“Nothing ends, it’s just a continuation, it’s a pause in the conversation. Rather than saying goodbye or good night, I’m just going to say I’m gonna go get a drink and I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave.”
And with those words, Jon Stewart exited “The Daily Show.”
To honor Stewart in 2015 is to pay tribute to his career. After over 16 years as America’s liberal Jewish conscience, he is moving on to better things. He’s grown a beard, been elected “mayor of the smoothie store” and announced that he and his wife would open an animal sanctuary on their 12-acre farm in Middleton, New Jersey. Oh, and he signed a four-year deal with HBO, starting with the production of “timely short-form digital content.”
At 52, Stewart already has many achievements under his belt. In addition to “The Daily Show,” he’s co-written two books, done a little acting and directed his own feature-length film, “Rosewater.” He’s won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards, and shaped U.S. policy from behind his fake news desk.
He was more than a host who happened to be Jewish. He was a Jewish host who could as easily quip about gefilte fish and Passover as satirize his public’s inability to process any criticism about Israel.
The latter sometimes earned him the label of “self-hating Jew,” a term he objected to vehemently. Those with doubts about Stewart’s identity need only look to the montage of his most Jewish moments presented by Senator Chuck Schumer leading up to Stewart’s goodbye.
“How did you know I was Jewish?” Stewart asked. “For years, I have gone out of my way to avoid displaying any of the stereotypical characteristics of our shared heritage.”
“Then Jon,” Schumer replied, “you have failed spectacularly.”