People, over the past decade and a half there, we’ve been absolutely spoiled. We had the privilege to watch one of the greatest newsmen to ever grace our televisions change the landscape of comedy, cable news, and politics in general. While you can disagree on political or social issues, there one irrefutable fact and that is that television will forever be lacking in some way after Jon Stewart‘s very last Daily Show.
The show began with an incredible segment that took nearly half an hour where Jon got to – for the very last time – throw to each and every Daily Show corespondent. The goodbyes just kept coming as his news team members new and old continued to spill in and say their peace in some form, along with political figures on both sides of the aisle, and even former Daily Show host Craig Kilborn. As you could have guessed, Stephen Colbert was the last to sit down and brought the big man to tears with a beautiful heartfelt goodbye. What began as a bit where Colbert got to flex his Tolkien knowledge muscles, comparing himself to Samwise Gamgee, Stewart to Frodo Baggins, and New Jersey to “The Undying Lands” quickly took a turn off-prompter for which Jon clearly wasn’t ready. Corralled by Colbert’s excellent chair-wheeling as he attempted to make his escape, it’s evident that Stewart was on the verge of tears the entire time. Noticeably not making eye contact with Colbert as he thanked him on behalf of everyone he’s helped during his tenure at The Daily Show.
“All of us who were lucky enough to work with you for sixteen years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours and we are better people for having known you. You are a great artist and good man.” – Stephen Colbert
The kind words of Colbert are ones that can serve as a life lesson to all. The love and respect people have for Stewart grew out of kindness and an admirable work ethic. As Colbert puts it:
“I have been asked and have the privilege to say something to you that is not in the prompter right now. Here’s the thing, Jon. You said to me and to many other people here years ago never to thank you because we owe you nothing. It is one of the few times I’ve known you to be dead wrong. We owe you, and not just what you did for our career by employing us to come on this tremendous show that you made – we owe you because we learned from you. We learned from you by example how to do a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect. You are infuriatingly good at your job, OK?”
For anyone who has had a boss, coworker, or friend with that mindset knows how tough it can be when that person is no longer there. Thankfully, the lessons you can learn – if you find yourself fortunate enough to experience such an individual – are lifelong and can serve as a foundation for the person you make yourself to be.
The segment ends with what might be the most talent-filled group hug in all of history and undoubtedly left not a single dry eye in the house. Thanks Jon! We here at Nerdist will surely miss you.