Tonight marked the final night that Jon Stewart would host The Daily Show. Stewart hands the show on to Trevor Noah and leaves behind a legacy of pushing the boundaries of what is meant by both journalism and comedy.
Stewart’s special mix of sardonic wit in the face of the drudgery of daily political theatre helped keep a younger generation engaged and aware of the news and events of the day, even if Stewart himself bemoaned the notion that he or his show be, for anyone, a news source.
Over the 16 years he helmed the captain’s chair of the program, he helped launch the careers of many successful comedians into their own right. Tonight, we saw those faces return to thank Jon for a job well done.
Perhaps the most moving and sincere moment of the evening was shared between Stephen Colbert and Jon. Colbert thanked Jon for being so excellent every single day.
The comedy of The Daily Show under Jon had a decided message to it: the news is far too important for it to become rank with bullshit. It was that message that underscored most of what made The Daily Show so potent with him as host. After all, what else is there to do but laugh when mainstream media is what it is?
Jon had a message for us as well, a play on a saying that got its start in homeland security. Asking us to continue to keep check on those in power.
“If you see something, say something,” the saying went.
Except for Jon it became, “If you smell something [bullshit], say something.”
Thanks for all the laughs, Jon.