After leaving The Daily Show on Comedy Central, comedian Jon Stewart had planned on making an animated series for HBO. That isn't happening — it was scrapped back in May — but Stewart still has a contract and will partner with the premium network for another project: his first stand-up comedy specials in more than 20 years.
Deadline provided the scoop earlier this week. HBO announced that Stewart would be receiving not one but two stand-up specials. Head of programming Casey Bloys had this to say:
"We’re excited to bring Jon to the network with this pair of specials. We've all missed his unique, thoughtful brand of humor.”
The news of Stewart returning to stand-up is definitely noteworthy, especially since he hasn't had a full stand-up TV special since 1996. Stewart did make a surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar back in 2015, and he sporadically cameos on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, so he clearly has an itch for getting behind a mic again.
After spending so much time working on #TV series, Stewart's career appears to have come full circle, going back to the medium in which he started: stand-up. HBO's Bloys told Deadline that Stewart is unlikely to star in a new late-night series along the lines of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight or Bill Maher's Real Time:
"He will come up with other producing ideas but he’s not going to come back and do a show, he’s more active as a producer."
After sitting behind The Daily Show's desk for so long, it's understandable why Stewart feels done with the format. When he left Comedy Central, he explained his reason to the Guardian:
"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. These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realize, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now."
That may be disappointing to fans of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but the good news is that Stewart finally has some upcoming projects to look forward to — his voice has definitely been missed.
Are you ready for Jon Stewart's HBO comedy specials?