Jon Stewart told Howard Stern in a new interview that he has no regrets about leaving The Daily Show.
The former late-night host, who’s gearing up for the Nov. 18 premiere of Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs on HBO, sat down with Stern to discuss his decision to vacate his iconic hosting gig back in 2015. He was the face of the Comedy Central show for 16 years.
“I think I got to a point where I kind of didn’t think I could do anything else with it,” Stewart told Stern. “And thank God I did, because before Trump came, you need somebody who’s 32, 33, still has that type of energy — that type of stamina. That fire to go at it. I think I would have phoned it in.”
Stewart then admitted that his motivation had already slowed before his decision to exit. “I was making decisions about bits towards the end of The Daily Show based on if I would have to change my clothes,” he cracked. “That’s how lazy I had gotten at that point.”
Stewart was succeeded by the young comic Trevor Noah, who has now occupied the role for a little more than two years. He won an Emmy last year for The Daily Show‘s short form program Between the Scenes.
After Stewart described his final days on the show, Stern offered his own theory for his eventual decision to leave: “You probably sat down with yourself and said, ‘If I’m to be honest, I’m not really into this job and I really don’t want to knock myself out every day and I don’t want to diminish what I’ve done.”
Stewart replied, “I felt like it was absolutely the right time.”