What Has Jon Stewart Been Doing Since Leaving ‘The Daily Show’

Jon Stewart hosted The Daily Show from 1999 to 2015. In the five years since he turned the show over to Trevor Noah, Stewart has occasionally appeared on shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In the real world, he campaigned for the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund and it passed.

Jon Stewart directing Irresistible
Jon Steawrt | Daniel McFadden/Focus Features

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Now Stewart has a new movie coming out. He directed the political comedy Irresistible which opens on VOD June 26. In a new interview with the New York Times, Stewart revealed what he’s been doing in his personal life since leaving The Daily Show.

Jon Stewart has a lot more free time since ‘The Daily Show’

The Daily Show aired four nights a week and consumed all of Stewart’s focus. He kept abreast of everything going on in the world so he could speak about them. Now, he describes his life without that obligation.

“My life became much richer,” Stewart told the New York Times. “It’s as if I’d been walking around with a little toilet-paper roll cardboard tube over my eyes, to the point where I thought that was the view. It was black and white. But then you take them off your eyes and go, ‘Purple!’ I found it liberating. I also get to be present in my life. When I became less myopically focused, things became more fulfilling.”

That’s not to say he doesn’t miss it.

Congress passes September 11th Victim Compensation Fund | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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“I miss the conversations at The Daily Show,” Stewart said. “I loved going in and sitting in that room with smart, talented people and shooting the [expletive] about the world. It was an immense pleasure and honor. But, man, I get so many more colors in my life now.”

Jon Stewart is taking drum lessons

One of those personal activities Stewart now has time for is playing the drums. He said it makes him feel more alive. 

“I have a teacher and I do my paraddiddles and my rudiments, and then we throw a James Brown song on there,” Stewart said. “Suddenly I’m [James Brown drummer Clyde] Stubblefield. When I get my left foot to do a thing independent of my right hand — it’s the opposite of death. You don’t get that feeling as much when you’re older.”

Putting on a daily show for the neighbors

Stewart has never been anything but self-depracating. While hosting the Oscars he said the only thing he knows about movies is “I’m not good in them” referring to his acting career in films like Big Daddy and The Faculty. Likewise, he accepts that his drumming is only for personal enjoyment. He won’t quit his day job.

Daily Show Emmy Winner Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart | Mark Davis/Getty Images

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“One of our neighbors came by and was talking to my wife,” Stewart said. “The neighbor said: ‘By the way, I heard your son practicing drums. He seems to be getting better.’ I was like, Yup. I sound like a 13-year-old boy playing the drums.”