John Oliver exits the "Daily Show" hosting sweepstakes: Re-examining the search to replace Jon Stewart

We take a look at the contenders!

By Sarah Gray
Published February 18, 2015 1:30PM (EST)
  (Comedy Central)
(Comedy Central)

HBO announced on Tuesday that it is renewing "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" for two more seasons. For regular viewers of of the show, the decision is unsurprising. In less than a year, Oliver has developed his own unique format and style, firmly planting himself in the late night comedy/news landscape.

However, the news also comes amid rampant speculating that Oliver might replacing his former boss, Jon Stewart, at the helm of "The Daily Show," During his time on the Comedy Central staple, Oliver proved that he could more than handle the job. But with HBO ordering two more seasons of "Last Week Tonight," Oliver once and for all appears to be out of the running.

In the spirit of this news -- and Jessica Williams' Sunday announcement that she also will not be succeeding Stewart -- let's take a look at who is still in the running. Here's our previous list for reference, and below are five comedians that we personally would love to watch host "The Daily Show."

Samantha Bee:

We made the case that Samantha Bee should take over for Stephen Colbert last year, and we'll make it again here. Admittedly, Bee does not have the same household name recognition as the person she would be replacing, but neither did Larry Wilmore, and now he's killing it on "The Nightly Show." Fans of "The Daily Show" know her as the longest serving correspondent, a hilarious interviewer and brilliant interpretive dancer. Just watch this clip if you don't believe us:

Chris Rock:

Chris Rock would make an incredible host of "The Daily Show"! His comedy is smart, observational and acerbic. Though he claims (in the clip below) to not want to wade into politics, his media blitz for "Top Five" proves he has plenty of spot-on commentary to add -- and that there's an appetite for it. As Salon's Erin Keane explained earlier this month, "Rock could be the right voice to deliver the show to its next level."

Amy Poehler

Whether the result would be more in like with Poehler's unerringly positive Leslie Knope character or her more incisive Weekend Update personality, there's no way she wouldn't be brilliant and hilarious behind the "Daily Show" desk. Please make this happen.

Marc Maron:

Maron's relationship with Jon Stewart is famously rocky, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't get a chance at replacing him. And it wouldn't even be the first time! Maron already replaced Stewart on Comedy Central's "Short Attention Span Theater" in the '90s, and he's no stranger to late-night comedy shows, either. Beyond being an incredible comic, he is also a skilled interviewer -- just check out "WTF with Marc Maron."

Leslie Jones:

This one may be a long shot: After all, Jones was just cast in the all-female reboot of "Ghostbusters" earlier this year, and she's a regular performer on "Saturday Night Live." Even still, Jones is hilarious, an incredibly talented writer and, as her frequent appearances on "Weekend Update" show, she does not ever shy away from controversy. Jones' would take "The Daily Show" to an energetic and exciting new level.

Those are our current picks. Who do you think should be the next host of "The Daily Show"?

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Amy Poehler Jessica Williams John Oliver Jon Stewart Last Week Tonight The Daily Show Video