August 6 marks Jon Stewart’s final episode of The Daily Show, an event that is sure to bring back plenty of familiar faces, such as John Oliver and Stephen Colbert.
But one former correspondent may not be there: Wyatt Cenac.
Cenac was part of The Daily Show from 2008 to 2012, working as both a writer and correspondent. But Cenac told comedian Marc Maron on his podcast that his last year on the show was miserable due to an argument he and Stewart had in which Stewart screamed at him to “f*ck off” after Cenac said Stewart’s impression of black presidential candidate Herman Cain was offensive.
It all started when Stewart did an impression of Cain on the show while Cenac was out shooting an assignment.
“I remember the way he did it, my impression… It reminded me of a Kingfish type of thing,” said Cenac, who was The Daily Show‘s only black writer during his tenure. “I don’t think it was from a malicious place, but it was from a naive, ignorant place. And it bugged me.”
Kingfish was a black character from Amos ‘n Andy, a radio and television show created by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, two white men who played most of the characters, including Kingfish.
After Cain appeared on Fox News saying he considered the impression racist, Stewart rallied the writer’s room for a response segment. When Cenac said he also found the impression inappropriate, Stewart allegedly lost it.
“And then [Stewart] got upset,” Cenac said. “And he stood up and he was just like, ‘F*ck off. I’m done with you.’ And he just started screaming that to me. And he screamed it a few times. ‘F*ck off! I’m done with you.’ And he stormed out. And I didn’t know if I had been fired.”
After that, the segment aired as Stewart intended: a medley of all the people Stewart has impersonated over the course of the show, including other black men such as President Obama. Cenac spent a miserable final year on the show, demoted from writer/correspondent to just correspondent.
So will Cenac be back on The Daily Show August 6? At the conclusion of Cenac’s interview with Maron, he said that he and Stewart had reconnected via email and Stewart had passed Cenac’s name to Comedy Central when they were looking for Stewart’s Daily Show replacement. But he’s still on the fence.
Regardless, Cenac said he felt obligated to voice his opinion to Stewart as the sole minority voice in the writer’s room.
[Photos via Getty]