Samantha Bee didn’t want Jon Stewart’s job.
In the rush to replace Stewart, Comedy Central reportedly gave offers to many people. Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler, and even Louis CK were allegedly asked to take over “The Daily Show,” but none was interested. Many thought longtime correspondent Bee should have had a crack at the job. But she had other plans.
According to the host of her own new late-night show on TBS, she and her husband, Jason Jones (who was also floated as a potential Stewart replacement), hadn’t known Stewart was leaving. And they had another iron in the fire: They were waiting to hear if their pilot, “The Detour,” was being picked up to series by TBS.
“When [Jon Stewart] announced [he was leaving], that was the week that they greenlit [‘The Detour’],” Bee said in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“It all kind of happened at the same time. We knew we’d leave just because it was time for us to leave anyway,” she continued. “We’d been there for a long time. There was a week where we probably felt forlorn and scared, where we went, ‘What’s the next step? What are we going to do? Hopefully this will get picked up, but there’s no guarantee.’ Then, within a very small space of time, everything changed and then the direction was clear.”
Even if the timing had been different, Bee says she wouldn’t have been interested in replacing Stewart. She and Jones have three children and family would have had to take a backseat if that had happened.
“As I’m sensing the difficulty of putting a show on once a week, I’m really not envious of having to do it four days a week,” Bee said. “There’s no mistaking the fact that Jon did it incredibly, but by the end he was exhausted. There’s no part of me that wants to do it four days a week and never was. My family life is the most important thing to me. I think it would have destroyed that, so it was not a big consideration.”
Bee’s new show, “Full Frontal,” begins on Monday, February 8, on TBS. It will include a mix of comedic commentary, interviews, and field reports (“The Detour” is also set to premiere at some point in 2016). And Bee isn’t worried about the competition.
“I’m not really thinking too much about what other people are doing because I think that we inherently have a unique voice,” she said. “The people I have around me have unique voices. We have stories we want to tell in our own way. I don’t think we’re going to cross streams with the other shows too much.”
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