Jon Stewart ended his long reign as host ‘The Late Show’ with an epic, star-studded tribute and farewell. So many years to celebrate, and so many who took part from movie stars to politicians to a rock legend. Check out a roundup of reviews from TV critics and see video highlights of the fanfare which, ultimately, had a poignant and emotional end.
Yes, it was an epic night, and one for the annuals of television history, as Jon Stewart’s pop cultural impact was unmistakable. We all waited to see just how he would react to the news of the day. And react he did!
Jon Stewart was host of ‘The Daily Show’ for 16 years; since the last year of the previous century, 1999, which in retrospect seems long ago. So long ago that one may have had to Google to find out who the previous host of the long-running Comedy Central program was; and Craig Kilborn is the name that Google will give you. Yes, 1999 was a long time ago. It was before the iPod and the iPhone, and certainly before Facebook, Twitter, and even the nearly defunct MySpace.
In those years before we had the echo chamber of social media, we were left with only the echo chamber of cable television’s 24-7 news cycle, helped along, of course, by the blogosphere and online media.
But after all those years, it was time for a farewell. And it was Jon Stewart’s night of farewells and tributes. After days of social media farewells with the hashtag #JonVoyage, which saw even President Obama and a number of politicians Stewart had skewered over the years taking part now it was time for the TV sendoff.
Along with the many prerecorded tributes, many from those same politicians, there was what can only be described as a class reunion like atmosphere as so many past and current Daily Show correspondents were present. This was a show that launched many a career. Among those in attendance; Olivia Munn, John Oliver, Lewis Black, Mo Rocca, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Rob and Nate Corrdry, Josh Gad, Michael Che, and Samantha Bee.
The new host, Trevor Noah was there as well, in an amusing bit that saw him measuring Jon Stewart, quite literally. And among these Daily Show alumni, it was Stephen Colbert who delivered the emotional, and unscripted tribute that brought Jon Stewart to tears.
And with the legendary Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in studio playing ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ and ‘Born to Run’ as the show sailed into television history, the finale was over.
As social media has weighed in, now so too have the hat do the television critics have to say? Here’s a roundup.
“…. “Rather than say, ‘Goodbye,’ I’m just going to say, ‘I’m going to get a drink,’” Stewart had explained earlier in the show. Fans of sharp political satire — this writer included — will be hoping he doesn’t stay at the bar for too long…..” — Entertainment Weekly
“… After 16 years of taking satirical aim at the hypocrisy of politics and the fatuousness of the news media, Jon Stewart said goodbye to “The Daily Show” on Thursday evening with a farewell broadcast that mixed wry parting shots with earnest displays of emotion and with a passionate speech urging his audience not to accept falsehoods and misinformation in their lives. ….”– New York Times
“…. After weeks of pretending to blush as celebrity visitors stopped by to kiss his ring, Stewart used his final bow to salute on-camera colleagues past and present, along with an offstage tour of the premises that included a guest jibe from Martin Scorsese, reminding him maybe not-so-good-naturedly that it wasn’t the first time Stewart “ripped off Goodfellas.”…” — Deadline Hollywood
“….Genuine warmth is an extraordinarily rare commodity on television, which is why Jon Stewart’s final “The Daily Show” was something to be treasured, savored and maybe even played back a few times. As with most media-hyped events, Stewart’s exit came with such inflated expectations that it’s the sort of thing the host himself would have delighted in skewering. Yet the parade of former correspondents who lined up to bid him farewell not only celebrated what he called “the talent that has passed through these doors” but the guy who gave them that opportunity as he rides into the sunset. ….” — Variety
“….Stewart used the debates as an excuse to introduce just about every correspondent who has ever appeared on The Daily Show, a cornucopia of comedic talent, that ended, sweetly, with Stephen Colbert simply trying to thank Stewart, as Stewart fidgeted around in his rolling chair, trying to hide his tears. Jon Stewart is the guy who has tried so hard to make us laugh that we now care when he cries…..” — Slate
“….Stewart’s final episode manages to convey that feeling of optimism without sacrificing the show’s central idea that the mission isn’t over, all in the shape of a joyous party. Considering the show aired on the same night of the first GOP debate—which, whew, you’re welcome, Trevor Noah—Stewart’s opening conceit that his last show will take the form of an extended dissection of such prime comedy fodder gives way (at least partly because, you know, the show was actually recorded hours ahead of time) to a parade of nearly every correspondent ever on any incarnation of the show…..” — A.V. Club
Now it’s one for the history books, and we’ve got the highlights to relive, as they will remain in digital streaming perpetuity. Watch video highlights of the final episode of ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ below!
Pictures: PR Photos