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Differences Between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Who is Jon Stewart – The Daily Show?

Jon Stewart is an American comedian, writer, and political satirist. He became a household name while hosting The Daily Show for 15 years and is one of the creators of The Colbert Report.


Who is Stephen Colbert – The Colbert Report and The Late Night Show?

Stephen Colbert is also an American political satirist. He is known for his writing on The Daily Show, as well as for his hosting of The Colbert Report and, recently, The Late Night Show.


Differences Between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert  Shows



Jon Stewart hosted The Daily Show from 1999 to 2015. The Daily Show, now hosted by Trevor Noah, is produced by Comedy Central and focuses primarily on politics and current events. During Stewart’s time as host, The Daily Show received 60 Emmy nominations and won 23 of them. Prior to The Daily Show, Jon Stewart became popular as a guest-host of The Larry Sanders Show.

Stephen Colbert was a writer on The Daily Show when Jon Stewart became the host. Colbert then became the host and namesake of The Colbert Report from 2005 to 2015. Colbert and Stewart created The Colbert Report together with Ben Karlin. In 2015, Colbert left his show to become the host of The Late Night Show. Over its decade on-air, The Colbert Report received 41 Emmy nominations and won 7 times.


As a satirist and comedian, Jon Stewart directs his content to current political and social issues. He is openly liberal and left-wing, although he is known for criticizing both left- and right-wing media sources like CNN and FOX.  During his tenure as host of The Daily Show, Stewart is crediting with creating the “news satire” approach for television hosts. This style of hosting involves satirizing the biases found in media and politics. As his guests on The Daily Show often discussed serious current events, Stewart used extravagant humor and sarcasm to emphasize their points to the audience, and continues this style in his stand-up comedy.

Stephen Colbert used a persona to host The Colbert Report. He played the part of a right-wing American Republican, and tended towards the conservative extreme in his script to parody real-life politics. He often interviewed guests with liberal political leanings or with professional backgrounds in affairs that contradict the American conservative platform, which naturally exaggerated his persona’s viewpoints. As the host of The Late Night Show, he no longer uses his right-wing persona throughout every episode. He instead addresses current politics directly, and The Late Night Show made enormous viewing and rating gains when he began covering the 2016 American presidential election.


Jon Stewart has noted many influences on his career and comedy, including George Carlin, David Letterman, and Steve Martin. He and Stephen Colbert also have a reciprocal relationship in influencing each other’s success.

Stephen Colbert is outspoken regarding how much Jon Stewart has influenced him. While Colbert was a writer on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart helped him develop his right-wing persona and often interviewed him on-air as a comedic bit. They then created The Colbert Report. Colbert also lists among his influencers Don Novello, George Carlin, Dean Martin, and Steve Martin. Colbert modeled his right-wing persona off of the political and media pundit Bill O’Reilly.

Other Work

Over the past decade, Jon Stewart began branching into film, including gaining contracts with producer HBO. He is also a published author. After leaving The Daily Show, Stewart has started doing stand-up comedy more regularly.

Stephen Colbert has worked as a script and joke writer, notably while assisting Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. He played on Comedy Central’s show Strangers with Candy during its three-season run. Since creating The Colbert Show, he has published multiple books and remained active in the comedy circuit.

Jon Stewart Vs. Stephen Colbert 


Summary of  Jon Stewart Vs. Stephen Colbert  Shows

As professional partners and personal friends, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have developed similar satirical styles to their television hosting, comedy acts, and writing. However, their styles do diverge at certain points and their careers are unique.

  • Jon Stewart reached his height of popularity as the long-running host of The Daily Show. He has since left daily television and has continued his career in writing and stand-up comedy. Stephen Colbert began the current phase of his career as a writer on The Daily Show, which he left to create The Colbert Report. Colbert is now the host of The Late Night Show.
  • Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have both become famous for their politics and “news satire” style of hosting. However, Stewart usually remained openly liberal as a host, where Colbert developed a right-wing host persona that he held in-character during The Colbert Report. On The Late Night Show, he no longer stays in character during the entirety of the show and instead criticizes media and politics more directly.

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References :

[0]Jennifer Burns. “Top 3 differences between The Colbert report and The Daily Show.” Oxford University Press Blog. September 7, 2012. Retrieved from https://blog.oup.com/2012/09/top-3-differences-between-the-colbert-report-and-the-daily-show/

[1]Megan McCluskey. “The Complete History of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s Legendary Friendship.” Time. May 10, 2017. Retrieved from http://time.com/4772715/stephen-colbert-jon-stewart-complete-friendship-history/

[2]“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Comedy Central.” Television Academy. Retrieved from https://www.emmys.com/shows/daily-show-jon-stewart

[3]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/Jon_Stewart_2005.jpg/512px-Jon_Stewart_2005.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c3/Stephen_Colbert_4_by_David_Shankbone.jpg/511px-Stephen_Colbert_4_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

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