New York magazine has a lengthy and fantastic interview with Jon Stewart out this week that’s a must read for Daily Show fans and longtime Stewart viewers who are curiously anticipating the release of his directorial debut Rosewater. The interview covers everything from the making of Rosewater to Stephen Colbert’s 50th birthday party (Stewart calls the attending crowd a “love bomb”) to Stewart’s brush with NBC’s Meet the Press to how much longer he plans to host The Daily Show.
On the risk of making his first movie:
But is it a risk at this point in my life? Yes, it’s very different from the forgiving nature of The Daily Show, where you lay a turd on Monday and Tuesday you’re back at it. With the movie, the idea that it’s all sort of building to this one opening weekend, you really do feel like that prom pressure of “I will lose my virginity!” But I get criticized all the time, so that’s not different. The failure would have been not attempting it.
Bassem tapes near Tahrir Square, in a live theater downtown. So to get me there, I’m in this crazy Mercedes-Benz caravan with guys with AK-47s. You’re driving through, and the streets are just teeming with thousands of young people on the verge of revolution. Naturally, a caravan like that is going to attract a certain amount of attention, because maybe it’s Mubarak. We pull up in front, and there are faces just pressed up against everywhere. The security guys kick open our car door, and they grab me by the back of the neck and start dragging me through the crowd, waving their guns. I’ll never forget thousands of young Egyptian men at once going, “Who the fuck is that?” It was like being in One Direction and coming out in front of an audience of 70-year-old men. Nobody gives a shit.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what your ambition is because you don’t know what your day-to-day is. I liked the day-to-day of being a stand-up. That being said, I don’t know that that would’ve been a sustainable life for me either. Being on the road that many weeks a year, it’s a fucking hard life. For the time period that I did it, and now, in the way that I can do it here, it’s really great. This job has been really sustainable for me, but not to the extent that I’ll be here forever. It’s not that kind of thing.