Jon Stewart, who will leave The Daily Show fake news desk after 16 years, didn’t explain much when he announced he was quitting. Stewart just said he felt it was “time” to go–and most people who’d watched the passion and energy he brought to the show during his long tenure understood. But fans still mourned his departure. Especially with an election coming–maybe even one that could shape up to be Bush v. Clinton. Don’t go, Jon! they cried.
But he had to, as he told Hadley Freeman at The Guardian. And it wasn’t because the show wasn’t firing on all cylinders, ready to tackle that long, laughable process known as an American presidential campaign. “It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it,” Stewart told Freeman. “It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’” And that’s it. After his directorial debut with Rosewater and all those years starting to threaten redundancy, Stewart battled a persistent “dissatisfaction.” He didn’t want to do the show anymore with that nagging feeling hanging on him. Better to burn out, that it is to rust. And then there is the children factor: “It would be nice to be home when my little elves get home from school, occasionally,” he said.