Jon Stewart explains he’s not on Twitter because it’s like ‘Rotten Tomatoes for your soul’

Jon Stewart
Comedian Jon Stewart. Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images
  • Jon Stewart told The Hollywood Reporter he’s not on Twitter because it’s “Rotten Tomatoes for your soul.”
  • Stewart compared the social media platform to “an open mic night that never ends.”
  • The comedian is stepping back into the spotlight with a biweekly show streaming on Apple TV+.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Comedian Jon Stewart is stepping back into the spotlight with a new biweekly streaming show but says he won’t be getting on Twitter anytime soon, telling The Hollywood Reporter that being on the platform is “an open mic that never shuts off” and calling it “Rotten Tomatoes for your soul.”

“When you’re raised on a stand-up rhythm, there’s a show time and there’s an audience. It’s at 8 p.m. Your day is spent waiting for 8 p.m. And at 8 p.m., you go and you talk to the audience, and when you’re done, you leave,” Stewart explained to the outlet in an interview published Wednesday.

He added that “Twitter is an open mic that never shuts off. It’s like if the Cellar never shut down and the audience never left. And so the whole time you’re like, “‘Should I tell them something? Like, a joke?'”

Stewart compared being on Twitter to reading negative reviews for “Irresistible,” the 2020 political comedy film he wrote and directed starring Steve Carrell and Chris Cooper with Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, and Rose Byrne also in the cast.

The film, which depicted Carrell as an out-of-touch Democratic operative drafting Cooper to run for office in rural Wisconsin, was largely panned by critics and received a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Of course I read it and I’m looking to see if the critics liked it, and they didn’t, for the most part, but you’re riding that score and feeling like it’s a reflection of the worth of what you do,” Stewart told The Hollywood Reporter. “Luckily, audience response was much more positive, and that made me feel better in that moment. But I feel like Twitter is Rotten Tomatoes for your soul.”

Stewart has largely stayed out of the public eye since leaving his post anchoring Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 2015 after a 16-year run, taking on a few creative projects like “Irresistible” and occasionally reappearing in the public eye to advocate for veterans and lobby for 9/11 firefighters and first responders on Capitol Hill.

Stewart’s new show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” premieres on Apple TV+ on September 30. While it’ll feature some of the same humor and satire as “The Daily Show,” the show will have a more serious focus, with each episode diving deep into a serious political or social issue featuring those affected and delving into solutions.

Stewart told The Hollywood Reporter that the first episode of the show will feature stories of veterans suffering health complications from exposure to toxic burn pits, an issue Stewart has championed in his activism, and the second will highlight unfair conditions for essential workers face.

“Honestly, it’s the same things that animated “The Daily Show,” we’re just adjusting the dials slightly,” Stewart said. If “The Daily Show” was the weather report, I thought maybe it’d be interesting to do something that was [about] the climate.”