The last correspondent to show up was clearly the most dear to Stewart: Stephen Colbert, his close friend and collaborator, who launched the wildly popular “The Colbert Report” after several years on “The Daily Show“, and will soon take over David Letterman’s chair on CBS’s “Late Night”. Probably hiding in a cave somewhere.
The returning comedians even included Wyatt Cenac, who in a recent podcast vented about a falling-out he had with Stewart over what he considered a racially insensitive bit about one-time presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
New kid Trevor Noah came out with a measuring tape.
Patton Oswalt wrote, “You used outrageousness to aim outrage where it needed to go”.
Arizona’s U.S. Sen. John McCain chimed in with a Stewart puppet, before sending the host off with: “So long, jackass”.
Stewart offered a soliloquy on what was his central job as host finding doubletalk in the public arena and exposing it for the world to see, although he used a stronger term for it. He urged viewers to be vigilant in watching for it themselves.
He warned the audience that others will simply try to hide their true purposes under mountains of complexity because, as one of his protégés said, “If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring”.
There wasn’t much, if any, topical humor. Wolf Blitzer wished him nicely, whereas the display behind him on the CNN set learn, “Screw you, Stewart”.
Last night, on Stewart’s second-to-last show, Arby’s bid farewell to perhaps their biggest critic with a 60-second montage of Stewart skewering their brand.
“We’re merely taking a pause in the conversation”.
“Now, after anchoring almost 2,600 episodes, Stewart is leaving the series, and stars are using the Twitter hashtag “#JonVoyage” to say farewell. It’s a continuation. “Rather than saying goodbye or goodnight, I’m just going to say I’m going to go get a drink…so here it is, my moment of zen”.
He seemed to struggle with his emotions.
“I feel like what we built here is a monument to evisceration”, he joked as a graphic featuring various headlines describing how he and “The Daily Show” have, well “eviscerated” various pundits, issues and politicians over the past 16 years.