When Apple TV+ announced that Jon Stewart’s new series would devote each season to a single issue, and titled it The Problem with Jon Stewart, I wasn’t the only one who thought it sounded exactly like HBO’s Problem Areas with Wyatt Cenac… Cenac thought so, too!
He even predicted it would happen in an episode of Problem Areas. Looking straight at the camera, Cenac observed: “But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, if you want somebody to take a Black guy saying something meaningful on TV seriously, you really need to have a White guy say basically the same thing right after.”
Cenac worked as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from 2008-2012. On the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast in 2015, Cenac acknowledged he left that plush Comedy Central gig in part because of arguments and disagreements with Stewart. Cenac and Stewart lightly touched on their simmering beef in a bit as part of Stewart’s Daily Show finale.
Cenac launched Problem Areas in 2018 with executive producers including former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver and former Daily Show EP Tim Greenberg, while former Daily Show writer Hallie Haglund joined as Cenac’s head writer. But HBO canceled the show after the second season aired in 2019. Perhaps Apple TV+ can get more attention to the series by having one of Cenac’s former bosses say basically the same things Cenac already said?
Watch and learn (again).
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