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[ laughter ] >> jon stewart has left the building. >> welcome to "the daily show"! my name is jon stewart. we have a program for you tonight! >> "the daily show" may be fake news, but it makes a real impact. >> oppression. just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change. >> it's fresh and new and original and smart every night. >> and for a decade and a half, the force behind the machine was jon stewart. >> it became "did you watch jon stewart last night?" >> you're getting into a bad place, my friend. >> he will be revered as someone who blurred the lines between
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news and comedy. >> how the hell did we end up here, mr. cramer? >> and became the conscience of a generation. >> when he hit his stride, no one in public life or the media was safe. >> i believe that you helped the administration take us to, like, the most devastating mistake in foreign policy that we've made in like 100 years. but you seem lovely. [ laughter ] >> he's done a very good job in keeping people to task. he was relentless. >> he is so armed with facts and so armed with quips that they have no idea what's coming. >> some sword of weird bermuda triangle of logic where questions are answered before they're asked. >> after more than 2500 episodes, jon stewart has decided to move on. >> i won't miss me. >> he may be about the only person saying that. >> i think he's changed the media and politics more than he will ever admit. but what i will just miss is watching him on tv. >> i got big news!
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this is it! put a stamp on it! >> narrator: jon stewart has left the building. before jon stewart became the iconic host of "the daily show," in fact, before there was a "daily show" or comedy central, stewart moved to new york during the 1980s comedy boom to make a name for himself. by the early 1990s, he's a regular on the circuit. >> he's very cute and he's very smart and very funny. that's kind of all you can ask for in a comedian. just fun because you were watching someone at the height of their talents doing something they do incredibly well his comedy is very engaging and has a broader appeal as seen here at montreal's just for laughs comedy festival. >> if i have to sit through one more profile of a courageous
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athlete -- he's out there paddling his bloody torso for his country. he wants it bad. >> narrator: in 1992 he gets his start in television with the first of several assignments on the channel of the moment -- mtv. >> if you ever saw him do stand-up comedy, you knew this guy is very, very funny. the trick is how to channel that into a tv show. >> narrator: "the jon stewart show" premiers on mtv in 1939 and moves into syndication the following year. >> i saw the movie. >> you did? and? >> i didn't care for your role in it. >> narrator: but the show is hardly a hit. >> it was ahead of its time, in the wrong market, syndication. you have to be successful quickly or you're out. that show died a very long, slow, painful public death. >> narrator: he gets his shot at the movies, but the notices aren't stellar. >> i would say that it's a really good thing that''s great
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at what he does and that everybody's not always great as everything. >> i think he's his own toughest critic about his film acting. >> it called for -- there was supposed to be a divinely handsome man. and, i don't know, i guess they were all walking the cat walk that day or something, who knows? they couldn't find one so they got down to, i think, smart-ass, something like that. that was me. >> narrator: while stewart is trying his hand at the silver screen, comedy central is developing a new program called "the daily show.." >> when "the daily show" started they set out to do a half hour infotainment show based on something like sports center which is why they brought in craig kill born. >> the show premiered on july 22, 1996. >> give a reason to viewers, when something happens in the world they'll need to turn to comedy central to find out how we were going to spin whatever happened in the world. >> so we said, we're not going
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to do a show of jokes about the news, we're going to do a news show that's funny. >> narrator: the show lifts comedy central's ratings. in 1998, kiln born is selected to take over "the late late show" on cbs. jon stewart seems an unlikely replacement but the match is made nonetheless. >> when john was chose on the replace craig, it was surprising because i had seen his standup act and there wasn't -- really nothing political about it. >> i remember the writer saying "will he wear a suit?" and him getting really pissed that they would ask him that. and the funny thing about a suit is you can buy them in stores and when you put them on you're a guy wearing a suit. >> narrator: in december of 1998, the transition begins. >> tell me about that show for people who haven't seen it. >> it's a take on the news. it feels weird when you're doing a show that satirizes the news, you're almost cheering for chaos
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which is a very odd position to be in. >> narrator: the transition is complete on january 11, 1999, when the newly rebranded program "the daily show with jon stew t stewart" airs for the first time. welcome to "the daily show." craig is on assignment in kuala lumpur, i'm jon stewart. >> narrator: the show sees a modest increase in ratings, including the 18-34 demographic. >> welcome michael j. fox. give it up for ed mcmahon. >> at first it was guests in town to promote a movie or celebrities because they were celebrities or comedians. >> please welcome sarah jessica parker. please welcome sandra bullock. >> but it became apparent he wanted to talk to people with substance. to talk to people that had written books. >> he's got the background, he's got the interviews so he's doing reporting then he has his take on it. and it's happening at once and at a very high level and it's funny and goes fast.
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nobody can do that. >> presidential candidate steve forbes added his two billion cents calling the ruling "a flagrant example of judicial activism. i believe in traditional marriage." just like his dear old dad. >> what jon did was he instilled this idea that everything had to have a point of view. you couldn't just do a story for the sake of, oh, this is funny. it had to have a point of view. and he really wanted to go after the high targets. the people who were up on a pedestal and needed to be taken down. >> john was amazing in an edit room. you'd come back with a field piece and jon would say "move this there, move that there. change that piece of video." and you would go okay, grudgingly. then it's like, oh, wow, way better. >> jon came on, took it to a new level, gave it his voice. >> then we started to click in when the campaign started. >> narrator: he's been behind the desk for a year when it's time for the 2000 presidential campaign. the team launches "indecision
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2000." >> when steve carell and i were given access to john mccain's straight talk express during the new hampshire primary that was -- nobody had gotten access like that before. >> we couldn't really believe that we were getting the kind of access that we were. it was fun. >> in a moment i'm going to close my eyes and count down from ten, at which point my colleagues will scatter throughout the convention center. we just thought'd be the funnest way. >> people had to take us seriously even though we weren't taking ourselves seriously. politicians had to take "the daily show" seriously. >> at that moment we had to realize we have to do a good job, people are paying attention. as the 2000 campaign progressed, a lot of journalists and on-air people and a lot of the actual politicians started becoming fans. >> narrator: and then, on november 7, 2000, for the first
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time in the modern era, there is no clear winner after election day. >> so as you can see it's never going to end. [ laughter ] >> i think that the 2000 election was a turning point both for the show and for the way that the rest of the world specifically the media viewed the show. >> the indecision 2000 thing was -- it was like a gift from god. >> all right. florida legislature to name state's electors. among the names being considered "she di mcsteal for bush." >> it was where you saw a young guy with potential just pick up that baton and go running to the finish line and they pulled it off superbly. >> it seemed he was just kind of the perfect storm for that to happen and he was kind of the perfect guy to do it. he had the right mix of intelligence and humor. it became "did you watch jon
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stewart last night?" >> narrator: indecision 2001 considered so influential it wins the prestigious peabody award for public zblfs good luck with the emmies. >> thank you! >> congratulations on the peabody. >> it became a place you went to for news, not a place you went to to watch the news lampooned. i think the success of "indecision 2000" proved the show had something more to do than just make people laugh from 11:00 to 11:30. it was part of the national dialogue. >> narrator: coming up -- >> he went from being interesting to hot to unavoidable. >> narrator: when "jon stewart has left the building" continues.
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>> narrator: t"the daily show's weeks long indecision 2000 campaign coverage campaign jon stewart into the stratosphere. >> it seemed like a fun circus, innovative, it seemed unlike what other people were doing on tv. >> i'm not sure the role of the united states is to go around the world and say "this is the way it's got to be." [ laughter and applause ] >> all right. >> narrator: over the years, he develops a no holds barred approach. if you fumble or don't get your facts straight, stewart called you out. >> he has made news makers and politicians and people in the media conscious about what their gaffes are. maybe more conscientious to try to avoid gaffes. you see people do stuff and then articulate "oh, that's going to end up on "the daily show."" >> but resist we much -- we must, and we will much about that -- be committed. >> that was either a screwup or some profound yoda [ bleep ].
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>> he would hit me on a gaffe and it would be funny but it would also kind of nudge you. sometimes it would be something just totally comical or sometimes it would be almost like, "you know you can do better than that reverend al" and you take it a ha ha, yeah, i better sharpen that up. but you never took it personally. >> narrator: but stewart's talents extend far beyond poking fun at politicians and the media. his audience also comes to depend on him as a reliable source of information. >> you know, if i wanted to pick out one thing that best exemplifies our countries peculiar relationship with guns it might be that the phrase "minor shooting incident" exists. [ laughter ] >> jon stewart became a voice for left-leaning liberals and intelligent ones. but not ones who were just going to follow blindly. they were going to question everything at every step of the way, whether it was the other
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party or their own. they were like wait a minute, why are we doing this? and even worse, why are they doing that. >> here we are, progress, chaos created by one's own incompetence that is portrayed as a result of others malfeasance. [ laughter and applause ] that's just bad dictionary right there. >> international news for the last 10, 15 years has been incredibly depressing. it's been a tough time and i think a lot of people wanted to tune it out. but jon stewart could make people smile. he could make them realize, yes, what's going on overseas is complicated and dangerous and depressing but i'm going to tell it to you in a way that makes you laugh. that got people engaged? >> every year it would come out that young people got ul their news from "the daily show" or most of their news from "the daily show" and there was all this hand wringing that was something wrong with that. what was behind that, though, is that he seems trustworthy and part of that trust, that turned him as a comedian into a trusted
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source of news, part of that trust was emotional trust. that you actually have to believe in his authentic, human take on whatever it is he's talking about. >> narrator: with a loyal and growing following, a who's who from hollywood to washington, d.c. and everywhere in between starts to take notice. >> this just in, brokaw interviewed by jackass. >> nailed it! >> "the daily show" became a destination for people who have serious political ambition and that, i think, it was amazing thing and that's a tribute to jon and the intel zwroens the writers on the show. >> he has one of the largest followings and viewerships in america. if you want votes or ticket buyers or people to buy your book or whatever it is that you are trying to get to, he has a dependable mass base. so he became -- he went from being interesting to hot to
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unavoidable. >> narrator: stewart is not only admired by his fans but by his peers as well. >> jon knows his stuff. he doesn't go into an interview not knowing his stuff. >> jon actually read all of the author's books he had on the show, which is crazy. he reads a book like people look through menus or pamphlets. >> i remember going on "the daily show" once when my book came out. i wrote a book called "drift" on national security issues. >> you appear to have invested a great deal of research in this. >> yeah, i treated it like a second job, kind of. >> it's making everybody look bad is what i'm saying. i don't think any of us appreciate that in any way, shape or form. >> not only had he read the book, but he had read the other books in the field that i thought were relevant to, you know, the sort of context of what i'd written about. there's no substitute for doing that work. and for doing your own thinking and coming up with your own analysis. and that's, i think, in part why he has been so consistently engaging for all of these years.
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which is that he was bringing something new to the table every single night and it was his own take on the issue and that'ser replaceable. >> hello and are you ready to restore sanity? [ cheers and applause ] >> narrator: in 2010, jon stewart takes his wildly popular show on the road. more than 200,000 attend the rally to restore sanity and/or fear in washington, d.c. co-hosted by stewart and stephen colbert. >> we work together to get things done every damn day. [ cheers and applause ] >> narrator: stewart slams washington and the media. >> the only place we don't is here or on cable tv. >> he had the ability to really step up and challenge himself at calling out the rest of the
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media for not doing its job properly. >> if we amplify everything, we hear nothing. >> narrator: jon stewart has something to say and millions are listening. >> we're live. welcome to night of too many stars. >> narrator: in 2006, stewart begins using his popularity to further a charitable cause. each year, stewart calls on his celebrity friends to help raise money for autism. the night of too many stars has so far raised $18 million. >> everyone -- >> narrator: while jon stewart is publicly shining a light on a cause he holds dear, there is another charitable effort taking place, much more privately. to provide professional opportunities to u.s. war veterans. >> a corporation called american corporate partners reached out to jon stewart and asked him to mentor one veteran. >> narrator: american corporate partners is a not-for-profit
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organization that connects veterans like august stenell to business leaders. >> jon stewart said "don't give me one, give me 24 and i want to take them through the daily show program and teach them what we do here." >> narrator: "the daily show" veteran immersion program is born and donell is one of the first to work beside jon stewart and his staff. to date, more than 70 veterans have worked with john and the program. >> jon stewart was one of the people that worked for us. it's amazing to know that there are people that do care about veterans, that will do things above and beyond to help them succeed. >> narrator: coming up, on the air after a national tragedy. >> we're all standing around looking like, okay, who's going to be the first one to start crying. >> narrator: when "jon stewart has left the building" continues. a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future.
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that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet? . >> narrator: for 16 years, jon stewart has made his "daily
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show" audience laugh but he also made them think. >> they felt he was not watering down the news. he was given it in a language that everyone understood intergenerationally, young people could understand it but old people didn't have to ask their kids what did he mean by that. nas >> narrator: jon stewart's popularity grows and it becomes a news maker itself. >> he had one great advantage, everyone wanted to be on his show. >> because he had that power, he could ask people anything, and he usually did. >> when guests came on, almost everything they did made some news and it sort of powered a million blogs the next morning. >> all the candidates want to be on even though i'm sure they're afraid. >> i think i know whose side they're on. >> no, they're on america's side. [ cheers and applause ] >> obama in particular has been funny when he was on there. >> if you could, i'd like you to hope up some of these very common phrases that people hear.
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[ laughter ] >> "i'm calling to ask if you're happy with your cell phone service." [ laughter ] >> i'm calling to find out if you're happy with your cell phone service. [ cheers and applause ] >> well done, sir. >> there's sump an oe affirmative actionness to our presidents now, you don't feel like you know the person but when they're fooling around with jon stewart, maybe they have a sense that people see the other side of them. >> i'm issuing a new executive order that jon stewart cannot leave the show. [ cheers and applause ] . >> narrator: jon stewart is taken seriously not only because he's popular but because he sheds light on issues in a way no one else does. >> people retain information more when it entertains them. so if you can get an important idea across to me and make me laugh at the same time, i'm
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going to remember it. >> narrator: here he tackles george w. bush's handling of the economy. >> it's interesting what the price of gasoline has done is it caused people to drive less. the marketplace works. >> it's interesting what the mortgage crisis has done. it's getting more people to live outside. [ laughter ] marketplace works. >> narrator: stewart isn't afraid to challenge politicians on hot topics like climate change. >> how long will it take for the sea level to rise two feet? i mean, think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass, it doesn't overflow, it's displacement. this is some of the things they're talking about mathematically and scientifically don't make sense. >> are you [ bleep ]ing kidding me? are you [ bleep ]ing kidding me? >> narrator: stewart is an early critic of the iraq war, which is waged through much of his run as host of "the daily show" is. >> let's start with our continuing coverage of mess o'
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potamia. >> he was always asking us to look into where is the evidence, run the evidence by me one more time, i'm not sure i understand it. that's what journalists felt like they wished they had done in retrospect is questioned what's the impetus for this. >> by the way, you can have these memorable screwups and just call now and order "now that's what i call being completely [ bleep ]ing wrong about iraq." >> narrator: sometimes even for jon stewart there is no punch line. >> jon stewart allowed himself the vulnerability of being emotional at times and not even knowing how to deal with it except allowing these emotions to come out. >> and sometimes his authentic human take is sad or speechless or moved in a way that makes him not want to be funny. >> i didn't do my job today. so i apologize. i got nothing for you in terms of, like, jokes and sounds. because of what happened in south carolina. >> this wasn't a gimmick.
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this wasn't something that he was conjuring up. he had nothing and then we went there with him because we had nothing. >> i honestly have nothing. other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal yet we pretend doesn't exist. >> i think that captured a sort of weariness in america about guns, about mass shootings, about violence. he just shared in our exhaustion with it all and there's something disarming about that. >> narrator: perhaps the most difficult moment in the show's history -- finding the right words after 9/11. >> there's no other way to really start this show than to ask you at home the question that we asked the audience here tonight and that we've asked everybody that we know here in
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new york since september 11 and this is "are you okay?" >> when jon spoke from the heart and didn't go for the joke, it was moving but its strength was that it gauged exactly what we needed at that moment. >> any fool can destroy, but to see these guys, these firefighters, these policemen and people from all over the country literal ly with buckets rebuilding, that -- that is -- that's extraordinary. and that's why we've already won. >> we're all watching the show being taped and we're all standing around looking like, okay, who's going to be the first one to start crying. >> the view from my apartment was the world trade center.
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and now it's gone and they attacked it. this symbol of american ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce and it's gone. but you know what the view is now? the statue of liberty. >> it was a really terrible, terrible time in new york and i think what he did was really brave and eloquent and heart felt and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. >> the view from the south of manhattan is now the statue of liberty. you can't beat that. >> it was really like one of those moments where, like, you're never going to forget it for the rest of your life. >> we'll be right back. [ applause ] i've smoked a lot
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here's what's happening. president obama says wildfires burning in western u.s. states are growing more severe because of climate change. he also says the wildfire season is getting longer. employers added 215,000 jobs to payrolls last month. fewer than expected. the unemployment rate held steady at 5.3%. chuck schumer, the number three democrat in the senate, has come out against the nuclear deal with iran saying there's a strong case we're better off without it. back to our program. >> narrator: one thing we've learned during jon stewart's tenure at "the daily show" is if you're defying his logic, he'll trick you down. >> sometimes it's uncomfortable to watch but i don't think it's happened in a case where you could really seriously argue that it wasn't just a little bit deserved. >> narrator: no one is off limits -- even world leaders like former pakistani president
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pervez musharraf. >> last time you were herer asked you where osama bin laden was. funny story. [ laughter ] as it turns out, he was there. [ laughter ] so -- [ laughter ] -- that was weird. >> narrator: stewart also confronts journalists like judith miller. >> i believe that you helped the administration take us to, like, the most devastating mistake in foreign policy that we've made in 100 years. but you seem lovely. [ laughter ] >> he's done a very good job at keeping people to task. he was relentless. the more they would dig in firing back he would dig in going after them. so he couldn't be intimidated. >> narrator: stewart isn't even intimidated by some of america's sacred institutions like chicago-style pizza. >> this is not pizza! this is tomato soup in a bread
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bowl! this is an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats. >> narrator: through the years no one person or sbi city a bigger tar let of "the daily show" is a bigger target than fox news. >> your job is to discredit any source of criticism that might hurt the conservative brand. >> fox news is the gift that keeps on giving. you almost think it's fake. you kind of -- you think, boy, you have good comedy writers. it's chilling but it's funny. >> by the way for all your kids watching at home, santa just is white but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black santa but, you know, stan is what he is and so you mow we're just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids. >> i think if anything made him angry it would be when he could point out that somebody's just saying something that's a blatant lie or completely wrong and you could feel that anger and fury coming out. >> chaos on bull [ bleep ] mountain! >> narrator: in one episode, jon
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spends the entire show impersonating the antics of then fox news host glenn beck. >> i'm not saying believing there should be a minimum standard for how much lead can be in our paint might lead to for the government to have the right to sterilize and kill jews, i'm not saying that might be the case, i'm saying that's the case. >> narrator: but his favorite sparring partner at fox is bill o'reilly. >> like anyone else, i love the o'reilly interviews. they are crazy television. >> you and i are lucky guys. we made it, we worked hard. it's not because we're white! oh, you think i'm sitting here because i'm white? what are you morons? i'm sitting here because i'm obnoxio obnoxious, not because i'm white. >> when the sword is so sharp as someone as jon has, it's funny washing someone get shishkebobs. >> did that upbringing leave a mark on you today? >> of course, every june bringing leaves a mark. >> great.
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could black people live in levittown? >> not at that time, they could not. >> so that, my friend, is what we call in the business white privilege. >> he was honestly interested in engaging with o'reilly about what o'reilly does and some things where he wanted to make him answer for that. >> you ain't seen nothing yet. >> narrator: the far right seems like an obvious source of material, but sometimes the left gets hit just as hard. >> we were an equal opportunity offender which meant that if there was bad behavior we were going to comment on it and we weren't really -- we would happily cross political and party lines. >> that's the case when secretary of health and human services kathleen sebelius stops by to discuss the rollout of the obamacare web site. >> we'll do a challenge. i'm going to try and download every movie ever made -- [ laughter ] >> -- and you're going try to sign up for obamacare and we'll see which happens first. [ laughter ] >> i think what makes jon
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stewart so powerful is that he can look at what his own people are doing and say "hello? what are we doing? and honestly that's the important thing if you're going to be a pundit, you have to look at every -- particularly if you're going to be a funny pundit. >> narrator: one of stewart's most infamous confrontations comes on march 12, 2009, when cn cnbc "mad money" host jim cramer takes the seat in the wake of one of the biggest american financial crises to date. >> how the hell did we end up here, mr. cramer? what happened? >> i don't know. i don't know. >> i think john was trying to channel this national sense of anger at everything that happened so when jim cramer got in that room, he was the embodiment of everything that jon wanted to take down and boy did he take him down. >> it feels like we are capitalizing your adventure by our pension and a harder -- and this it is a game that you know,
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that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn't happening. [ applause ] >> when jon is faced with someone that is infuriating and you're thinking sic 'em, john, sic 'em. >> listen, you knew what the banks were doing and yet were touting it for months and months. the entire network was. so now to pretend this was some sort of crazy once in a lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst. >> he is so armed with facts and he's so armed with clips that they have no idea what's coming. >> we've made mistakes, you have 17 hours of live tv a day to do. but i certainly -- >> maybe you could cut down on that. [ laughter ] >> narrator: coming up, "the daily show's" cast of correspondents bring big laughs. >> he had this sort of amazing combination of arrogance and stupidity which it just worked perfectly together.
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>> narrator: when "jon stewart has left the building" continues. to folks out there whose diabetic nerve pain...
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>> narrator: jon stewart has played a major role in redefining how the public gets its news. but "the daily show" was never a one-man show. >> let me assure my viewers that from now on there will be no pussying out. >> ladies, am i right? what's up. >> my sources tell me if he doesn't win his mother has said she will stop loving him. [ laughter ] many of the show's on air correspondents have gone on to become major players in hollywood and on tv. steve carell, ed helms, john oliver, stephen colbert and countless others all rose to
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fame after cutting their teeth sharing airtime with stewart. >> when jon came on,corresponded people to play off of. >> jon is front and center but he let all of us shine. >> even i felt gay buying a ticket to this movie. >> i got to work with steve carell and stephen colbert. and colbert and carell were two of the most naturally funny people i ever met in my life. >> they were so effortlessly -- bam, every time. every writer was like "give it to a steve, give it to a steve." >> in what seemed like a good idea at the time, we tested the effects of massive quantities of alcohol on a human subject. >> specifically, steve carell. >> they did an anti-drinking piece where we just went out and locked off the camera and carell drank and drank and drank and drank until he was actually really drunk. >> it's now 10:35. >> 10:35. >> steve has had one, two, three, four, five, six seven
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drinks and he's -- >> seven drinks. >> steve carell had this sort of amazing combination of arrogance and stupidity which it just worked perfectly together. >> senator, how do you reconcile the fact that you were one of the most vocal critics of pork barrel politics and yet while you were chairman of the commerce committee that committee set a record for unauthorized appropriations? i was just kidding! i was just kidding! no, i don't even know what that means! >> colbert found found his persona and ran with it. >> have you had a chance to go to disneyworld? >> actually i didn't make it on this trip. >> did you have a chance to go to universal studios? >> no, i missed those fund-raisers. >> have you had a chance to lie to congress? >> you know, you -- i -- >> narrator: when colbert was given his turn at the anchor desk, fans and producers took notice. >> jon left for a few months to
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do a movie called "death to smoochie" and the correspondents were given their night to fill in for jon. >> welcome to "the daily show" with jon stewart, ironically, i'm stephen colbert. >> and we're watching and we're like this guy should have his own show. he hit it out of the park. >> if my presence here makes the fake news you're about to hear any less credible, i've done my job. >> to see a guy who had that many comedic skills give us a chance to show us what he has was magic. >> narrator: "the steves" may be a-listers now, but how they landed on a little cable show in the late '90s is the stuff of legend. >> this agent called me up and said "i'm going to send you a tape of this guy named stephen colbert." it was a sketch called "waiters who are nauseated by food" from the short-lived dana carvy show. >> we have a milk fed feel with a mint jelly that -- ugh. that -- that comes with
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asparagus tips in an olive caper sauce. >> i took one look and called the guy back and said "when can he start?" >> narrator: two seasons later "the daily show" was looking if more talent. >> i called back and i knew it was crazy and i said "do you have another stephen colbert?" he said "go back to the tape you loved so much and check out the waiter in the back." >> today's seafood is flounder. >> that's his best friend and performing partner from second city, steve carell. and the rest, as they say, is history. >> but everybody was great, i worked with lance degeneres, mo rocca, beth littleford, they had different personas. >> i loved working with beth because she had this great combination of sincerity and sarcasm. >> you know, jon, it's an american tradition. i mean, how can a young girl expect to gain any self-esteem if she isn't allowed to be judged as she parades around in
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a bathing suit twirl ago baton? >> i liked the barbara walters parodies i did. >> we would put vaseline on the lens even though we didn't need to. >> i've sat down with my fair share of dysfunctional child stars -- todd bridge, gary coleman, a very bitter david cassidy. boy george and i had fun. have you ever thought about settling down, marrying nicole kidman and adopting a couple of kids. >> ooh! >> narrator: the crack team of fake reporters helped make "the daily show" appointment television, tackling any topic from race relations -- >> you're saying in these times the new face of criminality is now white? >> i'm glad you're finally admitting you thought it was black. niert terrorism. >> we're trying to do a thing where we say iranians hate americans. can you do that for me? >> narrator: to taxes. >> new jersey has the highest property tax in the nation. >> i know and what are you getting for it because this is an awful state. >> exactly. >> we hired great people and they went on to greatness. >> the correspondents on that
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show has such a great platform to establish who they are, what their voice is, what their point of view is. so i would imagine anyone who's been on that show and has shown how funny they can be has a really big future in front of them. >> narrator: so, yes, behind every great host is a great cast of characters and no one knows that better than the man himself. >> when you look at the talent that's passed through these doors, it had been hard to screw this show up. i just want to thank everybody who lent their talents to this program. it meant the world. [ cheers and applause ] >> narrator: >> a big part of his legacy will be jon stewart executive producer, jon stewart as launcher of careers. >> what you want is a leader who's able to mentor people on the show and not feel jealous when their talent begins to rise and i think instead of being upset or competitive about that, he felt pride in that. and that, i think, is what a leader is. >> thank you very much. >> oh, no, thank you, jon! >> narrator: coming up, jon says his final "daily show" good-bye
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you are retiring at the top of their game like most people wish they could go out. you're going to spend all this time with your kids. i'm telling you right now, it could be two months from now, six months from now, six weeks from now, you'll be on that farm in new jersey with your family hanging out and your kids will turn to you and say "dad, we love you, get a [ bleep ]ing job." [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] >> narrator: after 16 years, more than 2500 episodes, 20 emmys and two peabody awards, the curtain has closed on "the daily show" with jon stewart. his last show raises more than $2 million for new york collaborates for autism in a raffle-like drawing to attend the final taping. as jon stewart leaves the set,
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adoring fans are left to wonder "what's next?" some believe it will be a stab as a career of a movie director. >> i'm going shoot an amazing story that began with a field piece. >> narrator: in 2013, jon stewart took an extended hiatus from "the daily show," 12 weeks, to direct his first movie "rosewater." >> i got the sense from what i read that jon stewart enjoyed his first directorial debut as a filmmaker and i wouldn't be surprised if we hear more of that. i hope he takes a vacation then figures out what he wants to do but certainly there will be people who can't wait to see what he does next. >> he's been doing this show for 17 years so he probably -- first thing he'll probably do is rest. >> you want to take some time to remember what your family looks like and enjoy these things called evenings. >> so many are curious. what will the new "daily show" look like in the hands of a relatively unknown south african
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comic, trevor noah. >> welcome to "the daily show" request me, trevor noah! >> i'm excited to see what the new "daily show" is. seeing a new point of view is always exciting the smart thing they're doing the daily show is not trying to reinvent it. >> hey, trevor, could you give us like 20 more minutes. >> it will be exciting to see what trevor noah brings to it. >> trevor noah is funny and smart and really likable and that's what we need. >> i hope it goes well. >> narrator: of course "the daily show" has transitioned before. but following jon stewart many feel trevor noah has big shoes to fill. >> jon stewart from soup to nuts in terms of the way that show is orchestrated is so good. night after night for so long. i think he's changed media and
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politics more than people admit. but what i will miss is watching him on tv. >> i think he'll be remembered as someone who helped young people get through this horrible period that has been the 9/11 generation. >> i think that he will be always revered as someone who blurred the lines between news and comedy and who became the conscienceover a generation. >> every once in a while you see an original and jon stewart is an original. >> guess what? i've got big news. this is it! this is the final episode! >> narrator: on thursday night that original signed off "the daily show" on comedy central for the very last time. >> i'll never forget you, jon. but i will be trying. >> good riddance, smart ass. >> and just when i'm running for president. what a bummer. >> see you, pipsqueak. >> have fun feeding your
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rabbits, quitter. >> i'm jon stewart, i'm dumb, i'm stupid, nyah, nyah, nyah." so long, you jackass. >> i have been asked and have the privilege to say something to you not in the prompter right now. >> please don't do this. >> jon you said never to thank you because we owe you nothing. it's one of the few times i've known you to be dead wrong. we owe you and we are better people for having known you. you are a great artist and a good man. >> i've worked in a lot of different atmospheres at varying levels of toxicity and this is the most beautiful place i've ever been and i'll never have that gone. and i had to come to terms with that before leaving knowing what i was walking away from. >> narrator: the end of an era, comedian, writer, producer, director, actor and critic. >> guys, let me make something clear, i'm not dying.
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[ laughter ] >> narrator: jon stewart has left the building. >> we open the gates, lock up. >> i'm not disappointed in anything, i've made decisions that i've made, you have to be a strong-minded individual. >> i have seen staff die. >> i have lost over a pint and a half of blood and the doctor said i don't know how much i can help y

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