NBC attempted to poach Jon Stewart from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to host Meet The Press

Two first names aren’t a prerequisite to hosting NBC’s Meet the Press.

Nor do you have to be an NBC News reporter, anchor or personality to fit the bill as moderator for the Peacock Network’s Sunday morning political roundtable, apparently.

Frustrated with its standing amid its network competition — Face the Nation (CBS), This Week (ABC) and FOX News Sunday — NBC pushed aside host David Gregory to make way for Chuck Todd, its White House correspondent and MSNBC anchor. But not before trying to recruit Jon Stewart first.

That’s right.

As first reported Wednesday by Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine and confirmed independently by CNN’s Brian Stelter, NBC wanted to lure Stewart away from The Daily Show on Comedy Central. “They were ready to back the Brink’s truck up,” one of three sources with knowledge of the negotiations told Sherman.

Stewart has proven himself equally adept at interviewing newsmakers and politicians as he has been in making fun of the media for the past 15 years as The Daily Show‘s host. He hasn’t shied away from taking that talk to their turf, either, whether it’s been CNN’s Crossfire or FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace, or multiple interviews and panel discussions with Bill O’Reilly.

Moreover, NBC also has seen how well John Oliver (a past correspondent of The Daily Show) has done in only his first year of Sunday nights hosting Last Week Tonight on HBO. And Stephen Colbert is moving up from Comedy Central to CBS in 2015 to take over The Late Show when David Letterman retires.

So why not make Stewart an offer?

But Stewart has a contract with Comedy Central through 2015, and he’s staying put. At least for now.

Todd took the revelation in stride.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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