Jon Stewart’s Final ‘The Daily Show’ Brims With Warmth, Emotion. “Welcome to the Daily Show. I am Jon Stewart. Thank you very much for coming.” That understated opening gambit was how Stewart began his final appearance during his run as host of the show.
For me, the famous columnist, Brian Lawry said it the best.
“Genuine warmth is an extraordinarily rare commodity on television, which is why Jon Stewart’s final “The Daily Show” was something to be treasured, savored and maybe even played back a few times. As with most media-hyped events, Stewart’s exit came with such inflated expectations that it’s the sort of thing the host himself would have delighted in skewering. Yet the parade of former correspondents who lined up to bid him farewell not only celebrated what he called “the talent that has passed through these doors” but the guy who gave them that opportunity as he rides into the sunset”.
For 16 and a half years, Jon Stewart has entertained America with his comedic presence, riffing on the absurdities of his country, both cultural and political – and the 6 August finale was no exception.
It comes as no surprise that the end of Jon Stewart’s reign at Comedy Central should occasion a flow of testimonials fit for a revered leader. All that’s missing are the floral tributes in the streets. Long before word of Mr. Stewart’s departure was in the air, the reverential status he enjoyed as combination show host, news commentator and disseminator of all the latest in received wisdom was clear to all. Some of this week’s testaments, recorded in a New York Times piece Wednesday, sum the tone up nicely.
I would love to quote some words that Dorothy Rabinowitz gathered from different people.
Lena Dunham, the writer and creator of the series “Girls,” explains that Jon Stewart was “where I got my news. Watching Jon—an avowed defender of women’s rights, civil rights, all the democratic ideals I hold dear, really . . .” Watching had kept her amused, inspired and above all aware “in a time when picking up the newspaper was just not gonna happen.”
From Jon Stewart, his way of looking at things, his selection of facts, Ms. Dunham is telling us, she got her view of the world and what was happening in it without need of recourse to other sources. It is impossible to know what happens now to those, like Ms. Dunham, bereft of the monastically sheltered temple of instruction provided by Mr. Stewart and “The Daily Show.”
Ricky Gervais, the creator of “The Office,” testifies to Mr. Stewart’s larger powers. His audience is, he declares, “the sharpest, cleverest, most tuned in comedy audience of any show I’ve been on anywhere in the world, and that’s because of the culture Jon has nurtured.” There we have matters plainly put: Jon Stewart as the nurturer of a culture.
Just as the terrifying implication of this thought sinks in—a culture comprised of the audience for “The Daily Show”—Mr. Gervais elaborates. Sounding faintly like one of his own archetypal “Office” creations— Michael Scott, purveyor extraordinaire of philosophies for success—Mr. Gervais explains: “If you’re smart from the beginning, you get people who like smart stuff, and you can do even smarter stuff.”