Goodbye, Jon Stewart

By Anubhuti Kumar

via the Huffington Post

A staple of modern weeknight television, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” has become an iconic show that has launched the careers of some of the most celebrated satirical politician comedians of modern times. What started out as a purely comedic satire of news shows has become so imbued in American culture after sixteen years with its poignant and cuttingly clever observations that it is seen almost as an alternative to typical news shows, which have become stilted with political bias.  It saddened many that Jon Stewart has chosen to retire from his post as the bearer of fake news at the age of 52.

The “fake news program” known as “The Daily Show” first aired on Comedy Central in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn. In 1999, it was passed on to Jon Stewart who altered the show to focus heavily on national politics. These changes made it a household name.

Under Stewart’s leadership, the show started each night with news headlines related in the form of a comedic monologue delivered by Stewart. This is followed by a segment where Stewart interacts with his correspondents, who present and discuss exaggerated and absurd views on current issues. The thirty-minute show is then capped by an interview with a celebrity guest.

He has not announced where he plans on taking his career now, but with the release of his drama “Rosewater,” some speculate he may wish to move into more serious movie directing. His reason for leaving “The Daily Show” is to have a less rigorous schedule and more time to spend with his children. It seems warranted that Stewart may wish to move on to something after so many years at “The Daily Show,” but this brings up the question: Who will take over for him at The Daily Show? With a capable and talented new host at the head of the show, a new iteration may take “The Daily Show” to even newer and greater heights with their new spin.

Many former correspondent have gone on to find major success outside “The Daily Show,” such as Stephen Colbert, who hosted the show following Stewart’s, “The Colbert Report,” for years and is now set to take over for David Letterman at “The Late Show.” There is also John Oliver who is about to begin his second season of “Last Week Tonight” on HBO. It seems logical to look within the brand for a new host in place of Stewart. A front-runner is the popular current correspondent Jessica Williams, a fan favorite for her quick wit. However, she seems to have pulled herself out of the race by stating on Twitter that she feels unqualified.

As soon as his announcement to retire was made public, tickets to see a live taping of this cultural phenomenon began to sell out faster than ever, with fans determined to experience it personally before the beloved Jon Stewart leaves.

Anubhuti Kumar is a contributing writer. Contact her at entertainment@nyunews.com.

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