The Daily Show’s new old host

January 25th, 2024

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#tbt. Remember when Sundance was the hottest film festival of the year? Well, now, it's in the hot seat as the indie film business struggles to find its footing in the age of streaming. We discuss the evolution of Sundance and more in today’s episode of “Future Forecast.” Check it out wherever you get your podcasts.

In other news... Jon Stewart returns to The Daily Show, Apple is rerouting its car plans, and Etsy wants to make gift-giving easier.

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Part two // Illustration by Kate Walker

Jon Stewart is back on The Daily Show desk

The Future. Jon Stewart is heading back to late night at his home of 17 years, The Daily Show. Stewart has a mandate to not just anchor the show but also to anchor its future direction. Specifically, the responsibility to crown a new host may be part of a larger trend of relying on influential talent to lay out the vision for a future without them — a sort of monarchy of media.

Old face, new era
Jon Stewart is making headlines with his return to The Daily Show.

  • Stewart will host Monday nights through the 2024 presidential election to commentate on the event — similar to how Maddow negotiated to stay on The Rachel Maddow Show on Mondays so she could pursue other projects.

  • Stewart will also be an EP on the late-night show and will be instrumental in finding a successor to the last full-time host, Trevor Noah — similar to Bob Iger’s mandate at Disney.

  • And Stewart has the track record to do it — he launched the careers of stars like Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Samantha Bee, and John Oliver.

Champagne bottles are likely popping at the Paramount Global headquarters right now. Despite seeing a ratings boost and a big social media footprint with the 12 celebrity correspondents that The Daily Show has cycled through since Noah’s departure, ad revenue is way down, and last year’s Hasan Minhaj drama battered the brand.

For Stewart, the return gives the comedian and activist a swift win after his fallout with Apple over the creative direction of his last talk show, The Problem with Jon Stewart.

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Bumpy ride // Illustration by Kate Walker

Apple hits the brakes on its car ambitions

The Future. Apple is rerouting its car plans to something that feels, well, attainable. It shows how difficult and expensive it is to launch a new consumer vehicle, especially with the expectations that come from being an Apple product. If Apple wants to find success faster, it may need to take a page out of its rivals’ playbook and find a startup that it can invest in and use as a foundation for its cutting-edge tech.

Easier road
After several starts and stops, Apple is changing direction with its long-in-development car.

  • The EV would have “a less ambitious design” and more “limited features” than initially envisioned, reports Bloomberg.

  • It won’t be available until 2028 at the earliest — two years later than expected.

  • It’ll start with a Level 2+ autonomous driving system (the same as Tesla) instead of Level 4 (which means it could drive almost anywhere without human intervention).

  • In the future, Apple would release software updates that would bring the Apple auto to full Level 4 capability (it’s already speaking with some manufacturers in Europe).

Apple is clearly feeling the pressure to catch up with competitors like Amazon (which invested in Rivian), Alphabet (which invested in Waymo), and Chinese megacorps like Huawei and Xiaomi. Given the iPhone’s plateauing sales, Apple may be looking at vehicles (or spatial computing) as its next big device evolution.

Modern cars are essentially smartphones on wheels.

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Courtesy of Etsy

Etsy gives the gift of gift-giving

The Future. Etsy wants to make gift-giving easier with a new feature called “Gift Mode.” Considering that 75% of Americans think giving good gifts is important but 64% say it takes a lot of effort (per Etsy’s research), “Gift Mode” could be the ecommerce platform’s stand-out product that finally brings it out from under the shadow of Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify.

Brainstorm for Mom
Although Etsy has 90 million users and hosts 100 million products across six million sellers, the company says that only 12% of US shoppers think of the platform when it comes time to get a gift.

  • “Gift Mode” leverages human curation, machine learning, and ChatGPT to sort people into 200 different “recipient personas” (The Adventurer, The Music Lover, The Pet Parent, etc.).

  • Gift recommendations are then matched with the makeup of those personas and other specific areas of interests.

  • After a gift purchase, customers can add a note, track the purchase, and even send recipients a sneak-peak of what’s coming their way to build anticipation.

Etsy is pouring major resources into Gift Mode, even securing its first Super Bowl ad to market it. Why the Super Bowl? Etsy CEO Josh Silverman says, in particular, the company has a men problem… as in, they don’t use the platform.

Since men reportedly think that gift-giving is as stressful as doing taxes, the company hopes the tool is the perfect way to win them over.

So, now we want to hear from you…


We ask the hard-hitting questions.

Do you buy gifts on Etsy?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

58.9% of you voted No in yesterday’s poll: Will you tune into this year’s Oscars telecast?

“I reject the whole concept of award shows. Is there truly a ‘best’ performer, or is there a number of fine actors in film, on TV, on Broadway? Can’t we just acknowledge good, competent work from our artists rather than set up a competitive atmosphere? Also, but surely secondarily, the shows are boring. Occasionally, there is a dynamite speech by a passionate artist and that can be seen the next day on social media.”

“Hard NO.”

“Who cares?”

“Love to see who is wearing what!”

“I think Jimmy Kimmel is so funny.”

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The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • David Ellison has reportedly made an official offer to buy National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of Paramount Global, and has already met with studio execs about a merger with Skydance. Read More → bloomberg

  • The NFL is so happy with the results of the game aired exclusively on Peacock that it’s already exploring more streaming deals. Read More → thr

  • The X Games has appointed its first Chief of Sports Culture — longtime host Selema Masekela. Read More → variety

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Jay-Z is the designer behind Roc Nation’s winter apparel collaboration with Moncler. Read More → highsnobiety

  • Shein and Temu keep prices low partly through a tax loophole that allows the fast-fashion platforms to send packages to the US tax-free. Read More → insider

  • Spotify is signaling what in-app payments for European users would look like if the EU’s Digital Markets Act forces Apple to drop or lower its App Store fees. Read More → theverge

Tech, Web3, & AI

In partnership with Shortform

  • Microsoft is the second company in history to hit a market cap of $3 trillion — a milestone achieved by its recent investments in AI. Read More → bloomberg

  • Google is rolling out an AI tool that helps customers generate ads for Search. Read More → the information

  • Sierra Space is testing an inflatable space habitat that could easily construct three-story structures on the Moon. Read More → theverge

Stop wasting time. Read more business books faster. Shortform is here to empower you with valuable insights. No longer do you have to spend countless hours trying to read every non-fiction book on your list. With Shortform, you can access the key points from over 1,000 finance, marketing, leadership, and self-improvement titles. Did you say offer? Get a free trial and a 20% discount as a FutureParty reader. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to level up your knowledge with Shortform.

Creator Economy

  • TikTok may bump up its video runtimes to a max of 30 minutes, encroaching on YouTube’s territory. Read More → tubefilter

  • ByteDance’s Lemon8 found surprise momentum in the US after seeing signups surge 160% late last year. Read More → insider

  • BeReal, clinging for dear life, is recruiting brands and celebs to jumpstart popularity. Read More → techcrunch


Explore a weekly curated list of the latest and greatest opportunities in business, tech, and entertainment. For more listings, check out the complete job board.

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Boye Akolade. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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