On Thursday, America watched Jon Stewart step down from his Daily Show desk after helming it for more than 16 years. That desk, along with the rest of the set, will end up in the Newseum soon. But as we spoke to correspondents over the past few weeks, a number of them clued us in on something viewers never get to see: Jon’s actual work desk. And while it might not end up in a museum, The Daily Show alums tell EW that Stewart’s office is a spectacle in its own right.
Olivia Munn: My first impression of Jon was that he’s got a messy office
Rob Corddry: He’s a mess. His desk is ridiculous.
Munn: Like, it’s a really messy office, but in the way that makes you feel very comfortable. I worked there for two years and not once do I remember it ever being clean.
Jordan Klepper: And the dude’s got gumballs all over the office. I really think in this modern day and age we all understand that those are just sugar bombs that don’t help your gums or your teeth. That’s the one thing that gives me pause. How can a grown man like him just chew on sugar bombs day after day?
Munn: I believe his wife had come in once and tried to clean it for him, which is so sweet.
Corddry: It would make me crazy every time I went in there. I just wanted to start straightening his desk. It would pile, pile … like, he had an Emmy wrapped in bubble wrap sitting there that he just hadn’t put away in the closet yet.
Munn: He has a few Emmys in a box somewhere. And by a few I mean like, 30. You know, just maybe pass them my way so I can just use one as a paperweight or something. It’d be a much better paperweighttc than it would be in his box. But honestly, I would just like him to clean his office. It’s overdue. It’s been years.
Speaking of Stewart’s unconventional work habits, a number of his former correspondents couldn’t help but comment on his off-camera sartorial choices – or lack thereof.
Dan Bakkedahl: I think the really surprising thing is that he dresses like such a slob when he’s not on camera. He’d probably kill me if he knew I said that out loud.
Kristen Schaal: The first time I met him, I just remember he was wearing a white T-shirt and cargo pants, or some cheap … he just didn’t look like I’d always seen him.
Klepper: When I was brought in to read with Jon, he strolled right into the studio dressed like he fell off of a boxcar in the 1940s.
Aasif Mandvi: I walked in the studio, and there was Jon Stewart standing there in what he always wears — his bathing suit. No, it was a sweatshirt and baseball cap and jeans, what he always wears.
Bakkedahl: When I first walked in for my audition, I walked right past him — I thought he was a janitor. He was wearing jeans and a ratty sweatshirt. All I had ever seen of Jon Stewart was Jon Stewart dressed as Jon Stewart sitting at the desk.
Corrdry: He hates wearing suits. He can’t get that suit off fast enough at the end of the day.
Rob Riggle: Jon Stewart, for all his success, he has a uniform that he wears. It’s pretty much a grey T-shirt, khaki pants, and work boots. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him any other way, other than when the show is on. He’s always either in the suit or he’s in that uniform wearing khaki pants. It’s the most bizarre thing, but that’s what he’s comfortable in so I don’t question it.
Corrdry: We sat down to do a piece once, and he goes, “My wife just bought me 15 new T-shirts, very excited.” And I just pointed out that the only color T-shirt he wears is like, turquoise, and he laughed, but he was kind of embarrassed. He was like, “Oh, you guys can tell that?” Like, “Oh, you saw into my crazy.” The only thing crazy about him is that he just likes turquoise T-shirts.
John Hodgman: For those of us who take pride in our appearance, it’s a little embarrassing. I’ve given him so many seersucker suits, and jodhpurs, and pretty cool blazers, and straw boaters and stuff, and he’s always been gracious when he accepts them, and then I find them in the garbage.
Schaal: The person in my head is larger than life. Seeing him sitting in pedestrian clothing kind of took him down a notch — just to more of a human, relatable level.
A version of this story appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1375, available for immediate purchase here. For much, much more from Stewart’s former correspondents on his legacy, see below.