Credit: Kevin Fitzsimons/Comedy Central
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Jon Stewart announced on Tuesday he would be leaving The Daily Show, but his future both on and off the show is still something of a mystery. So, on the red carpet for the Writers Guild Awards’ New York ceremony Saturday, EW asked comedians, writers, and even some of Stewart’s colleagues what they think he should do before he leaves his anchor desk and what they think he should do after.

Comedy Central confirmed that Stewart’s exit would take place “later this year,” and Stewart explained to his TV audience that he wasn’t sure exactly when that would be. “I’m up in September, might be around then. Might be December, might be July, we’re still working out details. I don’t have any specific plans,” Stewart said on the show. “Got a lot of ideas, got a lot of things in my head. I’m going to have dinner on a school night with my family, who I have heard, from multiple sources, are lovely people.”

Maybe he can take some of these suggestions.

Julie Klausner, star of the upcoming Hulu show Difficult People

Before he leaves: “As far as on the show, just to maybe get a little goofier, and maybe interview people that we wouldn’t expect him to interview.”

After he leaves: “Some gentle clown work. Some prop comedy. He’s into directing now, right? It would be cool to see him do an Albert Brooks-style thing where he writes and directs and then also stars in it. He’s got a charming screen presence. The Daily Show‘s just been one of his many speeds. There are so many different shades of nebbish yet to explore, so I would love to see him do that next.”

Robin Thede, head writer of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

Before he leaves: “I want to see him do a musical episode. It seems like that is the thing that would make him the most uncomfortable in the entire world, so you know what, Jon? Challenge yourself. Do a musical episode.”

After he leaves: “I think he’s an incredible filmmaker. If you saw his film earlier this year, it was just incredible. I think he’s going to continue to change the face of entertainment and infotainment as we know it. He’s so much more than a comedian and luckily, selfishly for us, we get to keep him as an executive producer so he’ll still be around. So we’ll get to see him even though the world may not get to see him every day. I would love to see more film work from him, documentaries. Whatever he chooses to do, he can’t do any wrong.”

Larry Wilmore, host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

Before he leaves: “I would just like him to be like Obama, just don’t give a f–k right now. Jon, do you like you’ve never done you before. I want Jon off the rails completely, that would be fantastic.”

After he leaves: “After The Daily Show, Jon has so many ideas, I know he wants to probably direct some more and that kind of stuff. I’d love to see him direct some things, I think that would be great.”

Gillian Flynn, writer of Gone Girl

Before he leaves: “Colbert, bring him back by. Bring all the oldies but goodies, I say.”

After he leaves: “That’s the interesting thing about him, he’s clearly a man of such massive intellect, not just humor. I think he could do anything he wanted to do. I saw Rosewater; I was knocked over by it. I have an incredible immense appreciation for people who can be both incredibly funny and very thoughtful. I’ll watch whatever he does next.”

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show

Before he leaves: “I would like to see him destroy ISIS.”

After he leaves: “I would like to see him destroy Al-Qaeda. I mean, no, I’m just excited to see what he wants to do next, like everyone else. I’ve worked with him on his syndicated talk show. He was hilarious there. He took The Daily Show and made it his own so I’m just really looking forward to whatever his next thing is.”

Beau Willimon, creator of House of Cards

Before he leaves: “Yeah, invite me”

After he leaves: “Invite me again.”

Norman Lear, creator of sitcoms including All in the Family (and so many more)

Before he leaves: “There’s one thing I’d like to see him do before he leaves and that is stay.”

After he leaves: “He’ll know best. He has known so far.”

Rory Albanese, executive producer of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

Before he leaves: “I guess I’d like to see him do a big musical number. There just would be something funny about Jon doing a big song and dance number, I don’t know why.”

After he leaves: “I feel like he’s going to do so many other things, and who wouldn’t want to work with Jon? So to me whatever he does is going to be awesome. I’m excited to know. I don’t know. I do know that whenever he figures it out I hope I can get in the game. To me it’s almost more exciting to know he’s out there because the guy’s not retiring, he’s just not doing The Daily Show anymore so it’s exciting to be able to be like, what other badass stuff is Jon Stewart going to do? Because whatever he does is just done at the highest level. I’m excited.”

Barry Julien, co-executive producer of The Colbert Report

Before he leaves: “I would never presume to imagine what he should or should not do. I think after 17 years he’s certainly earned my trust to make the finest and most appropriate choices with the rest of his time. They are going to leave a huge cultural gap in the television landscape. He changed television.”

After he leaves: “Ballet. I would love to see him take up ballet. You know he would either be with Alvin Ailey or the Met.”

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