Denial being the first stage of grief, that’s how fans are reacting to today’s news that Jon Stewart is stepping down from The Daily Show later this year. But, in the entertainment industry, Stage 2 is Replacement List Compilation:

Larry Wilmore
The Daily Show‘s former Chief Black Correspondent, now hosting the Stewart-exec produced The Nightly Show on Comedy Central, Wilmore larrywilmoreimmediately springs to the top of the list. And, with today’s announcement, we now know why the network seemed to rush Wilmore’s show on the air when it still seemed half-baked and had only had a handful of test runs. So the rest of the list probably is academic. Wilmore is attuned to national politics and has demonstrated in his short run on Nightly that he can carry a show; Nightly‘s problems are more ones of format than of host. Yes, it would be tricky to kill The Nightly Show, having made such a fuss over creating a showcase for a black anchor. On the other hand, giving Wilmore The Daily Show would be a big promotion.

John Hodgman
The Daily Show‘s Resident Expert specializes in a brand of humor that might be too arch to fill Stewart’s shoes. On the other hand, JohnHodgmanhe played a PC in those Mac ads, lists himself as a contributor to he New York Times Magazine‘s humor section — yes, it has a humor section — contributes to Public Radio’s This American Life, and his first book, The Areas of My Expertise, is an almanac that contains almost no factual information, which alone should qualify him for the post. In his one-man off-Broadway show I Stole Your Dad, Hodgman dropped his fusty Daily Show personality to do more of a comedy based on his home life and personal anxieties. And he’s already performed one of the comedy show host stations of the cross, as headline speaker at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington D.C. — a sort of Poor Man’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Amy Schumer
Yes, by now you’ve read the Jon Stewart’s Replacement Must Be A Woman Because posts on the web, and yes her Comedy Central series premiere was the network’s most-watched premiere that year. But The Daily Show is a faux political newscast, and she’s probably not a good fit.

John OliverImage (2) johnoliver__140427192622-275x174.jpg for post 720048
His contract with HBO will be up eventually. Get him back.

Jason Jones
There’s a reason Jones wasn’t asked to fill in for Stewart when the latter went off to direct Rosewater. (Though he, with help from wife/fellow Daily Show corresponded Samantha Bee, recently subbed for Stewart when he was sick.) Whatever it is, we agree.

Craig Ferguson
Great interviewer, politically astute, won a Peabody for interviewing Desmond Tutu, needs a late-night show after exiting CBS, after which his deal with Tribune fell through. Yes, his show skewed older, but guess what, so will Stephen Colbert when he makes the move to CBS. And the tiny-by-broadcast-standards crowd of 1.51 million viewers million Ferguson clocked in, say, his final CBS Premiere Week opening is a fine Comedy Central number, so long as he can young up his following.

Alec-Baldwin__130128044226-e1359348180501Alec Baldwin
Great interview. Politically outspoken. Train wreck. What could go wrong?