The gang was all there on Thursday, August 6, as Jon Stewart signed off as host of The Daily Show after sixteen years of providing the very best in comedy news for an entire nation. In Stewart’s touching final episode, he sincerely thanked his co-stars and crew and gave his audience a final warning against bullshit.
The episode began as Stewart’s current correspondents began covering the Republican debate. Previous correspondents began appearing in an effort to cover all of the GOP candidates. All of Stewart’s past correspondents eventually showed up, many with jokes relating to their roles since the show. Stephen Colbert was the last to show up making Stewart emotional as he went off script and thanked Stewart for the hard work that made The Daily Show great and made similar shows possible.
In addition to highlighting past correspondents, Stewart also featured those that worked behind the scenes including everyone from writers to accountants in a walking tour of the show’s office space. Stewart took some of his final moments to warn his viewers about the danger of how policies are branded by politicians and the media. “The best defense against bullshit is vigilance, so if you smell something, say something,” Stewart said in the jokingly earnest fashion fans have come to love.
The lead up to Stewart’s departure was also a key part of what allowed him to go out with a bang. On the past few months of the show, The Daily Show added segments that showcased quirks of Stewart that will surely be missed once he leaves the show. The Sunday before his final episode, the show’s current correspondents, Jordan Klepper, Hasan Minhaj and Jessica Williams, hosted a segment featuring some fan voted favorites.
However, Stewart’s final days on the show were not only enhanced by look-backs at Stewart’s great moments, but also by new quality content. Donald Trump became an easy target for Stewart after announcing his bid for the GOP ticket back on June 16. However, Stewart also shined in his serious commentary, such as his coverage of the Charleston shooting.
Stewart used his final time on the air to have some truly hilarious last interviews, like those with Amy Schumer, Dennis Leary and Louis C. K. He also took the time to do more serious interviews such as those with President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Stewart’s exit certainly leaves a gaping hole in the social and political dialogue of the left. Perhaps Trevor Noah, who is set to replace Stewart on The Daily Show in September, can fill Stewart’s shoes. Plus, fans can also look to John Oliver’s show, Last Week Tonight, for similar funny coverage of real issues.
However while Stewart may be leaving The Daily Show forever, he stressed in his final moments on air that he sees himself as creating a dialogue with viewers that doesn’t end with his role on the show. Whatever Stewart does next, the generation of young people that he helped engage in politics and social issues will certainly carry his voice of reason in the back of their minds forever.