Jon Stewart closes each episode of The Daily Show with “A Moment of Zen” to his audience and in his 16 years as host, he has built up his own famous moments of Zen.
Before Stewart signs off for the final time on Thursday, INSIDE EDITION is looking back at seven of his most memorable moments as host of the satire TV show.
7. Jon After Obama Wins Historic 2008 Presidential Election
Election season will never be the same after Jon Stewart leaves. In 2008, Stewart’s “Indecision” coverage of the Obama / McCain presidential race hit fever pitch and concluded with Obama’s historic win.
On the day after Obama’s win, Stewart took to the airwaves and said: “Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States of America – Sorry Nixon, releasing one self-produced rap album doesn’t make you black!”
Stewart then took a jab at outing President Bush, one final time joking: “Barack Obama received a congratulatory call from still-President George W. Bush who told him: ‘What an awesome night for you… Laura and I called to congratulate you and your good bride.’”
Stewart then said goodbye to his infamous Bush impression as a new era for America and his comedy began.
6. Jon and the Curious Case of Flight MH370
In March 2014, the coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 dominated the news headlines. While many felt the story of the missing plane would end in tragedy, Stewart managed to mock the reporting of the event.
Showcasing a plethora of clips from CNN, Stewart poked fun at the 24-hour news network’s handling of a story that wasn’t developing much new information.
“CNN’s missing airline obsession not only doubled their ratings, it itself became news, because the only thing less likely than an airline missing is CNN’s ratings doubling,” the host joked.
5. Jon After George W. Bush Named President in Controversial 2000 Election
One year after Jon Stewart signed on to become host of The Daily Show, he was tasked with covering the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and then Vice President Al Gore.
It was during this time that the Stewart showcased his wit and insight into American politics.
On the day after Bush’s famous 2000 win, in which Gore won the popular vote but Bush won the electoral vote, Stewart began his disparagement of the 43rd president.
Stewart gagged: “Just after 10pm, it was time for President-Elect Bush to address the nation, or just read to it. At first, he alluded to another close election, some 200 years ago.”
He then cut to Bush’s victory speech where the Texan said: “After six days of voting and 36 ballots, the House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.”
Stewart cut back to himself in the newsroom mocking Bush: “Me, I am not even George Jefferson.”
The segment then cut back to Bush’s victory speech: “I was not elected to serve one party.”
Stewart then declared: “You were not elected!”
4. Jon Stewart Pokes Fun of Glenn Beck
Between 2009 and 2011, conservative libertarian Glenn Beck had his own show on Fox News.
His program, which featured him standing in front of a blackboard and addressing the nation as if he was a teacher, became fodder for Stewart.
Stewart dedicated a segment in 2011 to mocking Beck and parodying his hosting tactics.
He put on glasses like Beck wore and jumped in front of a blackboard berfore going on to do his best impression of the manic TV news host.
3. Jon Stewart Gets Emotional Again After Charleston Church Shooting
As America mourned the Charleston church massacre earlier this year, Stewart set comedy aside to sum up the feelings of the nation on The Daily Show.
“I have one job and it is a pretty simple job," he said. "I come in the morning and we read the news and I write jokes about it. I make a couple faces. Then it is just 'cha-ching' and I am out the door. But I didn’t do my job today. I apologize; I got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds because of what happened in South Carolina."
Stewart blasted shooter Dylann Roof and the media's commentary of him, saying: "This was a racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater. I hate to use this pun, but this one is black and white. There is no nuance here."
Stewart then brought up the Confederate flag, which continued to fly at full staff outside South Carolina’s Statehouse hours after the shooting.
He said: “The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate general... and the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him.”
2. Jon Pokes Fun at Donald Trump Eating Pizza with a Fork and Knife with Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin was in New York City in 2011 on a promotional tour when she was invited to have dinner with Donald Trump. Stewart, who has made both Trump and Palin some of his favorite targets over the years, ate up their meeting together.
The billionaire and the former Alaskan Governor got together to have pizza in Times Square. The dinner, which was supposed to be a simple meal, became the butt of an eight-minute long joke by Stewart.
The pizzeria where they ate was Albanian-owned. Stewart was also offended by the fact it wasn’t a real New York chain like Grimaldi’s or Lombardi’s. Yet what enraged Stewart the most was that Trump ate his pizza with a fork and knife.
He pulled out a slice of New York pizza and demonstrated how it should really be eaten.
1. Jon’s First Show After 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
Nine days after the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Stewart returned to TV for the first time and the usual funnyman showed off his serious and emotional side as he talked about the attacks.
“I am sorry to do this to you," he told his audience. "It is another entertainment show beginning with an overwrought speech of a shaken host and television is nothing, if not redundant.”
In his near nine-minute monologue, an emotional Stewart discussed his hope for a better tomorrow and why he grieved and didn’t despair.
He concluded his speech saying: “The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. Now it is gone and they attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and architecture and labor and imagination and commerce and it is gone. You know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.”
While new Daily Show host Trevor Noah doesn’t begin his run until next month, the 16 years Stewart had in the hosting chair was nothing short of legendary, and it is time for him to enjoy his moment of Zen.
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