The Last Episode of The Daily Show

Last night was Jon Stewart’s last night of hosting The Daily Show, something he had done for the last 16 plus years.

I watched The Daily show here and there when Craig Kilborn was the host, and sporadically when Stewart took over, but Ali and I became faithful viewers during the year before the 2008 election. We’ve watched almost every episode for over seven years, and next week without the show is going to be very weird.

Stewart changed direction of The Daily Show on their first day back after the September 11th attacks with this emotional monologue:

After that night, Jon Stewart turned The Daily Show into our checks and balance on not only the government, but the media reporting on the government.

The Daily Show called out all politicians, the cable news networks and their anchors on their misinformation and lousy reporting. He would shame them when the cable news networks would rush to report on a story to be first, while seldom being right.

There were no checks in place to make them accountable on their faulty reporting because as soon as we learned the facts they (the media) had already moved on to the next story. With Stewart around, he could call out CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC when this happened. And he did, often.

The Daily Show launched spinoffs such as The Colbert Report, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (who puts all their clips on YouTube), and while Colbert will be moving on to replace David Letterman this fall, these shows were just as important as The Daily Show. Specifically Last Week Tonight which does a weekly format show with a deep dive into one topic. Many credit his show on the topic of the FCC and Net Neutrality with introducing the topic to a large audience after it went viral online. This awareness helped push the FCC towards fully supporting Net Neutrality much to the chagrin of Internet service providers and Republicans in Congress.

Last night, Jon Stewart had one last monologue, and it was about bullshit.

This is his legacy. Don’t accept things as they are presented by politicians or the media, because somewhere, someone has tainted the story to fit their needs, views, or advertisers.

Then, in the only way Stewart could end his last episode of The Daily Show, he introduced Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to close it down with. The song Stewart requested? Land of Hope and Dreams off of the incredible Wrecking Ball album.

Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen

Grab your ticket and your suitcase
Thunder’s rollin’ down this track
Well, you don’t know where you’re goin’ now
But you know you won’t be back
Well, darlin’ if you’re weary
Lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry
Yeah, and we’ll leave the rest

Big wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

Well, I will provide for you
And I’ll stand by your side
You’ll need a good companion now
For this part of the ride
Leave behind your sorrows
Let this day be the last
Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine
And all this darkness past

Big wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Oh meet me in a land of hope and dreams

This train…
Carries saints and sinners
This train…
Carries losers and winners
This Train…
Carries whores and gamblers
This Train…
Carries lost souls
This Train…
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train…
Faith will be rewarded
This Train…
Hear the steel wheels singin’
This Train…
Bells of freedom ringin’
This Train…
Carries broken-hearted
This Train…
Thieves and sweet souls departed
This Train…
Carries fools and kings
This Train…
All aboard

This Train…
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train…
Faith will be rewarded
This Train…
Hear the steel wheels singin’
This Train…
Bells of freedom ringin’

This Train…
People get ready
Don’t need no ticket
All you gotta do is
Just get on board

On board this train

This song so echoes Stewart’s message after September 11th. The dream of America is not lost. We can achieve it by helping each other out. We’ll get there.

You can watch Jon Stewart’s last Daily Show in full here.