“And you got along with Jon?” Maron asks. Cenac laughed a little, then said, “Nah.”
He went on to explain that Stewart once did a Herman Cain impression that made him cringe, and Fox News eventually started attacking the Daily Show host for it. Stewart wanted to respond with a bit where he said something along the lines of, “Everything I do is racist” — and Cenac didn’t think it was the greatest idea.
He voiced his concerns in an email thread and then in an in-person meeting, where Stewart “kind of kept shutting [him] down.” After Cenac admitted to the room that the impression bothered him, Stewart got defensive.
“I remember he was like, ‘What are you trying to say? There’s a tone in your voice,'” Cenac said. “I was like, ‘There’s no tone, it bothered me.’ And I was like, ‘It sounded like Kingfish.’ Then he got upset, and he stood up, and he was just like, ‘F— off, I’m done with you.'”
Cenac said that Stewart repeated that phrase a few times before storming out of the room. Cenac followed him to his office, and they “wound up in this argument and it went for a long time.” One of the office dogs came into the office and eventually broke the tension a bit before a producer interrupted, reminding them they had a show to do.
According to Cenac, the fight “never got settled” although Stewart did apologize for yelling — but it was with a caveat: “He was like, ‘Yeah, we’re cool. I don’t see your side of it, but I shouldn’t have yelled at you,'” Cenac said.
The Daily Show nor Stewart’s rep immediately responded to EW’s request for comment. Listen to the full podcast (Cenac starts talking about his time at The Daily Show around minute 70) here.