Our worst nightmare has arrived.
In fact, before Jon Stewart announced his Daily Show departure in February, it wasn't even a nightmare. We simply hadn't imagined it could happen, despite the fact that all people will eventually stop doing the thing they are currently doing. We just assumed Stewart would continue to filter the events of the world through his own specific brand of friendly sarcasm for the rest of eternity, or at least for the rest of our eternity.
We're not ready to say goodbye, and probably never will be, but tonight we'll have to do it anyway when he waves us into our final moment of Zen.
(Oh my god, the final moment of Zen! It's too much!)
Instead of attempting to dig through 16 years and hundreds of episodes to build some semi-arbitrary list of our favorite segments, we got some of the E! Online office's biggest Daily Show fans to weigh in, have a laugh and say goodbye by submitting their favorite segments (even if some of them only feature Jon laughing at his genius correspondents).
The funniest moment of silence in TV history? Probably when Steve Carell returned in 2007 to the show that birthed his very own career, but this time as a big-time movie star, promoting 40-Year-Old Virgin. Stewart met him with a full two minutes of awkard silence. They drank from their cups, tapped pencils, sideways-glanced in total awkwardness, even spun their chairs, until Stewart finally spoke: "Do you have a report to file?" "I don't do reports any more," Carell replied. "I do movies." Such a funny, iconic moment and the first time that a Daily Show alum garnered huge fame and came back in the interview seat, speaking to the power of the show itself. Nothing was better than Carell and Stewart together. —Kristin Dos Santos
Colbert deep-throating a banana and breaking character for the rest of the segment. —Julia Hays
The one with Colbert eating a banana in front of a backdrop of Buckingham Palace while reporting on press speculation of some sort of same sex dalliance. I don't remember the specifics of the report, but he could not keep it together, and it was amazing. Also "Even Stephen," when Colbert and Carell went to a restaurant and got drunk. —Gina Serpe
Jon Stewart constantly taking down Fox News will always, always be untouchable and iconic. Every time Fox News puts out a segment that makes me either burn with rage or face-palm (or both), I make sure to tune in to The Daily Show the same night. Because not only will Jon perfectly articulate why Fox News did/said this stupid thing, but he'll burn them in a very precise and hilarious way. His logical takedown crosses out their illogical ways and all is right in the world again, until the next day when Fox News does something else ridiculous.
Thank you, Jon. You were a brave warrior against the three-headed Fox News dragon, and we are forever in your debt.
PS: Thank you, Fox News, for all the endless ammunition.—Jenna Mullins
I couldn't possibly pick one favorite funny moment—I couldn't even pick a top 10—because it's been 17 years of pure hilarity mixed with a whole lot of ‘effing truth. So instead I'm going to select a recent moment that stands out not because it was humorous but because it was in fact the opposite. Two months ago after the Charleston church shooting, Jon Stewart dedicated over five minutes to speaking seriously from the heart about the tragedy and in turn the state of racism in America. No jokes, all honesty. So for that and every drool-laugh you've provided me, thank you, Jon, for saying what needed to be said and making the world seem a little less crazy. —Cinya Burton
No jokes. No quips. No sarcasm. Just the truth. That's what Stewart delivered with his must-watch monologue after the Charleston Church shootings. It was such a powerful moment from such a powerful person in Hollywood, one that most other TV personalities would frankly be too afraid to even touch. TV is going to be a little less brave tomorrow. Safe travels, Stewart. We'll miss you...though Fox News probably won't. —Tierney Bricker
Hands down the "How I Meteored Your Motherland" clip is my favorite segment of all time. —Mara Soldinger
Every piece he did on CNN, MSNBC and especially Fox News' coverage of events were my favorite. I would always fast-forward to those segments. His commentaries on CNN's Malaysian Airlines coverage was amazing.
His interview with Jim Cramer was one of the most awkward interviews I've ever watched. I am glad Jon did it, but I will always remember that being one of the most uncomfortable pieces in TV history. You started to feel really bad for Cramer who sat there and was grilled to death. —Baker Machado
I'm genuinely tearing up as I'm preparing to tune into Jon's final episode. I don't watch every night, and even when I do watch, I don't always watch the entire episode, but Jon Stewart has had a bigger impact on me than I can probably even explain. My parents and I have spent many years bonding over episodes, I got laughed at in college journalism classes when I presented The Daily Show as my favorite source of news, and I even flew to Washington D.C. on a whim to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, along with a hundred thousand other people. Jon Stewart has helped form both my sense of humor and the way I choose to look and laugh at the world, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I can't choose a favorite segment, so instead I give you Jon's incredible, inspirational, and hilarious closing speech from that 2010 rally.
Yes, we know Jon Stewart isn't dying, but an important chunk of most of our evenings definitely is, so we will mourn as we feel fit.
Goodbye, Jon. It's been a good 16 years.
Jon Stewart's final episode of The Daily Show airs Thursday at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central.