Since I failed to write a blog about Stephen Colbert and “The Colbert Report” leaving the Comedy Network/Comedy Central, I figured now was as good a time as any to at least bid a fond farewell to the man who kicked off the legacy of “The Daily Show”, Jon Stewart. I’ve watched the show on and off since my late teens and saw many correspondents come and go, but I never once put serious thought into the possibility that Jon would eventually leave as well. But that day has come and gone, and it’s gonna be weird to see another name attached to the show.
Watching Jon’s final hour-long episode last night was an emotional, nostalgic roller coaster for me. This is by no means a formal review, but I will start by saying that it was the perfect send-off for him. While I’ve watched plenty of comedy shows through my life, there was always something about Jon’s run on “The Daily Show” that appealed to me. His biting sarcasm, oftentimes straight man demeanor, and his hard-hitting interviews made me grow to love satire and even political humor (despite my dislike for politics). His relationships with many of the correspondents, both old and new, always came off fun and entertaining. That was clearly evident in the first segment of the final episode, and seeing many old but familiar faces interact with him one last time was a joy to watch. These men and women are just one testament to the behemoth Jon helped make the show into. Colbert’s heartfelt speech before the commercial break was right on the mark, and it was heartwarming to see Jon at his most humble through the entire show.
It was also nice to see the many hard-working men and women behind the scenes as well. I never realized just how many were involved until last night’s segment, but it was a nice touch and also very cool to see the studio in a full tour. Jon’s speech following that on digging for the truth past all the bullshit out there (his words, not mine) was pure Jon through and through. That’s the platform he built the show on underneath all the comedy. With him at the helm, the show really cemented itself as being more trusted than actual news networks (still sad when you think about it). Honestly, while I don’t know anything about Trevor Noah, I wish him all the best in hosting the show and hopefully keeping up that mindset. People need a reliable source that can cut through all the crap out there, even if it takes comedy to do it.
Jon’s final Moment of Zen, albeit one for himself, was a musical send-off by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. Okay, I admit, I had to check my sources on that, but my initial guess that it was Springsteen was right! Between the mini dance party and background clips from Jon’s 16 and a half-year tenure, it was a good way to end off such an emotional episode. I just know it’ll hit me hard once his name is replaced by Trevor’s on the show’s moniker, but I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting final show.
And now, despite still trying to recover from being emotionally drained, I have this to say:
Jon, thank you for 16+ years of dedication, hard work and laughs. I’ll miss tuning in at midnight and seeing you pop up on my TV, doodling on your script. Over the years, you’ve been an inspiration to me for your sheer tenacity during interviews and resilient attitude in the face of critics and disasters. You helped launch the careers of many great comedians whose work I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy to this day. While “The Daily Show” will always be a huge part of your career, I wish you all the best in moving forward, whether you continue to entertain or decide to relax. From one appreciative fan out of many, take care, sir.