On August 6, Jon Stewart’s tenure as host of The Daily Show will come to an end.
Though a comic by trade, over the past 16 years, Stewart has become one of the most trusted names in news, and when he announced his retirement back in February, it came as a shock to many left-leaning comedy fans and political junkies.
While Stewart’s time on The Daily Show may have earned him the undying respect of his peers and a place among the most beloved American humorists in recent history, his reputation took a major hit yesterday as a result of comments made by former costar Wyatt Cenac.
Appearing on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, Cenac stated that he initially idolized Stewart and viewed him as something of a father figure.
That all changed once the two of them began working together.
It seems that at one point, Cenac expressed his discomfort with the racial undertones in Stewart’s impersonation of then-presidential candidate Herman Cain.
According to Cenac, Stewart was decidedly unhappy with the criticism:
“[Stewart] got incredibly defensive,” Cenac said “I remember he was like, ‘What are you trying to say? There’s a tone in your voice.’ I was like, ‘There’s no tone. It bothered me.'”
“And he stood up and he was just like, “Fuck off. I’m done with you.” And he just started screaming that to me. And he screamed it a few times. “Fuck off! I’m done with you.” And he stormed out. And I didn’t know if I had been fired.”
It turns out Cenac was not fired, but his working relationship with Stewart was forever damaged:
“I was shaking, and I just sat there by myself on the bleachers and f–king cried,” Cenac told Maron “And it’s a sad thing. That’s how I feel. That’s how I feel in this job. I feel alone.”
Yet another indication that you should never meet – let alone work for – your idols.
Trevor Noah will take over for Stewart on September 28.