Buried lede: Jon Stewart is taking a break from The Daily Show this summer to direct his first movie, a drama he also wrote (about a journalist getting tortured in Iran) that will reportedly be called Rosewater.
It’s a huge deal that Stewart’s leaving the show, even if it’s only temporary (he’ll be gone for 12 weeks). He’s never taken a hiatus of more than a few weeks since he took over as host in 1999.
It’s not necessarily bad news for fans of The Daily Show, however. In Stewart’s absence, John Oliver will host the show. It will be very fun to see what Oliver can do in the role, as he’s been a standout correspondent on the show for several years now. His selection proves that Comedy Central sees big things in him — and might even have him pegged as Stewart’s eventual successor or perhaps the recipient of a Colbert Report-like spin-off.
With a good showing, Oliver could even potentially toss his name into the mix for the hosting role on CBS’ The Late Show — David Letterman isn’t going to be around forever.
If Rosewater is a big success, it’s possible that Stewart will consider moving on from the show he’s hosted for nearly 15 years now. It certainly looks like he’s aiming to make a very big splash in Hollywood — and maybe even get up on the Oscars stage as a winner and not as a host. He’s enlisted superproducer Scott Rudin (No Country For Old Men, The Social Network) for his directorial debut.