Jon Stewart is running a five-week industry training session for army veterans who want to get into the television business.
The New York Times reports that the longtime host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show has developed the program over the last three years, but refrained from publicizing it until now, as he prepares to leave his show. Stewart is also encouraging others in the industry to follow his lead.
Stewart's program helps veterans get difficult-to-find jobs in the entertainment industry, including on his own comedy show. It's an effort that might surprise some, given Stewart's staunch opposition to the Iraq War. Yet the host also views the program as a smart business strategy.
“This is ready to franchise. Please steal our idea,” Stewart said in an interview at his Manhattan studio. “It isn’t charity. To be good in this business you have to bring in different voices from different places, and we have this wealth of experience that just wasn’t being tapped.”