News / TV

Jon Stewart and HBO scuttle animated satire project

After Jon Stewart left The Daily Show in the summer of 2015, much was made of his four-year contract with HBO he signed a few months later.

Stewart would produce daily animated comedy clips, still commenting on the headlines and the news, only now in cartoons, for HBO’s digital HBO Go and HBO NOW apps, with perhaps clip packages airing on the pay-TV channel proper, in time for the 2016 presidential election. But that was back in the days when Stewart thought he’d be living in a world run by President Hillary Clinton or President Jeb Bush. Oh, those were memories, weren’t they?

Trump changed everything.

Not that that’s the reason Stewart’s HBO animated project is no longer happening.

But instead of seeing Stewart on HBO, where you have seen him is on CBS, joining his friend, collaborator, and employee Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert — where Stewart is an executive producer. And you have seen animated bits written for that day’s news on The Late Show, too. So it’s not as if you’re not seeing what Stewart wanted to do when his HBO deal went public in November 2015.

Just not on HBO.

Two examples to wit:

So what now?

In a joint statement last night, HBO and Stewart announced they “have decided not to proceed with a shortform digital animated project. We all thought the project had great potential but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material. We’re excited to report that we have some future projects together which you will be hearing about in the near future.”

Stay tuned to find out what those projects will turn out to be.

Illustration by Silvia Quach

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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