[There was a video here]
After 16 years and 2,581 episodes, Jon Stewart has left the Daily Show, the half-hour that established the template for successful satirical news shows and made Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and John Oliver into household names. He’ll be missed, and so will the millions of clicks he generates for blogs and news sites every week. What are we—content providers—going to do without you, Jon? We’re so fucked.
Stewart has always had a symbiotic relationship with the news media: they give him topics and scoops, and he gives back a show that’s reliably funny enough to make thousands of people watch on each site that embeds a video—with readers deciding whose commentary on the show to skim based mostly on punchy headlines and arcane Google algorithms. But it’s also substantial enough that no one feels ashamed about posting it.
And when they do, everyone watches—especially the growing number of people who have internet access but would never watch cable TV. The Daily Show needs the internet, definitely. But the internet also needs The Daily Show.
John Oliver is the clear heir to the throne of comedy news anchors who CRUSH, SMASH, and OBLITERATE the things that need crushing, smashing and obliterating, making us feel less helpless in the face of enormous political, social, and environmental problems that may never be solved. Participants in the modern #content business race to post every one of his explainers about the world’s under-covered evils—and some of us don’t even do it cynically, because sometimes that shit makes a difference.
But John Oliver only makes one show a week. Jon Stewart did four, and it’s crushing that this is the last one we can ever exploit for the precious unique visits we convert into the food, gasoline and vibrators that sustain our families. We already lost Colbert, and Larry Wilmore has thus far undershot the very high (perhaps impossible) expectations set for him. Who are we supposed to turn to now? Jimmy Fallon? Doctor Whiskey?
Let’s do it one more time, Jon, for old times sake.
Here’s what happened on the last episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
All the Daily Show correspondents, present and far, far past—Steve Carell! Vance Degeneres! Mo Rocca! Rob Corddry! Nate Corddry? Ed Helms!!—came out to send Stewart off. Jason Jones promoted his new show (The Detour on TBS). Josh Gab rubbed his Frozen success in Jon’s face. Bassem Youssef called him a pussy. Trevor Noah started measuring the set. There was a Craig Kilborn cameo.
Many of the people Stewart has skewered insulted him. The Morning Joe people, John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, John McCain, and that John McCain puppet.
Stephen Colbert showed up, was a huge nerd, then went off-book and made Stewart cry.
[There was a video here]