John Mulaney revealed the reason why he chose to reject the offer of hosting The Daily Show.
The comedian, whose Mulaney: Baby J is now streaming on Netflix, recalled the time when he was being asked to host the Comedy Central talk show after Jon Stewart’s exit in 2015.
“It was shortly after the SNL 40th anniversary,” Mulaney said during an appearance on Doug Herzog and Jen Chaney’s Basic! podcast.
“I had a sitcom on Fox. They’d aired all 13 [episodes], but it was canceled. It didn’t do good numbers, but at least critics reviled it. So, it was a fun time.”
The Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers voice star reflected on when president of Comedy Central at that time, Kent Alterman, asked Mulaney if he wanted host the show following Stewart’s departure.
“I was extremely flattered that y’all were asking me about it,” Mulaney said.
“I sensed they would be big shoes to fill. I think I also was gun-shy from putting myself out there at that moment after the Fox run. And I sensed all eyes would be on whoever came after Mr. Stewart.”
He continued, “It wasn’t the right thing at that moment, but I remember saying to Kent, ‘I wish it was five years from now.’ And he went, ‘Yeah, but it’s not.’ I mean, I just remember Kent had a great tone of, ‘I hear you. I’m here to hear out anything you have to say, but it’s now, and we’re asking you about it, and we can’t talk hypothetically for that long at this dinner, John.’”
Then Trevor Noah eventually took on the role of hosting for Stewart and quit the show in 2022 after seven years at the helm.
“My time is up, but in the most beautiful way,” the host said when he announced his departure in September.
Since then Comedy Central kept filling the seat with a series of rotating guest hosts who conducted the show on a weekly basis.