Jon Stewart to direct feature, take ‘Daily Show’ hiatus

Jon Stewart, shown at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, will direct his first feature film.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Jon Stewart is leaving “The Daily Show” — for three months — to direct a movie.

The political satirist and media critic will take a hiatus from his Comedy Central talk show this summer to make his feature directing debut, adapting Maziar Bahari’s book “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.”

The book, co-written with Aimee Molloy, chronicles Bahari’s attempt to cover Iran’s presidential elections in 2009. The BBC journalist ended up arrested, imprisoned and tortured in an infamous Iranian lockup.


Stewart, who often ridicules his own acting in such films as “Death to Smoochy” and “Half-Baked,” adapted the book.

The movie, which will be budgeted at less than $10 million, will be produced by Scott Rudin and Gigi Pritzker, the latter of whom will finance the film, according to two people familiar with the production who were not authorized to speak publicly.

News of the deal was first reported by, which said that “Daily Show” correspondent John Oliver will host the talk show during Stewart’s absence.


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