The Jon Stewart Effect

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With guest host John Donvan

After more than 16 years as America’s funny, biting and fake newsman, Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show. We’ll look back.

President Barack Obama, left, talks with Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" during a taping on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in New York. (AP)
President Barack Obama, left, talks with Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" during a taping on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in New York. (AP)

He is America’s premier fake newsman — or was till last night. Jon Stewart took his curtain call, with a status rarely achieved by a guy who calls himself a comedian. His going out was treated a national event, and with good reason. Stewart has been a critic, sometimes a conscience and always a touchstone, at least when he was at the desk of "The Daily Show." But he had a life before "The Daily Show," and he has a lot of career yet to come. Why he stopped now, and where he might go next. This hour on Point. Jon Stewart, before and yet to come.
-- John Donvan


Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Center for Television and Popular Culture at the Newhouse School of Communication.

Renee Graham, music and pop culture critic for NPR's Here & Now and op-ed contributor at the Boston Globe. (@reneeygraham)

Lisa Rogak, writer and author of "Angry Optimist: The and Times of Jon Stewart," among others. (@lisarogak)

From The Reading List

New Yorker: Exit, Stage Left — "Four nights a week for sixteen years, Jon Stewart, the host and impresario of Comedy Central’s 'The Daily Show,' has taken to the air to expose our civic bizarreries. He has been heroic and persistent. Blasted into orbit by a trumped-up (if you will) impeachment and a stolen Presidential election, and then rocketing through the war in Iraq and right up to the current electoral circus, with its commodious clown car teeming with would-be Commanders-in-Chief, Stewart has lasered away the layers of hypocrisy in politics and in the media."

Boston Globe: Jon Stewart’s game-changing legacy — "To call this the end of an era does a disservice to Stewart and the power of his influence during his brilliant 16-year run on Comedy Central. Many of us will sorely miss him and his weekday rants — including his recent wordless response, with Scooby-like grunting, to Mike Huckabee’s comments equating the US-Iran nuclear deal with the Holocaust — but his accomplishments aren’t leaving with him."

Washington Post: ‘Jon Stewart smoked us': How ‘The Daily Show’ raised the bar for other satirists — "The power of the visual. The punch of the verbal. Throughout his run, Stewart’s 'Daily Show' has deftly adopted some of the crucial tools wielded by political cartoonists for centuries — a trick that for 16 years has left numerous editorial artists with mixed emotions."

This program aired on August 7, 2015.



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