I didn’t believe it at first when the link from A.V. Club was shared by The Onion, but then there it was on BBC, Politico and others: Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show when his contract expires this year. While many people don’t give Jon Stewart credit for being a legitimate news source, his snarky and comedic approach to delivering news is a refreshing alternative to a lot of the punditry out there that poses as news. Other than Rachel Maddow, there’s little else on cable that I bother watching when it comes to discussing political stories – because nothing else really is worth watching.
I was watching The Daily Show prior to Jon Stewart and when he took the reins from Craig Kilborn in 1998, I wasn’t sure I could get used to the show without Craig. Yet, Jon quickly made me forget about Craig and for the last 17 years, I’ve enjoyed the nightly skewering of celebrities, pundits and politicians of all stripes. Needless to say, I’m still sad to see the end of an era. First Stephen Colbert and now this:
Ending one of the most venerable and trusted careers in making a complete mockery of the news, Jon Stewart has announced that he is stepping down as host of The Daily Show. According to sources who were there (some of whom are already passing word along on social media), Stewart let the news slip at the taping of today’s episode, telling those in the audience that he’s retiring. No word yet on when exactly he’s leaving, whether this means he’s ending his time in the anchor chair to focus on being a Serious Movie Director now, or just how much this is Brian Williams’ fault. (Source)
It was then confirmed by Comedy Central’s Twitter account (click picture to enlarge):
I’ve spent my entire adult life watching Jon Stewart and his comedic evisceration of partisan figures has been an inspiration for some of my snarkier political writing. While the show is comical in nature, it does draw a substantial audience from people my age and younger.
The Daily Show also has plenty of serious guests including numerous international figures and U.S. presidents, making it a refreshing blend of comedy and political discussion you won’t find elsewhere.
Everyone from Presidents Obama and Clinton to Gen. Colin Powell and Sen. John McCain have appeared on the show with Stewart.
In a recent Pew study, 12 percent of respondents said they had gotten political news from the program. That compares to 12 percent who answered USA Today and 10 percent who answered The Wall Street Journal. (Source)
Life will go on after Jon Stewart, I just absolutely hate the idea of having to watch Fox News instead of catching the highlight reels every night as he delivers them. Perhaps someone will fill Jon Stewart’s role in the way that he did Craig Kilborn’s spot 17 years ago. They’re just going to have some really, really big shoes to fill.
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