Why Chris Rock Said No To The Daily Show

Later this year, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show will feature its first new host in 16 years, as its stalwart leader Jon Stewart will pass the baton to correspondent Trevor Noah. Before Noah got the gig, many names were tossed around about who could replace Stewart, but not a lot of people were talking about comedian and filmmaker Chris Rock taking the job. But he was apparently being considered for it, though he eventually backed off because he would have only wanted it in a temporary scenario, rather than a new leg in his career. That could have been amazing.

According to a highly informative article in the New York Times about Comedy Central’s process in the modern TV era, Rock would have only wanted to stay on as a Daily Show host for a little over a year. He had no interest in going past November 8, 2016, as he thought the show should have a more permanent host following the next presidential election. Personally, I would love to have seen Rock sitting in the driver’s seat as the presidential race heated up, especially with potential candidates like Donald Trump and Jeb Bush making waves. It should be a crime that viewers don’t get to hear Rock skewering these guys on a daily basis.

Which isn’t to say that Comedy Central’s president of content and original programming Kent Alterman would definitely have hired Rock, as he claims Noah was the only person that got an official offer for the job. But Rock already has quite a bit of experience hosting a talk show that embraced controversy and comedy with equally open arms, as he fronted The Chris Rock Show on HBO for five seasons from 1997 to 2000, with mega-star Louis C.K. as one of the head writers. How incredible would it be if C.K. would have joined The Daily Show with Rock as the host?

Rock actually had one of the more perfect responses to Noah landing the hosting job, as seen in the tweet below.

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Also in the article, it was confirmed that Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler was called up in order to gauge her interest for the gig, while no one went so far as to ask her to take it. And that was probably a good thing, as it was apparently “the quickest no in history,” according to a Comedy Central employee privy to the phone call.

The final episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will air on Thursday, August 6. But you’ll still have a crapload of time to hear him taking down early presidential hopefuls and other media personalities. Before you go, let us know how you’d have felt about Rock behind the Daily Show desk.

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.