After a successful 16 years running The Daily Show, Jon Stewart will be signing off the satirical news show for good tonight. Since he took over the program from Craig Kilborn in 1999, Stewart’s iteration has earned 20 Primetime Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and is the second-longest running show on Comedy Central after South Park.
The newscaster and film-maker has been working extra hard the past two weeks to make the most of his farewell run, bringing back some of his regular visitors such as U.S. President Barack Obama (who’s visited seven times), actor Denis Leary (17 visits), Tom Cruise, Amy Schumer, and long time friend Louis C.K.
“I’ve been banging it out 22 minutes a night, four days a week and I don’t think anybody can keep up that kind of pace,” said Stewart during his talk with Schumer.
Tons of support has been sent his way as he prepares to leave the show, with Comedy Central writing up a full-page ad in the New York Times congratulating their associate, ending on Stewarts classic sign-off line: “Here it is, your moment of Zen. Thank you, Jon.” Furthermore, Arby’s, who has been constantly teased on the program by Stewart, bought two ad spaces for Wednesday night’s show and even catered two ads towards bidding farewell to The Daily Show.
Needless to say everyone is sad to see him go, and it’s hard to deny Stewart’s impact on politics and pop-culture despite constantly describing his show as a “fake news program”. For many viewers, The Daily Show was actually their legitimate source of news, and Stewart has even been cited as an influence for several real political discussions, the most prominent being his tirade about health care and benefits for 9/11 emergency workers leading to Senate passing a bill that provided just that.
On top of that, Stewart’s iteration of the show helped launch the careers of countless comedians like Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Ed Helms, John Oliver, Robb Cordry, Larry Wilmore, Kristen Schaal, Josh Gad, Rob Riggle, Mo Rocca, Samantha Bee, and Jason Jones, while also boosting Lewis Black’s career because of his regular “Back in Black” segments on the show.
After Stewart’s run, South African comedian Trevor Noah is set to take over on September 28.