Farewell, Jon Stewart, and thank you!

1:42 PM

After 16 years of hosting The Daily Show, tomorrow is Jon Stewart's final episode. For more than half of that time, I have been a faithful viewer. For more than four years, I lived outside the U.S. and had to overcome some technological barriers to see his show. I watched the clips the next day, sometimes occasionally using some workarounds to see the programming as it may be blocked in one country or another.

Courtesy of JDH Rosewater on Flikr.
Humorously and, occasionally, poignantly, Stewart has named and expressed the sentiment, national and personal. Most recently, his expression after horrific incidents of gun violence, sadly, captured those moments for me. He always seemed to have the better hand in his interactions with the news media, calling them to exercise their profession, indeed their vocation, with greater diligence. It's not surprising that he became the most trusted news person on television.

Stewart is one of a handful of celebrities with whom I would love to have an extended conversation. I'd love just to watch him up close. I can only imagine that The Daily Show staff meetings occasionally were chaos with his quick humor.

Stewart also seems to be a remarkable mentor. He has brought immense talent to his team, and those talents have emerged even stronger over time. Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Larry Wilmore have gotten their own shows. A confession: I now have moved to watch John Oliver faithfully on YouTube.

Another confession: Stewart has influenced me. I cannot count the number of books that I have read because he interviewed the author. He has helped me laugh at frustrating elements about our life in these United States. He has introduced me to folks not likely to have come across my radar, were it not for him.

I wish Trevor Noah the best as Stewart's successor, and I will try not to compare, but I will miss Stewart. I do not imagine that Stewart is finished. He is too young, too energetic not to develop another project. I await with expectation what his next project will be.

So, Jon, thank you!

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