as sharp and brilliant and talented as he thinks he is? Perhaps he should consider considering that possibility.

This thread from actor and Mother Jones journalist Ben Dreyfuss is pretty persuasive:

Oooooooof.

Stop! Stop! He’s already dead!

Truly a sight to behold. Both the thread and Jon Stewart’s career trajectory.

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