Jon Stewart’s Impact

31 Aug

Jon Stewart retired several weeks ago.  Usually I don’t talk about comedians on this blog, but I will for this post.  He did a lot for comedy, but he did just as much if not more for the news.  Jon Stewart turned a show about some news, into a show in which top authors, politicians, and actors wanted to appear.  He helped make the show more informative then most news networks.  His cultural impact can’t be understated.

I started watching the Daily Show regularly in late 2006 when I was in college.  The main reason I watched it was because it was funny and informative.  One of the other reasons I watched it was because of the field pieces.  It amazes me that even after The Daily Show became well-known they still were able to do field pieces where a person would agree to be interviewed knowing that they would look like fools.

The thing I will miss the most about him hosting the show is the way he would go toe to toe with people who considered themselves experts in their field, and he would match them.  One of the most famous instances was when he was on CNN’s Crossfire.  The hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson had him on the show to talk about his new book.  Tucker Carlson asked Stewart why he didn’t challenge Senator Kerry (who was running for president that year) more.  Jon Stewart countered by telling them that they haven’t been doing their job.  Crossfire was cancelled several months later.  (See the clip below)

Jon Stewart pointed out what was and still is wrong with our news media.  Campaigns and politicians boil things down to talking points as oppose to dealing with actual issues.  Part of the reason Donald Trump is leading the Republican primary for president is because he is a shiny object and the media likes to pay attention to shiny objects.  A shiny object is more interesting than what the media should be covering which are credentials and policy plans.  I actually find it sad that a show that is supposed to be comedy does a better job covering the news and challenging people then an actual news program.

Jon Stewart may be done hosting The Daily Show, but he has left his mark and has left people like him to pick up the torch.  Trevor Noah will be succeeding him as host of the Daily Show but John Oliver has in essence already taken Jon Stewart’s place on HBO. He mixes humor with social justice and challenges what is wrong with the system.  Many of Jon Stewart’s other correspondents have gone onto bigger things.  Stephen Colbert will be the new host of The Late Show.  The Daily Show also launched the careers of Steve Carell, Rob Corddry, Samantha Bee, and Jason Jones.  What will Trevor Noah’s legacy be?  We will have to wait and see.

  1. Jon Stewart on Crossfire


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