“I walked into his office and I said, ’Hey, what’s going on? Are you being pushed out? What’s happening? You need my help, let me know, man. We’ll fight,” Noah recalled at a panel discussion earlier this month.
But Stewart wasn’t being pushed out. He was leaving:
“He said ‘I’m leaving because I’m tired.’ And he said, ‘I’m tired of being angry.’ And he said, ’I’m angry all the time. I don’t find any of this funny. I do not know how to make it funny right now, and I don’t think the host of the show, I don’t think the show deserves a host who does not feel that it is funny.”
Noah said Stewart urged him to “relish the fact that you can make jokes about these things, because there will come a day when you are too angry to laugh. But don’t rush to get there.”
Stewart has publicly addressed his departure several times, and the toll of the job was apparent.
He told The Guardian in 2015 that he wasn’t getting the same satisfaction.
“These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK,” he said. “But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realize, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now.’”
He also spoke about watching networks such as Fox News in search of content for the show.
“Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing,” Stewart said. “I live in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds. Hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease.”