Last night, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart announced that he will likely host his last show this year. The Internet all cried together. Jon Stewart has hosted the political comedy show with wit and fairness. He brought us Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver. Heck he even brought John Oliver his wife whom he met while on a shoot at the Republican National Convention. Check out the emotional announcement below.
Although Jon says he isn’t sure when he is going to step away from behind the desk, it seems likely that it will be by the end of the summer and if not, some time before the start of 2016. It wasn’t a complete surprise. Jon talked a lot about retirement in interviews while promoting his 2014 movie Rosewater.
So to salute the man that made politics fun for people who hate politics and got celebrities to act silly when all they wanted to do was act serious, we picked some of Jon Stewart’s best moments. Check them out below.
Malala Yousafzai Leaves Jon Speechless
When Malala Yousafzai came on The Daily Show in 2014, it was one of those special moments where Jon was totally humbled. When Malala was 15 she was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan on her way to school for speaking out against the terrorist organisation’s oppressive stance towards women. Since her recovery, she has become an active global symbol for international female equality. Almost two years since the shooting, she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize and has made an immeasurable impact with her organization, the Malala Fund, which helps promote female education worldwide. When Jon tells her that nothing feels better than making her laugh, we believe it.
Denis Leary and Jon Bro Down
Every time comedian Denis Leary shows up on The Daily Show, things are guaranteed to go off the rails. The duo have been friends in the comedy world for a long time. So instead of promoting Leary’s book or his show Rescue Me, the guys will spend the whole seven-ish minutes totally taking the piss out of each other. It became something for Daily Show diehards to look forward to. Even Jennifer Garner got in on it. She co-starred with Denis in Draft Day and while being interviewed by Jon she said that Denis told her that Jon is like his, “… big much, much older brother.” Zing!
Keira Knightley Casts A Spell On Jon
This is a personal favourite that you probably won’t find on anyone else’s list of best moments. I can’t even find any online coverage of this moment and I definitely can’t find the clip. But this moment lives in my mind. In the same but very, very different way that Jon was stunned by Malala Yousafzai, Jon Stewart was stunned by Keira Knightley. Keira, who has appeared on The Daily Show several times, came out from backstage for the interview and it was like a beautiful siren had entered the room. Jon seems like he has sparkles in his eyes and has to take a few extra seconds to get himself on track for the interview. It was a moment of authenticity for someone who is always able to keep his cool.
Maziar Bahari Returns After A Scary Daily Show Journey
When your television show plays a contributing role in a journalist’s imprisonment and torture, you may be particularly compelled to bury that fact far, far away. Or in the case of Jon Stewart, in his directorial debut Rosewater, you make a movie about it. Based on the true life story of Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari, Rosewater provides a surprising and comical look at Bahari’s imprisonment under Iran’s oppressive former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Stewart first became involved in Maziar’s cause after he was arrested, in small part because of his appearance in a Daily Show segment shot in Iran. When The Daily Show dedicated a whole episode to Maziar’s story, it felt like so much more than shilling for the host’s movie. It had the real weight of both Maziar and Jon’s journey.
Jon and Stephen Colbert Host The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear
In response to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally, which brought together a bunch of Tea Party types in Washington, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert organized their own Washington rally called The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear in October 2010. The afternoon long event featured performances and appearances by The Roots and the dudes from MythBusters. But, when Jon took the stage for a moment of earnestness and to speak to the purpose of the day, to unite logical thinkers, it stood out as the most memorable part. You can watch all the festivities here but definitely check out his speech below.
Wu-Tang Clan Reunite on The Daily Show
All nine living members of Wu-Tang Clan got together on The Daily Show last year. It was great. They barely all fit behind Jon’s desk. Maybe they put in a sleeve like your mom does for guests at Thanksgiving. Anyway. They talked about overcoming group politics for the good of the Clan and presented Jon with an ODB t-shirt he said he would wear to bed. Although The Daily Show doesn’t have nightly musical guests like other late night shows, they have hosted performers like The White Stripes, Arcade Fire and Wu-Tang member RZA who was on the show to promote his book but didn’t perform. After the interview the guys then performed two songs including the brand new “Ron O’Neal” off of their reunion album A Better Tomorrow.
The Daily Show Returns After 9/11
There isn’t too much to say about this clip. It is both incredibly moving and funny, not unlike his departure speech. If this doesn’t bring you back to that time, post-9/11, when you were looking for someone to ask if you are okay, maybe give it a second watch.
The Daily Show’s Incredible Election Coverage, “Indecision 2008”
The Daily Show has been nailing the election coverage for years starting with Indecision 2000 in the Bush v. Gore era. They won a Peabody Award for Indecision 2004 but we have a place in our hearts for Indecision 2008. That was the year of Sarah Palin and the first, amazing, “Yes We Can” election of Barack Obama. Sure, that particular election was ripe for comedy (just ask Tina Fey) but The Daily Show was really in their element. We don’t even want to think about the 2016 election without Jon Stewart. So let’s not.
Jon Takes Tucker Carlson Down A Peg
This segment goes viral every once in a while and it has shot back in our conciousness again after Jon’s big announcement. In 2004, just before the presidential election, Jon was on the CNN show Crossfire. That decency we mentioned above was left back in his own studio and Jon lets Tucker Carlson have it. For good reason. That guy is a bummer. He calls both Carlson and his co-host Paul Begala “partisan hacks” and says that their program is dishonest. This is what we think about that: