With Jon Stewart’s reign at The Daily Show coming to an end tonight, it’s time to celebrate the man whose cultural influence knows no bounds. After taking over The Daily Show in 1999 (previously hosted by Craig Kilborn), Stewart went on to create a new type of news series. The Daily Show may be a comedic weeknight show, but above all, it’s critical commentary. In filling the role of Daily Show host – a role seemingly created for Stewart – he made the news entertaining. The result was attainable social and political critique, which has changed the way millions of Americans will consume their news forever.
Aside from his obvious comedic and journalistic influence, Stewart has launched the careers of countless comedians including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms, and Kristen Schaal, among others. As a result of their popularity on The Daily Show, three of his correspondents went on to host their own shows: Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, John Oliver of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Larry Wilmore of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Aside from Saturday Night Live, can you think of any other show that’s launched as many massive careers as The Daily Show?
I truly consider Jon Stewart to be one of America’s greatest contemporary cultural icons. Not only is his charm and wit magnetic, but his intelligence and sincerity shines through each and every episode of his series. When watching The Daily Show, you can see that Stewart cares deeply about doing what’s right. He knows the magnitude of his influence and he uses his public presence for the greater good. He never lets his guests slide and he always asks the difficult questions. He educates Americans five nights a week, and somehow makes it unbelievably fun.
So here’s to Jon Stewart, an American national treasure! He’ll be greatly missed.
BONUS: Carell + Colbert
If you have any clips from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that you love, please share them in the comment section below.