Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart will leave “The Daily Show” this summer to direct a feature film, putting longtime contributor John Oliver at the program’s helm for 12 weeks while the program’s host is on hiatus.
Instead of returning home as planned, Bahari was held by Iranian authorities and interrogated for 118 excruciating days. His tormentor, who he could only identify by the smell of roses, reportedly used Bahari’s June 2009 appearance on “The Daily Show” against him during the interrogation sessions. That segment featured contributor Jason Jones interviewing Bahari just weeks before he was detained as an alleged “spy.”
The film will be Stewart’s first attempt at directing. His previous work in film included bit roles in movies like, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Half Baked,” “Death to Smoochy,” “The Faculty,” and “Big Daddy.”
“I am a television person who is accustomed to having a thought at 10 a.m. and having it out there at 6:30 p.m. and moving on, so this is a little scary, yes,” Stewart told The New York Times. “But one of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves, and I really connected to Maziar’s story,” he added. “It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.”
Oliver is expected to produce eight weeks of new shows while Stewart is away, according to Deadline.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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