Did You Know That Mike Rowe Came Incredibly Close to Hosting The Daily Show?

2014 TCA Turner Broadcasting Summer Press Tour Presentation
Imagine his moment of Zen. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

In an open letter to a fan about dealing with rejection, Mike Rowe revealed that he almost ended up hosting a slightly cleaner program than the one that brought him to fame. As Rowe writes, after he was fired from QVC for doing things like this, he started a laborious eight-year process of auditioning for every acting gig he could get his hands on. One of those jobs was The Daily Show, which was just in the process of choosing its first host: ”The audition process was extensive, and when the dust settled, it came down to two – Craig Kilborn and me. The job went to Craig, and I was crushed.”

But then came good news: Craig Kilborn soon left the desk, and the Daily Show job was open again. “This time,” Rowe writes, “I wasn’t going to let it get away. I did the very best job I could, and all modesty aside, I killed it. Afterwards, I was told by the producers and writers that I was about to become the new host of The Daily Show, unless — by some miracle — Comedy Central were to suddenly cough up the kind of money that could entice a proven entity like Dennis Miller or Jon Stewart.” You know what happened next. But now, Rowe realizes that was the real good news: “I can’t believe how lucky I was to have been rejected. It was a critical step in a long series of failures that got me to the sewer, where my redemption awaited, and a new level of job satisfaction that I frankly, never imagined.”

We Almost Got The Daily Show With Mike Rowe