Well, the time has come. As much as we wish it wouldn’t.
Jon Stewart signed off for the final time Thursday night, after an hour-long episode packed with cameos and heartwarming segments.
The first 25 minutes were commercial free, as they brought back every correspondent from the show, the original Daily Show, Craig Kilborn (“I told you you’d run this show into the ground), and some of the politicians and people he’s poked fun at the most over the years. It was every comedy fan’s dream, and to see how many careers he’s shaped all in one place is truly outrageous.
Stephen Colbert was the last one to come out, as is only natural. After Stewart finally threw to break, Colbert had a different plan. It wasn’t on the prompter, but Colbert had ready a big thank you speech on behalf of all the people who have worked for Stewart. He kept his head down the whole time, holding back his tears.
When they returned from commercial, they took the audience, on a POV tour of the Daily Show offices from Stewart’s perspective, introducing us to ALL of the people who work there. It was a touching way to say thank you in more than just a speech to all the people behind-the-scenes.
Finally, Stewart called bullshit. Literally. He dissected bullshit in our culture and how to decipher the different kinds of bullshit we’re fed every day. He urged us to continue to figure out what’s bullshit, because it’s important to do so. It was the perfect last segment for him to do, because he just wants us to continue on doing on our own what he’s helped us do for so long.
He ended the show with some thanks to his family, and letting us know that this is just a break in the conversation, but the dialogue will continue. He didn’t want to say goodbye, but that we’ll see him soon.
And then he threw to “his moment of zen” (ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME), which was Bruce Springsteen playing. The final moments of the show were reminiscent of Colbert’s finale, with the whole staff, families and all past staff members out there dancing on the stage to Springsteen. Finally, Jon Stewart grabbed the mic, and said “thank you, goodnight”.
This is so much more than a host leaving a show, it’s a man leaving behind a legacy. Personally for me, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert together got me threw some of the toughest times, and it truly feels like I’m losing another friend. This has been a rough six months. At least Colbert is returning, but this, this hurts on a new level. It’s been a solid sixteen years, I just wish there were sixteen more.