The host of The Daily Show has written us all a “Dear Jon” letter. I’d like to send it back but I don’t think it would do any good. There’s not much to say except I’ll miss Jon Stewart dearly.
That short little bucket of brains made me see things more clearly, while keeping me laughing for 16 years. I’m a journalist who has written and produced news stories for a very long time (saying the number of years just makes me feel old) but Jon Stewart often helped me digest and understand the news in a way traditional news outlets could not.
He and his amazing writing staff were able to boil down the facts and make sense of them, often when world events made no sense at all.
He got us through 9/11 and the Newtown school shooting. He made us laugh at Bush 43’s awkward snicker and reminded us relentlessly that Dick Cheney– whom he pegged as the Darth Vader of the Iraq War — shot his friend in the face.
He hammered at ObamaCare, even challenging HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to log on to the glitch-plagued website on a laptop during her interview. He had a way of nailing lots of politicians who dared to sit in his hot seat, while showing the utmost respect… and winking at us, his loyal audience.
Not just a comedian and host, he was an agent of change. Many hold him largely responsible for drawing attention to Congress failing to pass a bill to help veterans and 9/11 first responders get health care. After TDS devoted several segments to the debacle, a bill got passed.
I’m sure Trevor Noah is a talented, smart guy. I trust the people at Comedy Central know what they’re doing, and I’m certain Stewart wouldn’t allow that desk to be sullied by someone who couldn’t handle it.
But I’m going to miss tuning into TDS and seeing Jon and his team giving us their unique take on current events, and asking the intelligent and less obvious questions of celebrities and newsmakers. He created a cultural phenomenon that has hugely influenced comedy and politics forever.
One of Wilson’s big complaints about me is that I hoard TV shows on the DVR, often leaving no room to record essential Michigan football games or historical documentaries. Right now, I have no less than 60 TDS episodes stacked up. I’ve tried to weed through and delete but I’m too worried I’ll miss something (there’s that FOMO again!)
His bits are funny even months later and you get a lot of bang for your buck: he makes me laugh and I always learn something.
Now I’ll treasure these old episodes and parse them out slowly, so I don’t have to rip the band-aid off tonight, when he appears for the last time.
Stewart’s final episode will be star-studded, nostalgic, and undoubtedly very funny. And I hear Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are playing, so that could soften the blow.
I’m going to miss you Jon. Hope this break gives you the moment of Zen you deserve.