Over eight years after he left “The Daily Show,” beloved host Jon Stewart is making a triumphant return to the Comedy Central series. Starting in February, Stewart is back as host of “The Daily Show” every Monday and will be serving as an executive producer on the series through at least 2025.
Stewart’s return is serendipitous as he left “The Daily Show” just before the 2016 presidential election kicked into gear, and days after Donald Trump announced his run for president. Stewart famously mocked Trump’s entry into the race, but of course what began as a joke soon became our reality when Trump was elected in 2016.
Now, ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Stewart is back in the “Daily Show” drivers seat and fans are delighted. Stewart was a treasured host of the series for over 15 years, and viewers are eager to see him bring his mix of humor and passion back to the politically minded comedy show.
Which got us thinking about all the times Stewart made waves on the series. Below, we’ve rounded up some of Jon Stewart’s most iconic “Daily Show” moments to revisit ahead of his return on Feb. 12. So sit back, grab some Arby’s and enjoy.
As shows were slow to return to the airwaves in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “The Daily Show” finally came back and Stewart delivered a sober, emotional monologue that became instantly iconic. Holding back tears, Stewart talked through the candid feelings he was having in a way that made everyone feel a little less lonely. Empathy has always been Stewart’s strong suit, and it was on full display in this moment.
First Responders Interview
Stewart’s passion continued to fuel his tenure on “The Daily Show” as he set an entire episode around first responders suffering from the effects of the 9/11 attacks when the Senate was filibustering a bill that would have compensated those suffering health problems. It was a bold challenge that broke from the show’s traditional format to give a platform to those suffering.
Go F—k Yourself Choir
In 2010, in the midst of Stewart’s ongoing battle with Fox News, he brought out a choir to sing a wholehearted “Go f—k yourself” to the network.
Stewart Slams Jim Cramer
While headlines of “Jon Stewart Slams X” were frequent throughout his tenure on “The Daily Show,” never was this more accurate than his 2009 interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. Stewart pinned Cramer for his responsibility and complicity in the 2008 financial crisis, and to each response from Cramer, Stewart had a clip at the ready to rebut him using his own words. This exemplified that not only was Stewart a great host, he was also a dogged interviewer as well.
Talking About Israel
When Israel was attacked by Hamas in October 2023 and the conversation around Israel and Palestine turned charged, a clip of Stewart tackling the subject of Israel on “The Daily Show” resurfaced. The clip was from a segment that aired in 2014 and tackled just how difficult it was to talk about Israel or Palestine without incurring the wrath of either side.
The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
“The Daily Show” had many sojourns outside the Comedy Central program over the years, but Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was one of the biggest. While it seems quaint now, the idea was to rally against the idea that America is inherently a divided country. “We are presuming that 75-85% of the country are reasonable people that get along, they may not agree on things, and the other 15% control it,” Stewart said on Larry King at the time. The event drew a packed crowd on the National Mall.
While not a “Daily Show” clip, Stewart’s appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire” in 2004 catapulted his stature when he took aim at Tucker Carlson and the network for stoking divisiveness for ratings. Ostensibly invited as a guest, Stewart took the opportunity to explain everything wrong with Carlson and CNN. The appearance turned contentious, ending with Stewart saying to Carlson, “You know what’s interesting? You’re as big a dick on your show as you are on television.”
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