What’s Next for Jon Stewart?

Comedian, writer, producer, and director Jon Stewart is known as the politically savvy host of The Daily Show from 1995 to 2015. We’ve occasionally seen Stewart since leaving his post at Comedy Central, where he’s made guest appearances on TV talk shows and went on to direct his first film. Most recently, Stewart could be found advocating for 9/11 first responders in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

While his activism has been a main focus for Stewart, he’s also working on a second go-round behind the camera.

Jon Stewart | Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic

Stewart rarely strays from politics

After manning the desk at the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Daily Show for over 15 years, Stewart has political satire in his blood. So, it makes perfect sense that his next project is directing a comedy film centered on politics called Irresistible.

Stewart previously directed the film Rosewater, which released in 2014. Rosewater was a departure for Stewart, a drama that depicted the four months of torture and solitary confinement endured by London-based journalist Maziar Bahari in 2009 while covering Iran’s presidential election for Newsweek, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Celebs who signed on, including a former Daily Show correspondent

Stewart, who wrote the screenplay for Irresistible, is directing the film and producing with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. Focus Features, and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide, according to Variety.

Several Hollywood heavyweights have signed on for Stewart’s new film, including Chris Cooper, Rose Byrne, Topher Grace, Mackenzie Davis, and friend and former colleague Steve Carell, as reported by Variety.

Steve Carell and Jon Stewart | Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

According to the article, Carell plays a Democratic political consultant who helps a retired ex-Marine colonel (Cooper) run for mayor in a small Wisconsin town. Byrne plays the role of Carell’s Republican counterpart, and Davis is the daughter of Cooper’s character. Grace’s role has not yet been revealed.

Carell was the “first big breakout star” of The Daily Show according to Rolling Stone, during his stint from 1999 to 2005. Some of his most famous characters on the show included “Produce Pete” and half of the double-act “Even Stephven” with Stephen Colbert. “His ability to find comedy in moments you don’t realize is amazing,” Stewart has said, as noted by Rolling Stone. After Carell left The Daily Show in 1995 for the lead role in The Office, he still returned for guest appearances on the Comedy Central show.

Stewart’s passion project

Even with his new film in the works, Stewart’s main focus has been his activism for 9/11 first responders. Before leaving The Daily Show in 2015, he started fighting for compensation of the fund aimed to give necessary financial support for the thousands of first responders who suffered serious medical issues, including numerous cancer diagnoses, after the 2001 attacks, according to CBS News.

On June 11, Stewart gave an impassioned plea to pass a bill that would permanently reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, CBS News reported. He took the House Judiciary Committee to task, saying, “Five seconds. That’s how long it took for FDNY, for NYPD, for Port Authority, for EMS to respond to an urgent need from the public. Five seconds. Hundreds died in an instant. Thousands more poured in to continue to fight for their brothers and sisters,” Stewart said before the committee, according to IndieWire. “They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours.”

Thankfully, Stewart was heard. According to CBS News, the day after Stewart’s testimony, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a bill which would permanently reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.