Former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart has launched a new Apple+ show, which critics have blasted as dull and stuck in the past.
Critics across the political spectrum said ‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’ is that he’s just not funny anymore, and lacks the humor that once drew millions of late-night viewers to his former Comedy Channel series.
The Washington Post’s TV critic Inkoo Kang called the show was a bore.
‘In the media run-up to the show’s release, Stewart has described “The Problem With” half-jokingly as “‘The Daily Show,’ but less entertaining,’ Kang wrote.
‘That still oversells its humor; I didn’t laugh once during the two 45-minute episodes screened for review.’
Jon Stewart’s new show ‘The Problem With John Stewart’ debuted today on Apple+ TV
Stewart previously hosted The Daily Show on Comedy Central, but stepped down in 2015
The weekly series touts itself into taking a deep-dive into important issues through interviews and discussion.
During the first episode Stewart, who is worth an estimated $120 million, discussed health problems veterans are experiencing due to the nature of their job.
Rolling Stone magazine didn’t take it any easier on the 58-year-old comedian – its critic roasted Stewart for being stuck in the past.
‘That Stewart keeps invoking The Daily Show, both explicitly and with many of his creative choices, will be a feature rather than a bug to those who missed his sardonic voice while he sat out the Trump years as a public voice,’ wrote its TV critic Alan Sepinwall.
‘But the problem with Jon Stewart is that he hasn’t changed since we last saw him rocking out to Bruce Springsteen in his Daily Show finale, while the world has — both on television and outside of it.’
‘The problem with Jon Stewart is that he hasn’t changed since we last saw him,’ said one critic
Stewart made the left-leaning masses laugh for 16 years on The Daily Show with his impersonations of George W. Bush and comedic exchanges with correspondents Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee.
His satiric take on the day’s events often provided more insight into reality than some mainstream news stations.
He left the show in 2015, handing it over to Trevor Noah. It is unclear how much Stewart’s deal with Apple is worth, but the tech giant is likely to have paid him tens of millions to try and boost its foray into streaming.
Under Stewart’s leadership the show won more than 20 Primetime Emmy awards.
The Daily Show won more than 20 Primetime Emmy awards under Stewart’s leadership
Stewart was on the comedic sidelines for the past six years, but even his diehard fans were reluctant to rave about his new undertaking.
‘As a longtime fan of The Daily Show, I’ll say this: Any time former host Jon Stewart pops up on TV to joke about society’s problems is a good day,’ wrote NPR’s Eric Deggans.
‘… But his biggest problem right now is finding a new way to communicate which doesn’t feel like a nod to his old life.’
Stewart is shown during a Daily Show episode featuring Rob Riggle and Olivia Munn
The New York Times said the comedic legend’s new show was lacking in the laughter department.
‘In its first two episodes, his show is “The Daily Show” but longer (around 45 minutes), more sustained and passionate in its attention and less funny – often intentionally, sometimes not,” the Times,’ opined James Poniewozik.
Stewart’s efforts did not go unappreciated by everyday viewers such as Frank Conniff.
‘The new Jon Stewart show is more journalism than comedy,’ Coniff tweeted. ‘Personally, I don’t mind seeing a comedian doing journalism because most of the journalists on TV aren’t doing it.’
Some everyday viewers say they enjoyed watching Stewart’s small-screen return
How late-night legend Jon Stewart took a comedic pause to help veterans and first responders
After stepping down as The Daily Show host in 2015, Jon Stewart joined the fight to get Congress to pass legislation that would extend medical benefits for the approximately 33,000 men and women.
He wanted to help those who risked their lives at Ground Zero after the Twin Towers fell and now suffer from aliments including cancer, respiratory problems, and mental health conditions.
After years of lobbying, he gave a standing ovation from the Senate Gallery when senate passed a bill ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the September 11 attacks never runs out of money.
Last year, Stewart accused Congress of giving the ‘cold shoulder’ to nearly 200,000 veterans who claim their health was compromised after they inhaled toxic fumes from burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He’s now pushing for the passage of legislation that eases the burden on veterans to provide proof that there’s a direct connection between their time in service and a disease they’ve suffered from since.