Jon Stewart is speaking out about why he decided to ditch “The Daily Show.”
In a revealing new interview, the late-night host said “dissatisfaction” and the 2016 presidential election were the main reasons he chose to step down.
“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,’” Stewart told U.K. newspaper The Guardian in a story published Saturday.
The lengthy interview comes two months after the satirical news anchor announced he planned to leave “The Daily Show” after 16 years on the Comedy Central news desk.
With the presidential election fast approaching, Stewart knew it was time for a change. “I’d covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one,” he said.
After nearly two decades, Stewart joked that another plus to stepping down is he won’t have to watch the “relentless” 24-hour news networks anymore.
“Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing,” Stewart said. “I live in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds, hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease.”
Stewart began his long “Daily Show” relationship on Jan. 11, 1999, taking over for
Last month 31-year-old South African Trevor Noah, was named as Stewart’s replacement.
Since the announcement, Noah has raised eyebrows after people on the Internet uncovered a series of his old tweets that some considered anti-Semitic and sexist.
Among his controversial comments, a tweet about soccer player Lionel Messi posted in 2012: “Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn’t go down easy, just like jewish chicks.”
Another tweet that caused a stir, “Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel.”
And then there was this tweet, “I’m watching Olympic women’s hockey. It’s like lesbian porn. Without the porn. #InLove.”
After the controversy erupted, Noah took to Twitter to respond to his critics, writing, “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.”
Comedy Central also defended him and encouraged fans to look at the whole picture.
“Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included, the network told TheWrap on March 31. “To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central.”
It’s not yet known when Stewart will end his run as “Daily Show” host or when Noah will take over.