By Henry Hullah, CNN
Good luck trying to get Jon Stewart to tell you what he’s planning for the future.
“You have to tell me what's going to happen in my life,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Wednesday.
As the satirist’s contract with the “The Daily Show” reportedly comes to an end, Amanpour asked what the future holds – will he continue his journey into directing, or will he stick with his job as the world’s chief political satirist?
“I don't view them as separate entities. I view it all as a process. In my mind, this is all chicken. I'm just making chicken. Sometimes I make cutlets, sometimes I make a nice teriyaki, sometimes I just grind it up and feed it to baby birds. But it's still chicken.”
Could one of these "chickens" one day be a role as a serious news anchor?
“I don't believe that is in danger of happening. I can pretty confidently state that I will not have my own ‘Room of Situations’. That's just a name I came up with, a room of situations. It's got a ring to it, though,” he said poking fun at CNN program "The Situation Room."
Even if Stewart were to start his own “Room of Situations,” it’s doubtful it would take cable news networks like CNN out of his crosshairs.
A vocal and influential critic of any network’s foibles, some even say his 2004 appearance on CNN’s Crossfire led to the program’s cancellation.
When Amanpour pointed out a recent Pew poll saying CNN is the most trusted news source in America, “The Daily Show” host responded: “You know, Wendy's is seen as food by over 54 percent of people who eat there.”
‘I don’t think it should be compulsory military. I think it just has to be service.’
Beyond the humor, Stewart also presented his passionate beliefs in causes like ABC news correspondent Bob Woodruff's “Standup for Heroes” foundation, which aids injured service members and veterans after they return from battle. Woodruff himself was gravely wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the Iraq war in 2006.
“I think early on when we invaded Iraq, I always consider that sort of the original sin of the twenty-first century," Stewart told Amanpour. "I was highly critical of the decision but also felt incredibly removed from the individuals that were participating in it and the reality of it. I didn't feel like I knew enough.”
“And so I began to visit with people and have those discussions and what I think amazed me more than anything - and unfortunately, cemented the anger that I had at the missteps - was the value of the human capital of the men and women that were serving over there.”
When prompted, Stewart told the program that he “absolutely” believed in the concept of national service for today’s America.
“I don’t think it should be compulsory military - I think it just has to be service. It does a lot of things. It invests younger people in the country but it also, in the way that we all live in our own intellectual and opinion bubbles, it forces Americans together again in the way that in World War II, the draft integrated America.”
With that, Jon Stewart had some final parting words for Amanpour as she wished him luck with his new film “Rosewater.”
“It’s quite good,” he said.
Imagine a world that can't take a joke
That’s where the interview ended, but a small statement came back to haunt Stewart almost immediately after it aired – showing that in this modern world of instant sound bites and political drubbings, sometimes the hardest job is to raise a laugh.
Christiane Amanpour has the story.