Before Jon Stewart signs off as host of The Daily Show for the last time Thursday night, his latest team of crack correspondents interrupted his impromptu game of five-finger fillet to present a poignant, moving tribute, “A Man Who Was on TV.”
Jordan Klepper, Jessica Williams and Hasan Minhaj gamely ran down the straight facts about Stewart’s remarkable tenure as host of The Daily Show: From 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Stewart said words, played sound bites and then said more words, each moment captured on videotape via camera and the microphone pinned to his jacket.
“Jon,” Klepper remarked, “everyone that turned on this show saw you, except for that one summer when they saw a taller, British you.”
“So Jon, it’s with our eyes that we take one last look at all the times you were here,” Williams continued, before rolling the rose-colored clip, which primarily comprised questionably worded Daily Show segments, like: “Come On Jon Stewart,” “Jon Stewart Looks at Kids’ Junk” and “Jon Stewart Rectally Penetrates Congress’s A$$hole.”
Other highlights from the trip down memory lane include Stewart’s brilliantly awful George W. Bush impression, the quack that signified Dick Cheney and his various slap boxing bouts with former correspondents (and Denis Leary). Fittingly, the montage closed with a compilation of Stewart’s New Jersey wise guy voice, including his recreation of Joe Pesci’s “Funny like a clown” diatribe from Goodfellas, which he once gleefully recited while placing his feet, in giant red shoes, on his desk.
Stewart closed out his penultimate episode as host of The Daily Show with an interview with Louis C.K., who warmly said, “I’m thrilled to be your last dude. I came on behalf of comedy to say, you know, nice job.”
While C.K. was technically on to promote his new stand-up special, Live at Madison Square Garden, he and Stewart discussed their days as burgeoning comedians at the Comedy Cellar in New York. “You were one of the first guys I ever saw there,” C.K. told Stewart. “You were so great. I was like, who’s this little Jew? He’s funny.”
“That was the original title of my act,” Stewart cracked. “Little Funny Jew. It was like a Fievel thing, I would dress up in overalls.”