Toronto Star

Cenac recalls tension with Jon Stewart


As Jon Stewart nears the end of his term as The Daily Show’s host, tributes are rolling in.

But one voice wasn’t so positive. While visiting Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, former Daily Show correspond­ent Wyatt Cenac said he had a tough relationsh­ip with Stewart, memorably clashing with him in 2011 over how U.S. presidenti­al candidate Herman Cain was mocked. The core of his complaint was a voice impression Stewart had done of Cain, which Cenac, who worked for the show for 41⁄ years, found offensive.

2 “I don’t think this is from a malicious place, but I think this is from a sort of naive, kind of ignorant place,” Cenac recalled thinking.

When he raised the issue in person, Cenac says Stewart blew up at him in front of the entire Daily Show staff.

“I was the one black writer there,” he said. “It was this thing where it’s like, when you’re the one — whether you want to or not — you’re speaking for everybody. I felt like I had to speak for all the minorities, because there’s nobody speaking for them.”

The two have since mended fences via email and Stewart invited Cenac to the last show’s taping on Aug. 6.

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