Jon Stewart Says David Letterman Gave Him the Best Advice He’s Ever Received | Video

Jon Stewart told a “Daily Show” studio audience that none other than fellow late-night TV king David Letterman gave him the best advice he’s ever received — and also managed to insult him at the same time.

Stewart responded to an audience member who asked about the best advice he’d ever received, commenting that it was “such an end-of-life question” and joked, “Nobody ever comes to like a 22-year-old and like, ‘Best advice.’ They’re like, ‘Well, beer before liquor, never been sicker.'”

The host then added that he didn’t exactly have a mentor when he was coming up in the comedic world, with mentors not being as talked about as they are now when he was rising in the 1970s and ’80s. “I was raised feral,” Stewart explained — but that’s when a memory hit him. “Oh, here’s one,” he continued. “This is a good one.”

“So I used to host a show on MTV. It was a talk show. And then it got bought by Paramount to replace Arsenio [Hall],” Stewart said. “So I was the natural replacement for Arsenio. Because I think a lot of people are like, ‘Hey, the hip African American guy, let’s stick a maybe small Jew in his place and see what happens.'”

“And so the show was on for like nine months and it got canceled. And we were all very sad,” he continued. “And when your name is on it and they tell you to get out of the building, like, it’s very hurtful.”

“David Letterman came on the final show. And on the final show, he said to me: ‘Don’t confuse cancellation with failure,'” Stewart shared.

“And I thought that was really interesting. And then in the commercial break, he said, ‘Although… this is also a failure.’ He just didn’t want me to confuse it,” Stewart added, laughing.

“The Jon Stewart Show” lasted for two years on MTV from 1993-1994 before expanding and moving to syndication. The show followed the established late-night formula — an opening monologue followed by celebrity interviews — but didn’t fare well on the network.

In an audience Q&A from April, Stewart explained, “It was such a different kind of show. The two guests on that first show were Howard Stern [and] a boy that ate cheese into the shape of states — who was referred to in all the production documents as ‘Cheese Boy.'”

Stewart added, “We had so much fun, but it was such a different ethos. And then I was hired to replace Arsenio, which makes total sense. So you can imagine how that went.”

Watch Jon Stewart’s recounting of Letterman’s advice in the video above.

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