There will probably be a week’s jokes in the Republican debate Thursday night. But Jon Stewart will have to take a pass on them. He retires after his show that airs just minutes after.
What Stewart will probably miss most is a last go at Donald Trump, his favourite target of recent weeks and whom he had been imploring to not implode before his last show.
Trump is still around, but Stewart, 52, will leave after tonight.
Stewart took charge of The Daily Show 16 years ago, somewhat uncertain of what he was doing there in a suit — he felt like he was at his own Bar Mitzvah, he told a guest.
Looking back Wednesday night, his penultimate show which was billed as the Penultimate Show, Stewart said: “I think what we have built here is a monument to evisceration.”
“Issues, pundits, politicians … we here at the show left no target un-disembowled (sic) … In fact, if you are still walking around with a bellyful of viscera, know this, we didn’t forget you.”
Four nights a week, Stewart did just that.
He told Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf in an interview — much after the general had retired — that he was lying about not being aware of Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad.
And he very gamely dared President Obama’s health secretary to log into the health insurance exchange before he could finish downloading every movie ever made.
Obama’s pet legacy project — healthcare reforms — had crashed after a much celebrated rollout, literally. Online access to the registry or even inquiry took hours.
The moment Jon Stewart left the studio for the last time
Stewart could be equally brutal with those who covered news — specially Fox News, which he loved to rip into. He named it Bull***t Mountain, for its scant regard for facts.
CNN would be savaged for the way it covered stories, or for its celeb anchors’ tendency to preen and project themselves. And their flubs, of which there was never a shortage.
No one, thing or issue was sacred. His jokes seemed, mostly, ruse to get the crowds in. And then he would switch on an alternate reality when the lights dimmed.
“Stewart set out to be a working comedian, and he ended up an invaluable patriot,” David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, wrote about Stewart in a tribute.