Jon Stewart hosting a debate of presidential candidates? Oh, how his fans can dream.
A petition calling for the former host of "The Daily Show" to moderate a 2016 presidential debate has gained substantial support: As of Thursday afternoon, more than 97,000 people had signed it online.
"Over the last 16 years, Jon Stewart has played an influential and iconic role in covering US politics and media," says the petition, addressing the Commission on Presidential Debates. "We believe he should continue that tradition as a moderator at one of the 2016 Presidential Debates."
The petition, posted Aug. 6 on Change.org, says Stewart is "more than qualified to tackle the moderating job" and cites his "vast experience working with political figures."
The petition says Stewart has interviewed 15 heads of state, 22 members of the U.S. Cabinet, 32 members of the U.S. Senate, seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives and scores of other political leaders from this country and around the world. The comedian's coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential races won prestigious Peabody Awards.
The petition was launched the day Stewart ended his 16-year run as host of the Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
New York-based Dixon Talent Agency, which represents Stewart, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did the Commission on Presidential Debates.
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If there is a reason to hope, it might be this: The petition notes that in 2012, three high school students started a petition on Change.org asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to select a female moderator.
Then, that October, CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley became the first woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate.
So don't despair, Stewart fans: Sometimes these sorts of dreams do come true.