Ex Daily Show Writer: The Time Jon Stewart Told Me to F-Off

Black comic Wyatt Cenac says Stewart lost it over criticism of Herman Cain bit
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2015 2:00 PM CDT
Ex Daily Show Writer: The Time Jon Stewart Told Me to F-Off
File photo from the 'Daily Show,' with Wyatt Cenac at left.   (AP Photo/Comedy Central, Martin Crook)

It's a rare bit of bad press for Jon Stewart as he gets closer to his final Daily Show on Aug. 6. Former show writer Wyatt Cenac is drawing headlines for his recollection of how Stewart exploded in anger at him in 2011, reports the New York Times. Stewart had done an impersonation of Herman Cain that made Cenac cringe because it seemed to him that it came from a "naive, ignorant place," he says on Marc Maron's podcast. When Fox News went after Stewart as racist, the Daily Show planned a segment called "Everything I do is racist" in response, reports Vulture. Cenac, the only black writer on staff at the time, suggested they ditch the sketch because it reminded him of an offensive Amos 'n' Andy character called Kingfish.

He tells Maron:

  • "[Stewart] got incredibly defensive. I remember he was like, 'What are you trying to say? There’s a tone in your voice.' I was like, 'There’s no tone. It bothered me. It sounded like Kingfish.' And then he got upset. And he stood up and he was just like, 'F--- off. I’m done with you.' And he just started screaming that to me. And he screamed it a few times. 'F--- off! I’m done with you.' And he stormed out."
Cenac also told Maron that he and Stewart exchanged emails recently, and Stewart “kind of apologized as much as he could, for if I felt hurt.” (More Jon Stewart stories.)

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