Jon Stewart: I Will "Never Run" for Public Office
On The Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday, Jon Stewart declared he will "never run for public office."
The Daily Show host, 47, has been thrust into the political spotlight since announcing his "Rally to Restore Sanity," which takes place in Washington D.C. Oct. 30 -- before the November mid-term election -- for people fed up with the current political climate. (His Comedy Central cohort, Stephen Colbert, is also hosting a rally.) So far, more than 100,000 people have RSVP'd for Stewart's rally. It is expected to draw larger crowds than one thrown by Fox News' Glenn Beck this past August.
Asked if he feels he is "powerful" when it comes to influencing people's minds on politics, Stewart told Winfrey, "I deny that I am powerful. Power implies an agenda that's being acted on." When she told him that he has helped people to think about politics in a different way, he said: "Every generation has had its people who stand at the back and make fun of those in charge. When the Nazis came to power in the '30s, it created an incredible underground scene of satirical comedy. Peter Cook [a British comedian] once said with a straight face, "Yes, they really showed Hitler." That's how I see it. I'm not saying I'm powerless and in a vacuum. But if I really wanted to change things, I'd run for office. I haven't considered that, and I wouldn't -- because this is what I do well. The more I move away from comedy, the less competent I become."
If he seriously ran for office, Stewart said, "I would lose my mind almost immediately.
"My job is I make jokes," he told her. "I don't solve problems. If my job became solving problems, I would suddenly become a lot less good at what I do, unless the problem being had by the country was a lack of jokes."
Tells Us: Should Jon Stewart run for public office?