The Daily Show, Jon Stewart


"We all still remain alive."

Do we, though? Do we all still remain alive after that brutal hour of not quite saying goodbye?

Jon Stewart has officially signed off of The Daily Show for the last time after giving us pretty much everything we could have wanted.

Of course, one of the things we wanted was for Jon Stewart to cover those ridiculous GOP debates from earlier this evening, but that's a thing we won't be getting ever again, and that's just an unfortunate reality we'll have to accept.

Instead of covering any particular topic, Stewart's hour-long final show brought us, among many things, cameos from literally every former Daily Show correspondent. Their introductions took up the first twenty minutes of the show, but every moment was totally worth it. Darth Vader appeared to confront Jon about comparing him to Dick Cheney. Kristen Schaal dressed up because she thought Trevor Noah had already taken over. Steve Carell and Nancy Carell revealed that all Daily Show correspondents have just been waiting for their next assignment.

Even Wyatt Cenac appeared, live from what appeared to be across the street, to patch things up with his former boss after he had been in the news recently for some comments he had made.

"Are you good?" Stewart asked.

"I'm good. Are you good?" Cenac replied.

"Yeah I'm good."

Even a whole bunch of Stewart's (mostly Republican) haters made brief appearances to express their joy at Stewart's retirement, and John Oliver arrived to deliver one of the night's best lines:

"What the f—k is a commercial? You're talking madness, boy!"

Jon Stewart

Comedy Central

Then, the night's first real punch to the gut arrived in the form of Stephen Colbert.

First, Colbert explained that he was Sam and Jon was Frodo, and Jon tried to cut to commercial. Colbert had other plans.

"You can't stop anyone because they don't work for you anymore!" he yelled as Stewart basically tried to hide under his desk.

Then, Colbert delivered a beautiful speech, thanking Jon in a way he had never been able to do before, because Jon had always said that no one had anything to thank him for.

"Here's the thing, Jon," Coblert began. "You said to me and many other people to never thank you because we owe you nothing. It is one of the few times I've known you to be dead wrong. We owe  you—and not just what you did for our career by employing us to come on this tremendous show that you made—we owe you because we learned from you. We learned from you by example how to do a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect. You were infuriatingly good at your job."

You can watch the whole speech below, and you should, because watching a sincere Stephen Colbert drive Jon Stewart to tears is a thing that you need in your life.

After a big group hug and a commercial break, Jon honored every single person who works for him by taking us on a Goodfellas-style tour through the office and studio, introducing every employee and giving them all a little part to play, including a mildly angry Martin Scorsese. 

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert

Comedy Central

Of course, Jon couldn't leave us without a few more words of wisdom, and honestly his final speech might go down as his greatest speech of all time, and when you're talking about 17 years and more than 2600 episodes filled with speeches, that is some high praise.

"Bullsh-t is everywhere," the speech began. "There is very little you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bullsh-t—not all of it bad. General day-to-day free-range is often necessary, or at least innocuous."

The glorious, four-minute masterpiece continued with Drake and Meek Mill references, iTunes user agreement jokes, and just a general exploration of all the bullsh-t we encounter in our every day lives, and will now be left to encounter without being able to rely on Jon Stewart to get us through it.

"We can't do anything because we don't yet know everything," he continued. "We cannot take action on climate change until everyone in the world agrees gay marriage vaccines won't cause our children to marry goats who are going to come for our guns. Now, the good news is this: bullsh-tters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected. And looking for it is a pleasant way to pass the time, like an "I Spy" of bullsh-t. I say to you tonight friends, the best defense against bullsh-t is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something." 

Stewart closed out the night by refusing to say goodbye. Instead, he thanked his family for showing him what joy is, and said he was going out for a drink. He's just putting a pause in the conversation after hogging it for so long.

It's a nice sentiment, but honestly Jon, we'd let you talk for the rest of our lives if you'd agree to just keep talking.

We were, in all seriousness, crying very hard by the time Jon threw to his last moment of Zen, which was truly his moment: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, playing Land of Hopes and Dreams.

There was no better way to end this, if it had to end at all. 

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