In a special announcement on Wednesday, HBO revealed that Jon Stewart will be headlining two comedy specials with the premiere cable network. One will be an hour-long comedy special, Stewart’s first stand-up special since 1996 (which was also done with HBO). Stewart is also set to host the next “Night of Too Many Stars” benefit for NEXT for AUTISM, a non-profit dedicated to creating programs to aid those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in New York this fall. The event will be comprised of stand-up performances, sketches, and shorts.
Casey Bloys, President of HBO programming, spoke to the network’s excitement to be working with Stewart once again. “We’re excited to bring Jon to the network with this pair of specials,” said Bloys. “We’ve all missed his uniquely thoughtful brand of humor.”
Stewart himself commented on the project as well, joking, “I’m really thrilled to be able to return to stand-up on HBO. They’ve always set the standard for great stand-up specials. Plus, I can finally use up the last of the Saddam Hussein jokes left over from my first special.”
Stewart is best known for his stint as host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a Comedy Central series dedicated to political satire. Stewart worked as host from 1999-2015 and has been mostly out of the spotlight since then.
This past May, HBO announced it was cancelling Stewart’s next planned project, which was a comedy show of animated shorts. While the network originally attributed the cancellation to “technical issues”, Bloys himself recently clarified what happened with the project. “You think about it like a pilot or development — you take a swing and hope it works. In this case, it didn’t work. And you move on,” Bloys said. “What Jon was trying to do, which was to get an animation turnaround time of one day, is a very difficult thing to do.”
Despite the disappointing news that this highly anticipated project will not hit the air, fans of the New York comedian now have multiple specials to look forward to. The airdate for Stewart’s stand-up special has yet to be announced. The “Night of Too Many Stars” will be presented live from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 18th.