Jon Stewart said goodbye to The Daily Show last night in equal parts star-studded and quiet, personal fashion as former correspondents like Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Olivia Munn returned to pay their respects, while Bruce Springsteen closed out the slow with a performance — at Stewart’s request — of his 1999 song “The Land of Hopes and Dreams” and, for his fellow New Jerseyan, “Born to Run”.
Stewart cut to his final “remote” where the correspondents were reporting live from the Republican debates in Cleveland. It started with a small crew until eventually some of the show’s biggest stars returned to pay their respects.
Some other big stars, the targets Stewart so effortlessly skewered over the years, took this opportunity to send a message to Stewart like, “I’m sure you’ll be missed...by somebody.”
Later, to pay respects to the countless faces that make The Daily Show run so smoothly ever night, Stewart introduced a Goodfellas-esque tour through the show’s back office and all the writers, producers, interns, stagehands and even dogs that make up the show’s staff.
“We’ve seen the correspondents, we’ve met everyone who works here and now I feel like I should probably say something...” And, with that, Jon Stewart began his final blistering, and profane, Daily Show rant that summed up his feelings about government and politics that has given the show it’s backbone and guiding light over the past 16 years. “There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bulls---.”
“Alright everybody, that is our program.” And, with that it was time for Jon Stewart to say goodbye to his show and the people who have followed him since he took over for Craig Kilborn in 1999. “Rather than say goodbye or goodnight, I’m just gonna say, ‘I’m gonna go get a drink.’ I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave.”
And, here it is, your last moment of zen. We’ll miss you, Jon.