on Stewart may look like he's having a blast every weeknight while hosting The Daily Show, but when he first took the helm from Craig Kilborn in 1999, the comedic commentator wanted to quit, and "had to be talked down from a moderately high cliff." Speaking with Stephen Colbert at an event last Friday in Montclair, N.J., Stewart explained that in the early years of the show, he felt he wasn't welcomed, and became infuriated when the writers told him that he couldn't improvise or change the script. "What I did not realize is, a lot of the people who worked there were assholes," Stewart said, explaining that he called his agent, asking him to "get me the fuck out of this. These people are insane." Fortunately, Stewart was convinced to stay, the antagonistic staffers left after a couple years, and everything turned out okay. "Let that be a lesson, kids: It pays to have a thick skin and to wait out the jerks," says Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic Wire. "The future of America might depend on it."
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