Jon Stewart Calls His ‘Meet the Press’ Talks Part of NBC’s ‘Weird’ Strategy

“Daily Show” host says he never seriously considered replacing David Gregory on Sunday political show

“Meet the Press” with Jon Stewart?

It was a lot closer to happening than anyone could have ever imagined — and that’s according to the man himself. Stewart confirms that he had talks with NBC to make him the successor to David Gregory on the network’s venerable Sunday political show.

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“My guess is they were casting as wide and as weird a net as they could,” Stewart told Rolling Stone. “I’m sure part of them was thinking, ‘Why don’t we just make it a variety show?’”

But the “Daily Show” host said he never seriously considered the job.

“I felt like that was one of those situations where someone says, ‘We really like what you do. Why don’t you come over here and do something different, maybe something you don’t do as well, for us?’” Stewart said. “I can understand notionally where it comes from. News and entertainment have melded in a way. But they would be overcompensating on the entertainment side. That’s certainly not an outlandish decision, although I don’t necessarily think that’s the best direction for it.”

Also read: Jon Stewart Was Almost the Host of NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’

The way things turned out, NBC might not necessarily agree. “Meet the Press” with the guy who did get the gig, Chuck Todd, hit a Sunday low last weekend in the ratings, falling to third place behind ABC “This Week” and CBS’s “Face the Nation.” It was Todd’s lowest performance since his Sept. 7 debut.