Monica McNutt on 'The Daily Show': 'Caitlin Clark Got Me Here'

Monica McNutt and Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
Monica McNutt and Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. / The Daily Show / YouTube

Monica McNutt was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Monday night. Stewart, who recently returned to host the show once a week, was extremely complimentary of the ESPN personality who seemed to reach a new level of noteriety last week when she confronted Stephen A. Smith on First Take.

While some people may have just discovered McNutt, who has been a steady prescence on ESPN's morning programs for a few years now, Stewart grew to appreciate her by listening to her call Knicks games on ESPN New York alongside Pat O'Keefe. During the interview McNutt was asked about the viral moment and clarified her stance on the evolving coverage of women's basketball (1:20) and pointed out that while the sport had been growing for years, she was on The Daily Show because of Caitlin Clark. (6:45)

"As I have said about this it was a little bit of a challenge," said McNutt, "to a gentleman that I admire in terms of what they've built because if you haven't been here... I need three years. I need you to kind of have jumped in when Sedona Prince went viral for calling out the NCAA. I need you to kind of be here as this league has seen its best viewership year-to-year. Now yes, it has absolutely been taken over the top this year, but this has been a snowballing effect to get to this moment and so while Caitlin is fantastic and I think she's going to have an incredible career in the WNBA, there were women that were worthy of coverage prior to her arriving and I just will not be silence when it comes to that."

Stewart and McNutt also had an in-depth conversation about the increased attention around women's basketball, what Caitlin Clark deserves and the way the league and the people who now cover it, have reacted to her.

While McNutt said that she was on the show because of Caitlin Clark, Stewart disagreed. "So I am going to tell you this," Stewart said. "The viral moment maybe brought you to some national attention. I have been loving what you do. You are such a good basketball analyst and announcer. I have been following you on the New York Knicks."

After shouting out play-by-play announcer Pat O'Keefe, Stewart continued to compliment McNutt. "Your voice, your knowledge, your passion has cut through it for me. It's very rare that I turn on the radio or hear a new voice and go, oh, that person, they can explain this to me. And you really do. You're wonderful. I mean that. Wholeheartedly. That's how you got here. By the way, I'd have had you on everyday during the playoffs."

It stands to reason that if Stewart was still hosting The Daily Show on a nightly basis, McNutt would have been someone Stewart would have wanted on the show, especially with the Knicks finally being good again. As it stands, McNutt gave a great interview so, much like with the Knicks, there's always next year.


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Stephen Douglas

STEPHEN DOUGLAS

Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.