It’s official: Jon Stewart’s tenure as host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central is over. But he bid his fans farewell on Thursday (Aug. 5) with the sort of grace and levity viewers have come to expect over his 16 years on the show.
Though every minute of the hour-long episode is worth watching, here are 11 noteworthy moments from Stewart’s farewell.
11. Trevor Noah takes over ‘The Daily Show’ early
Even though this last episode was a tribute to the hostest with the mostest, Stewart and Co. didn't miss the opportunity to give their incumbent host, Trevor Noah, a little plug. A nonchalant-seeming Noah appeared in the background of Stewart's set with a tape measure, which he pretended to use to take measurements of walls, desks, chairs, etc.
10. Craig Kilborn always knew it would end like this
Original and all-but-forgotten "Daily Show" host Craig Kilborn popped up to give Stewart some final guff: "You're finally getting cancelled," says Kilborn, smugly, via a video feed from what appeared to be a library or sitting room of some sort. "I knew you'd run this thing into the ground."
9. Gitmo isn't getting out of Guantanamo with Stewart
Stewart couldn't close the curtain on his show without one last visit/chat with Gitmo, everyone's favorite
muppet Guantanomo-based correspondent Gitmo. The sweet, bearded little ball o' energy was at first excited to celebrate Stewart's departure, which he thought also meant he was getting out of actual GitMo but alas, he was not. "Gitmo. not. leaving? Only Jon Stewart? Motherf***er!"
8. Stewart's haters won't miss him (much)
As Taylor Swift said, "haters gonna hate," and so did the frequently-mocked frenemies of Stewart, who sucked up their pride and participated in a good-natured send-off for the host. The "haters" included: The CEO of Arby's, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Bill O'Reilly, John Kerry, Wolf Blitzer, Lindsey Graham and many more.
7. The correspondents return
Stewart kicked off his "The Daily Show" goodbye with a bang by reuniting 10 notable correspondents from over the years, including Steve Carell. “Becoming an international superstar was just something that I’ve been doing waiting for my next assignment,” he quips.
6. The final Moment of Zen
Who better to sing Stewart off than Bruce Springsteen? Sure, it wasn't a silly, mockery-worthy clip from US news, but it at least wasn't something for Stewart to roll his eyes at.
5. Wyatt Cenac buries the 'Daily Show' hatchet
When Wyatt Cenac revealed the racism fight between him and Stewart, he opened up new drama for "The Daily Show." But the duo made it clear in Stewart's farewell that things are cool between the pair, even though Cenac might not be willing to walk across the street on camera for their goodbye.
4. Stephen Colbert makes the ultimate Frodo reference
Yes, Stephen Colbert is the ultimate "The Lord of the Rings" nerd. Yes, he knows he is the Sam to Stewart's Frodo. Yes, Stewart didn't get the "LotR" reference (or at least he pretended like he didn't). It's excellent.
3. And then he makes you cry
Speaking for the entirety of the "Daily Show" cast, Colbert went off prompter to say thank you to Stewart. "We owe you," the new "Late Show" host says. "We learn from you. ... You are infuriatingly good at your job, OK?" It's OK, the tears are healthy.
2. Jon Stewart says goodbye
It was inevitable that Stewart would have an emotional goodbye. Thanking his family, his staff and his friends, the longtime "Daily Show" host got serious for the last time for the best cause.
1. 'Thank you, goodbye'
And then it was over. Goodbye, Jon Stewart. You will be missed.