A lot can happen in 16 years: terror attacks, America’s first black president…the Donald Trump campaign.
And one man has made America laugh through it all.
Though he wasn’t the first host of Comedy Central‘s late night news parody program, he did help it mature into a cultural force.
It’s no easy task to sum up sixteen great years but here are a few of the segments that helped make Stewart the most trusted man on TV since Walter Cronkite.
JON STEWART ON CROSSFIRE
Although not on his own show, Stewart’s appearance on CNN‘s CROSSFIRE came to be one of the most defining moments in his career and set the tone for the force Stewart would become. In the clip below, its clear the CNN hosts underestimated Stewart as he let them know they were “hurting America.”
THE WRITERS STRIKE EPISODES
During the 2007-2008 Writer’s Guild Strike, Stewart decided to continue creating new content, though this time, labeled “A Daily Show,” in which he and other hosts found inventive ways to continue their shows, like this send up with Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien.
THE GLENN BECK EPISODE
In the mid-2000’s Fox News‘ Glenn Beck show was a conservative cultural force, but often presented information with a deliberately skewed, slightly conspiracy theory-driven message which did not sit well with Stewart and his team, who dedicated an entire episode to spoofing Beck’s format.
THE BEEF WITH ARBY’S
Jon Stewart has been giving it to Arby’s for so long, it’s not really clear why or how it started to most of THE DAILY SHOW audience. No matter what, we hope the standoff continues in some way.
JON STEWART’S IMPRESSIONS
Even though he’s the first to admit they’re all very bad, his impressions were one of the most endearing from any comedian or talk show host.
THE OCCASIONAL GRILLING OF A GUEST
Jon Stewart is unable to hide his contempt for actions he sees as overwhelming wrongs, from 9/11 to eating pizza with a fork. All joking aside, he really took it to Judith Miller, whom he blamed for the lousy standards for journalism leading to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Other notable takedowns include Jim Cramer and multiple tête-à-têtes with Bill O’Reilly.
JON STEWART TELLS AMERICA TO LAUGH AGAIN
After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, much of the entertainment industry went dark for unspecified amounts of time, depending on the show or film. When the Daily Show returned, Jon Stewart opened the show with a heartfelt speech which will bring tears to your eyes, even 14 years later.
THE RALLY TO RESTORY SANITY AND/OR FEAR
Who could forget the 2010 event which took the Washington, D.C. area by storm? Stewart and Colbert attracted 215,000 to the National Mall in the Nation’s capital.
JON STEWART’S TRANSFORMATION TO ELDER STATESMAN OF LATE NIGHT
It’s not easy to be a driving force for cultural change. Now widely considered the presiding leader of television comedy, Jon Stewart aged as gracefully as any of the Presidents he interviewed.
THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART airs at 11:00 PM ET on Comedy Central
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