Jon Stewart Says He’s Leaving ‘The Daily Show’ Because News And Politics Can Be Really Depressing

"I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds."

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In a long interview published overnight on The GuardianJon Stewart describes his leaving The Daily Show as similar to the end of a long-term relationship.

“It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working anymore, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction,'” he said. “These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s okay. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realise, ‘okay, I’m on the back side of it now.'”

But with many shocked by the fact he’ll be leaving right before a Presidential election and unhappy with the less-than-ideal reception of incoming host Trevor Noah, it seems like his fans are definitely the ones losing the breakup. We didn’t know he felt this way. We can change. We just want another chance.

Now, as the world awkwardly continues to grieve for a guy who hasn’t even left yet, Stewart’s given us our first piece of closure. The full interview entitled ‘Why I Quit The Daily Show’ runs us through all the reasons he’s leaving, how he feels about the work he’s done in his 16 years with the show, and what it will all look like once he’s gone.

Predictably, he’s excited about the fact he’ll get to spend more time with family and live a normal life, but all in all, he sounds pretty damn disillusioned.

“Honestly, it was a combination of the limitations of my brain and a format that is geared towards following an increasingly redundant process, which is our political process,” he told The Guardian. I was just thinking, ‘Are there other ways to skin this cat?'”

With that in mind, it’s not much of a surprise he wanted to get out before it all cranked back into gear for the 2016 election. This would be his fifth time at the rodeo, and he didn’t see anything different worth sticking around for. Though there’s considerable hype around Hillary Clinton, Stewart has been disappointed by Democrats in the past. Eighteen months after President Obama’s landmark victory, he heavily criticised him over his lack of progress and now describes the process as “heartbreaking”.

“It’s generally heartbreaking — that’s what the gig is,” he said.

As if to provide an example of this, about the same time this interview went live Stewart aired a 10-minute smackdown of Dick Cheney where he dressed as a detective and represented the former Vice President as a red balloon with a frowny face drawn on it.

Even more than that, Stewart also expressed a familiar discontent with the news industry at large. This is something he’s renowned for; his attacks on Fox News are basically trademarked at this point. But, the larger reality of his relationship with it all is pretty sad to hear.

“Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing,” he 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.”

And hey — it’s more than likely he delivered those words in his familiar flippant, half-joking kind of way. He’s spoken at length about how much he’s enjoyed his work over the years. But, like a heartbroken girlfriend poring over the letter he left on the kitchen table, you can’t help but read a nugget of truth in there too.

Read the full interview on The Guardian.