Amy Schumer explains why she turned down ‘The Daily Show’ hosting gig

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I’ve been trying not to think about how Trevor Noah will replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. While the first rush of press around Noah was “yay, someone new and fresh and South African,” the second-take has been more “whoa, he’s pretty sexist, he favors Don Rickles-type shtick humor and he probably stole those jokes anyway.” So many of us have been thinking about what might have been, if The Daily Show had gone with a replacement host who was more of a known and beloved quantity. The names being tossed around: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, even Amy Schumer. Well, as it turns out, TDS outright offered the gig to two of those women.

In a New York Times Magazine profile of the network that was published over the weekend, it was revealed that Comedy Central had approached Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation vet Amy Poehler to host—apparently the fastest “no” they’d ever received—as well as Chris Rock, who reportedly only wished to do it for one year. Comedy Central brass eventually settled on Trevor Noah, an up-and-coming stand-up comedian from South Africa, to fill Stewart’s very large shoes.

Well, The Daily Beast can now report that Amy Schumer, who has her own incredibly popular (and brilliant) program Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, was offered The Daily Show chair as well, but after giving it some thought, decided to turn it down.

“Yes,” Schumer told The Daily Beast when asked whether she was offered the job of host of The Daily Show.

“I was so honored to be asked and considered. With Comedy Central, I project so much ‘You’re my parents!’ on the network and the people that run it, so them saying, ‘We believe in you and trust that you can do this,’ I thought, ‘Oh my god, thank you!’ And then I thought, ‘Well, I could give everyone I love a job and we could all be together for five years. But picturing being in a building and knowing what I was going to do for five years—I love not knowing. And I’ve never done anything safe or to make money for that reason. So, you know, I said, ‘I can’t start now.’”

[From The Daily Beast]

I think that’s actually pretty baller for Amy Schumer to go with the unknown rather than a steady, paying gig that she actually would have been good at. It does feel like Schumer is on the cusp of something bigger – everyone is crazy about her Comedy Central show and she has her first starring vehicle film coming out soon – Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow, and it looks seriously funny. But if Trainwreck bombs and her Comedy Central show falls from grace, Schumer might regret not taking The Daily Show gig. Sigh…

Meanwhile, Schumer recently spoke to People Magazine about all of the stuff she’s been talking about recently on her show – aging, sexism, body image, etc. She tells People: “It’s very therapeutic for me to be like, ‘Yes, I’m not going to look like a malnourished bird,’ and I like speaking to that, as well as speaking to my work and what I’m doing.” I like that she doesn’t look like a malnourished bird too. God, I hope Trainwreck is successful. I also hope Trevor Noah doesn’t last long on TDS.

Here’s the redband trailer for Trainwreck. NSFW language and dude-butt.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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71 Responses to “Amy Schumer explains why she turned down ‘The Daily Show’ hosting gig”

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  1. Izzy says:

    I know a lot of people adore her, but I just don’t think Amy Schumer is that funny. *shrugh* To each their own.

      • joan says:

        Apparently some people just don’t understand her humor. That doesn’t mean she’s not funny, just that they’re not getting it.

    • Mimz says:

      I don’t like her either, TBH, her stunt at that event where she threw herself at KK’s feet was ridiculous and tasteless, and, I haven’t seen her perform so I can’t judge but I just … don’t find her appealing at all.
      Everyone these days is using sexism and body image to their own advantage, but cracking jokes about it all the time, well, isn’t there something else to talk about?
      (I’m on the chubby side of life so I’m not talking off my slender high horse, or saying people shouldn’t talk about it, but I honestly think people use the same “body image, self acceptance, feminism” combo to become more popular. See: JLaw)

      • Franca says:

        I definitely think it’s used for PR, almost everything these people do is for their image.
        But then again, being self-deprecating about the way you look can be a defense mechanism. I see it in myself, I was fat for such a long time, it’s ingrained in me.

    • Erinn says:

      Me too. I haaaated her on Hoppus on Music. To the point I’d have to change the channel. I’ve seen the odd clip, or interview though that I’ve found really amusing, so I’m slightly conflicted. I think maybe in small doses I can handle her.

    • Wilma says:

      I don’t find her funny either. I did try, but she’s not my cup of tea.

    • Denise says:

      I watched some of her stand up and I was dying. The first time I saw her was on a roast and I remember not being impressed. But since then I find her so funny, totally my kind of humour.

    • LA Juice says:

      I feel guilt-ed into liking her, because I want to be supportive of women, and while I agree she can 9sometimes) be funny as shit, i have also watched her stand up and jadedly thought- oh goody someone to insure Chelsea handler’s boozy open legged brand of comedy survives. I also worry that Amy- who plays the “I’m unfuckabale” card quite a bit, might be hollywood’s answer to not casting the bigger funny girls…

      in sum, the jury is out.

  2. Someone says:

    I’m sorry…I love amy! I adore her, but, I don’t believe this. How is taking this job boring and conventional? It’s honestly one of the best gigs of life. I could be wrong , she could totally be telling the truth, but part of me finds it hard to believe.
    In addition, I wish Jessica Williams had accepted. I heard she had been in the running but turned it down ? Shame–she is excellent

    • Jay says:

      I would imagine it’s boring because it’s the same formula every show as opposed to skits like she does now. Plus I don’t think political comedy is her speed, so a lot of her jokes would be written for her and she wouldn’t be able to use her creativity as much.

      I lover her too, and I’m glad she’s sticking with her sketch comedy routine.

    • Mila says:

      so many shows each week is boring, it limits her freedom in terms of creativity a lot.

      its a prestigious job, pays great and pretty safe if you dont totally suck, but i can see why someone would turn it down.

    • Kiki04 says:

      Eh, I also don’t see her doing something so political day in and day out. Her skits are really funny on her show, but they’re more about life IMO than about politics. I think it suits her more than TDS

    • kibbles says:

      Schumer is on the cusp of major super stardom and needs as must freedom as possible to make her own decision as to where her career can take her. Taking the Daily Show gig would limit her if she really hits it big with Trainwreck and movie offers begin to flood in. That is highly possible because she’s on a serious roll right now. I think trying to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes would have put her in a bad position of being compared to him and Stewart is simply incomparable. Schumer is better off doing her own thing and making a name for herself rather than taking over a role that already has an icon. Trevor Noah needs a vehicle like the Daily Show to make a name for himself in the USA. I really don’t think he’s going to be a good host, but for him it’s worth it to take that chance because he’s nowhere near the same level of stardom as Poehler, Fey, or Schumer.

  3. Down and Out says:

    Should’ve been John Oliver.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m glad he got his own show. The Daily Show’s great, but I love that Oliver’s show can really delve into an issue, and Oliver seems best suited to that kind of reporting.

    • Lucy2 says:

      If he hadn’t gotten his own HBO show, which is a brilliant, I think it would’ve been him without a doubt.

    • Kiki04 says:

      Agreed, but I love his show too much now for him to go back to TDS, once a week actually works out so well for what he covers. In all honesty, I watch Oliver’s show way more now than I watch TDS anyways………

  4. Jegede says:

    Not all slender women are ‘malnourished birds’ Amy.

    • Allie says:

      I think she’s mostly pointing at the ideal Hollywood woman. Where they have to be ridiculously thin, because that’s what directors and audiences expect. I think her body type is refreshing, because it’s so not LA.

      • Jegede says:

        Would the same excuse be used if this was said in reverse?

        And if she’s ridiculing it, why does she then keep insisting she’s a size 6?

      • Allie says:

        Not sure if the reverse excuse makes sense. Let’s not pretend that Hollywood standards for women are anything but ridiculous. A size 6 in our world would be considered skinny to normal. A size 6 in Hollywood is considered chubby. If you aren’t anything but rail thin, you’re considered fat. And women in Hollywood are going to extreme lengths to fit in that mold. That’s what she’s talking about.

      • Jegede says:

        My point is she does not look like a Size 6 to me – (that does not matter at all I should add) – but her insistence on claiming that without being asked, belies her “I don’t care about HW standards schtick”.

        And if a thin woman, who was not an internet fave, made some comments about ‘fat birds ‘I doubt excuses and justifications would be made, nor her statement somehow analysed as refelective commentary. She would be slammed to bits.

        Agree to disagree

      • Jaygee says:

        Her being a size 6 can depend a lot on her height. If she’s petite (5’2″)and a 6, that ends up seeming larger than someone who is tall and a 6. But also, sizes vary by designer, fit, her body shape, etc. Also, she says she’s 160 lbs, that doesn’t sound like a lie to me. So I think she’s telling the truth.

      • Amide says:

        #Jegede –
        Well Said. Agree. Also agree on selective calling out.

    • Mila says:

      yes. i never understood why its fine to throw slender women under the bus or even say “they look like boys”.

      im happy if they are more diverse body shapes on tv, im sick of almost only blondes and tall handsome men doing almost everything in the media. but why does it ave to be about shaming in the other way.

      having only skinny as the ideal is wrong but a lot of skinny women would be skinny even if the body ideal would be the opposite. women like Natalie Portman or Emma Watson would not be round and curvy if thats what was asked for.

      • Franca says:

        It’s not okay to be mean to someone, but it’s not so much a personal attack at skinny people as it is a reaction to the pedestal they have been put on and the way fat people are treated on a daily basis.

        If the body ideal would be the opposite Natalie or Emma couldn’t change their body type, but it isn’t, so they will never have to, unlike people with other body types.

      • Magnolia says:

        Bravo, Franca!

      • Mila says:

        “it is a reaction to the pedestal they have been put on and the way fat people are treated on a daily basis.”

        i fully understand that and i mention that im also sick of physical attractiveness being like a godmode in life, you are even less likely to go to jail if people think you are good looking! some people will never even be loved because they are seen as ugly!

        but how does it help anyone when we shame certain body types? you can say that they have advantages and thats certainly true but calling them malnourished birds or say “you look like a twelve year old boy” is not helping anyone, its putting down someone.

        rather mention the privilige of being seen as attractive and stop treating people better because they are good looking. (thats not personally adressed to you btw, generally to all people) you can point out how much better good looking and thin people have it without shaming their body in return.

      • Franca says:

        No, no, I’m not saying it’s okay, not at all, I’m just saying that I somewhat do understand why it happens.

    • Franca says:

      I was just waiting for this comment. There’s always, always one the minute someone says something mildly negative about skinny people.

      Not all skinny women are malnourished, but in Hollywood a lot of them are.

  5. poppy says:

    her show is funny -her stuff on sexism/ageism is hysterical and so true.
    reportage doesn’t seem like her bag.

    • senna says:

      Totally agree! I think the format of her show where she can star in her own skits is where she really shines.

  6. GiGi says:

    I am surprised at myself for thinking this… but I really think the Daily Show chair has to be an American. The entire premise of the show is to make fun of/speak frankly about this country – I’m not sure Noah has the chops to make it funny in an insider kind of way. I know the show is heavily scripted so maybe it wont matter? Idk. I’m already mourning Stewart!

    • Mila says:

      former Brit John Oliver is doing a better job than Stewart imho.

      • PennyLane says:

        John Oliver is older and seems much more mature in his perspective and ideas. Trevor Noah just seems….really young.

      • Mila says:

        i wouldnt hold that against him, i dont think he fits the job but having a younger voice would actually be cool with me.

    • LAK says:

      I think as a result of people not necessarily understanding the references in his political/establishment jokes, they assume that Trevor Noah can’t do those types of jokes.

      • lou says:

        Exactly. Look at all these people criticising him before he’s even started. Give the guy some time!

    • Algernon says:

      “The entire premise of the show is to make fun of/speak frankly about this country”

      As devised by Jon Stewart. TDS started out as a late-night celebrity interview knock-off under Craig Kilborn. Stewart changed it to fit his comedy, and I’m sure it will morph again to fit Trevor Noah, who will probably take a more international view on things. That said, Noah has done recent material about America through the eyes of a visitor, and it’s easily the funniest stuff I’ve seen from him. That tone is not unlike how Jon Oliver views domestic issues, and while I don’t think Noah is as funny as Oliver (who is older and more seasoned as a comedian and TV personality anyway), I see no problem with that being the basis of Noah’s humor.

  7. Kiddo says:

    It’s probably also the matter of having to follow Stewart. Tough shoes to fill, especially with a different focus and style in her comedy. But it’s nice to hear that Comedy Central took more of a diverse route exploring a variety of people for a new host.

    • laura in LA says:

      Jon Stewart is so politically astute and culturally/socially observant, his voice is like no other and too hard of an act to follow.

      Chris Rock, Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, however, any one of these three, would’ve been perfect for the DS, but I imagine none of them wants to be locked into doing it night-after-night, year-after-year, and giving up their creative freedom (and family time) otherwise.

      As much as I like Amy Schumer, she doesn’t seem ready for this role, and obviously she didn’t want it anyway.

  8. Jayna says:

    She’s funny, no doubt about it, but uneven. Often her delivery and humor falls flat. She could never fill his shoes. Smart move on her part.

  9. Franca says:

    I never watched her show, and her antics often semeed tiring, but then I saw her on Graham Norton and she was so awesome! I kinda want her and Stephen Merchant to get together now.

  10. Bethie says:

    Whatever. I don’t think she’s funny. The world will be a dark place post-Jon Stewart, no matter what. Chris Rock would have been brilliant, though.

  11. Jenns says:

    There are a few reviews on Rotten Tomatoes for Trainwreck and it’s currently at 100%. And this is from top critics. A few even say it’s Judd Apatow’s best film.

    As for TDS, Jon Stewart has been so good lately, mostly because I don’t think he’s gives a f**k at this point, that I cannot imagine going into this election season without him. We need Jon Stewart!

    • Hautie says:

      “….As for TDS, Jon Stewart has been so good lately, mostly because I don’t think he’s gives a f**k at this point….”
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Oh yea… mentally he is out of there. And is letting it all hang out. Which makes him just down right evil. But in a good way. Mr. Stewart had no f*cks to give.

      Stewart has had some truly brilliant moments on The Daily Show. But I will forever adore him, for telling us all what Donald Trump “real” birth name was… Von Clownstick! Seriously, it gives me joy to know how bad Trump hates it.

      But to be honest, I do suspect that it would be a hard show to do daily. Week in and week out. And daily having it in your face, all yapping idiots of D.C. plus all the awful behavior of folks in general.

      Even though it is sold as a comedy show. It really isn’t. It is very much a current affairs show… with lots of humor. But I understand Stewart’s need to go do something else.

      But I am sad to know… that Comedy Central turned down Chris Rock. They should have let him do it for a year. Especially with…. what a couple of dozen GOP’ers desperate to run for President. The next 18 months is going to be golden. And Rock would have been a great voice for all that foolishness.

      • Pinky says:

        How can we elect Chris Rock to cover this election? It is essential.

      • Liberty says:

        I would have LOVED Chris Rock in that role.

        I agree with Pinky too — wish he could cover the upcoming elections.

  12. Magnolia says:

    Did you see her 12 Angry men parody? Good lord that was funny! Even if you don’t watch her show every week, that alone was genius.

    • Ange says:

      Yes! Oh god I laughed so hard at that episode.

      ‘But I was on trial for vehicular manslaughter!’

  13. EmmyGrant says:

    I’m thinking it might come out later that she didn’t take this gig because they didn’t offer her near the same salary that they would offer a man.

  14. Dvaria says:

    I’m sad Colbert and the Daily show are going to be gone this election season but Amy Schumer is to chill for politics day in/day out.
    Jon Stewart has the education AND background for his job and I loved his take on things even if occasionally I didn’t agree. I’m sure there are unknowns out there who would be amazing at the job.
    I hope Trevor Noah does well and I’m all about giving someone a shot…I can’t stand the overly preachy Jon Oliver who just reminds me of a more hipster version of Piers Morgan.

  15. Tracy says:

    You know, I certainly don’t believe every woman has to be pretty and a 115 pounds. Amy is neither. But, when you’re built a bit like a linebacker, please don’t wear a crop top. It looks like a hot tub cover….

  16. AlmondJoy says:

    I don’t find her funny in the least. I do respect her reasons for not taking the job though.

  17. Lisa says:

    Nah. She just said she would never stop making racist jokes because she’s one of those “I’m not racist; I hate everyone equally!” kind of comedians.

  18. InvaderTak says:

    I don’t get why she receives all the praise she does. For all her talk about body image she always relates it back to how she can stuff “catch a…. Whenever she wants.” What’s empowering about that? she’s had some questionable lines about race that if they’d been made on 2 broken girls wouldn’t have been dismissed as a joke. She has her moments but I don’t think she lives up to the hype.

    • Tiffany says:

      I am with you. Her strongest material ia always with more talented people.

      I can see why she would not do a desk show. The comparisons will be with her dad (who I thought was great on Weekend Update) and that could be a reason.

      Also, she is not very subtle and I doubt she would utilize a ten time Emmy winning writing crew. She strikes me as someone who thinks her way is the best way.

  19. FingerBinger says:

    I like Amy Schumer. She’s like Chelsea Handler or Lisa Lampanelli. They’re not one size fits all comediennes. Their sense of humors aren’t for everyone.

    • Denise says:

      Chelsea Handler is doing the same (mediocre) stand up act she did a decade ago. For real. Verbatim. She has nothing. Amy is brilliant and actually works hard.

  20. Josefa says:

    I respect Amy and I wish her success in her career, but I won’t be supporting it. I just don’t get her humor, I guess.

    • Elle says:

      Same here. I don’t dislike her and wish her success, but she’s not my cup of tea.

      Although I can’t help but feel that maybe Comedy Central is encouraging women they approached to mentioned that they were offered the gig? Most of my friends and family who watch The Daily Show aren’t planning to watch Trevor Noah (for a variety of reasons, not just his questionable tweets), and I wonder if Comedy Central is hoping that rumors that they wanted a woman for the host spot but no woman was interested will make people more likely to continue tuning in.

  21. ek says:

    I ADORE HER WITH ALL MY SOUL. And this movie looks brilliant. I’m just as excited for Bill Hader as I am Amy. Looks damn good.

  22. Bella says:

    I laughed a few times during the trailer, but I haven’t really given Amy’s comedy the time of day. I’m not a prude, but her comment, “I can catch a d*ck whenever I want to” was kind of a turn off for me. First of all, if you’re oh so empowered in yourself and your appearance, why are you basing your self esteem on whether or not you can “catch a d*ck”? I’m not gonna lie, when I was younger I based my confidence on how much attention I got from guys and I realized it was unhealthy and a shitty way to be and I changed my outlook. True confidence in yourself is still loving yourself even if you couldn’t “catch a dick.” Second of all, pretty much all women can get laid when they want to because there is always at least one man who will sleep with anyone, but that is besides the point. IDK how I feel about a movie based solely around Amy Schumer catching d*cks, but hey, that’s just me.

    With the exception of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, and Mindy Kaling and others I’m forgetting I feel like most mainstream female comedians these days are all about trying to be as crude as possible and just calling that humor. It’s like they aren’t actually funny, so they just go out on a limb to say the most “daring” stuff they can come up with. Chelsea Handler’s entire career has been based around this old shtick.

    I mean, it’s 2015, do we really still have to try to prove how women can have filthy mouths too? I know this probably sounds super prudish, but all I mean is that I would love to see more diversity in the kind of humor that female comedians pursue.

    • I agree….I like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jon Stewart, and Mindy Kaling, as comedians. Other than that, I like stuff like “Bob’s Burgers” and “Fugget About It”……I just do not like the comedic films that they’re coming out with. I might catch one on tv, but certainly wouldn’t pay to see them. I even find Chris Rock less funny because of how much he curses. I feel like comedy, as a whole, is about being as shocking and crude as you can. But nothing TRULY funny.

  23. NeNe says:

    There’s something about his chick that I cannot stand. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s something.