Jon Stewart: Wikis


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Jon Stewart
Stewart - USO-Metro Merit Awards 2.jpg
Stewart performing at a 2008 USO show
Birth name Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz
Born November 28, 1962 (1962-11-28) (age 47)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, television, film, books
Nationality American
Years active 1987–present
Genres Satire/political satire/news satire, observational comedy
Subject(s) Mass media/news media/Media criticism, American politics, current events, religion, Jewish culture, race relations, human sexuality, self-deprecation
Influences George Carlin,[1] Woody Allen,[2] Lenny Bruce,[3] David Letterman,[4] Steve Martin,[5] Richard Pryor[6]
Influenced Stephen Colbert,[7] Steve Carell
Spouse Tracey Stewart (née McShane)
Notable works and roles Host of The Daily Show
America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
Emmy Awards
Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program

2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 The Daily Show
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 The Daily Show

Grammy Awards
Best Comedy Album

2005 America (The Audiobook): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz[6]; November 28, 1962[6]) is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian. He is best known as the host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program airing on Comedy Central.

Stewart started as a stand-up comedian but later branched out to television, hosting Short Attention Span Theater for Comedy Central. He went on to host his own show on MTV, called The Jon Stewart Show, and then hosted another show on MTV called You Wrote It, You Watch It. He has also had several film roles as an actor. Stewart became the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central in early 1999. He is also a writer and co-producer of the show. After Stewart joined, The Daily Show steadily gained popularity and critical acclaim leading to his first Emmy Award in 2001.

Stewart himself has also gained significant acclaim as an acerbic satirical critic of personality-driven media shows, in particular the coverage of the US media networks CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.[8] Critics say Stewart benefits from a double standard: he critiques other news shows from the safe, removed position of his "fake news" desk.[9][10] Stewart himself agrees, countering that neither his show nor his channel purports to be anything other than satire and comedy. In spite of its self-professed entertainment mandate, The Daily Show has been nominated for a number of news and journalism awards.[11] Stewart hosted the 78th and 80th Academy Awards. He is the co-author of America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, which was one of the best-selling books in the US in 2004.[12]


Personal background

Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City to a Jewish family. He and his older brother, Larry, grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where they attended Lawrence High School.[6] His mother, Marian, is an educational consultant and teacher, and his father, Donald Leibowitz, is a physics professor at The College of New Jersey. The couple divorced when Stewart was eleven years old and Stewart is estranged from his father.[6] Stewart was a member of the school band as a horn player. Stewart has said that he was subjected to bullying for being a Jewish child.[7] He describes himself in high school as "very into Eugene Debs and a bit of a leftist."[13] He graduated from Lawrence High School third in his class[14] and was voted as having the "Best Sense of Humor."[15]

Stewart attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, majoring in psychology and playing on the men's soccer team.[16] Stewart claims he was "miserable" in college.[17]

After graduating from William and Mary in 1984, Stewart held numerous jobs, including: contingency planner for the New Jersey Department of Human Services, contract administrator for City University of New York, puppeteer for children with disabilities, caterer, busboy, shelf stocker at Woolworth's, and bartender at a local blue-collar bar, the Franklin Corner Tavern.[6][15][18] During part of this time, Stewart roomed with future congressman Anthony Weiner, who, to date, is the only politician to have received campaign donations from the Daily Show host.[19]

Stewart married Tracey McShane, his girlfriend of four years, in 2000. The couple met on a blind date set up by a production assistant on Stewart's film, Wishful Thinking.[5][20][21][22]

On June 19, 2001, Stewart and his wife filed a joint name change application and legally changed both of their surnames to "Stewart."[23]

He proposed to his future wife through a personalized crossword puzzle created with the help of Will Shortz, the crossword editor at The New York Times. The couple had their first child, Nathan Thomas Stewart (named after Stewart's grandfather),[6] on July 3, 2004. Their second child, a daughter, Maggie Rose Stewart, was born on February 4, 2006.[24] They also have a cat named Stanley and two pit bull terriers, Monkey and Shamsky (named after Art Shamsky).[7]

In 2004, Stewart spoke at the commencement ceremonies at his alma mater, William and Mary, and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.[25] Stewart was also the Class Day keynote speaker at Princeton University in 2004, and the 2008 Sacerdote great names speaker at Hamilton College. In addition to his interest in soccer, Jon Stewart is also an avid baseball fan; his favorite team is the New York Mets.[26] In 2000, he described his political affiliation as socialist or independent.[27]

In 2005, Stewart purchased and moved into a $5.8 million 6,000-square-foot TriBeCa loft penthouse in downtown Manhattan.[28] He also sold his $3.995 million apartment on West 13th Street in west Greenwich Village.[29]

Professional background

Early work

With a reputation for being a funny man in school,[6][15] Jon Stewart moved to New York City in 1986 to try his hand at the comedy club circuit, but he could not muster the courage to get on stage until the following year.[30] He made his stand-up debut at The Bitter End, the same place where his comedic idol, Woody Allen, began.[2] He began using the stage name "Jon Stewart" by dropping his last name and changing the spelling of his middle name "Stuart" to "Stewart." He often jokes this is because people had difficulty with the pronunciation of Leibowitz or it "sounded too Hollywood" (a reference to Lenny Bruce's joke on the same theme).[31] He has implied that the name change was actually due to a strained relationship with his father.[18] Stewart became a regular at the Comedy Cellar where he was the last performer every night. For two years, he would perform at 2 a.m. while developing his comedic style.[32] In 1989, he landed his first television job as a writer for Caroline's Comedy Hour. In 1991, he began co-hosting Comedy Central's Short Attention Span Theater along with Patty Rosborough. In 1992, Stewart hosted the short-lived You Wrote It, You Watch It on MTV, which invited viewers to send in their stories to be acted out by the comedy troupe, The State. When David Letterman left NBC in 1993, Stewart was a finalist to replace him, but Conan O'Brien was hired instead.[31]

Later in 1993, Stewart developed his own talk show at MTV. Despite the quick cancellation of his previous MTV show, the network was still eager to work with him. The Jon Stewart Show was the first talk show on that network and was an instant hit, becoming the second-highest rated MTV show behind Beavis and Butt-head.[33] In 1994, Paramount pulled the plug on The Arsenio Hall Show and, with new corporate sibling MTV (through MTV parent Viacom's acquisition of the studio), launched an hour-long syndicated late-night version of The Jon Stewart Show. Many local affiliates had moved Hall's show to 2 a.m. during its decline and Stewart's show inherited such early morning time slots in many cities. Ratings were dismal and the show was canceled in June 1995.

Amongst the fans of the show was David Letterman, who was the final guest of The Jon Stewart Show. Letterman signed Stewart with his production company, Worldwide Pants.[34] Stewart then became a frequent guest host for Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show, which was produced by Letterman and aired after Late Show on CBS. This led to much speculation that Stewart would soon replace Snyder permanently,[35] but Stewart was instead offered the time slot after Snyder, which he turned down.[36]

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart reacting to a George W. Bush clip during The Daily Show.

In 1999, Stewart began hosting The Daily Show on Comedy Central when Craig Kilborn left the show to replace Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show. The show, which has been popular and successful in cable television since Stewart became the host, blends humor with the day's top news stories, usually in politics, while simultaneously poking fun at politicians and many newsmakers as well as the news media itself. In an interview on The O'Reilly Factor, Stewart denies the show has any intentional political agenda, saying the goal was "schnicks and giggles." "The same weakness that drove me into comedy also informs my show," meaning that he was uncomfortable talking without hearing the audience laugh.[37]

Stewart has since hosted almost all airings of the program, except for a few occasions when correspondents such as Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, and, for one week, Steve Carell[citation needed] have filled in at the anchor desk. Stewart has won a total of ten Emmys for The Daily Show as either a writer or producer.[8] In 2005, The Daily Show and Jon Stewart also received a Best Comedy Album Grammy Award for the audio book edition of America (The Book). In 2000 and 2004, the show won two Peabody Awards for its coverage of the presidential elections relevant to those years, called "Indecision 2000" and "Indecision 2004", respectively.

One of the show's most serious moments remains the September 20, 2001 show[38]—the first show after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The show began with no introduction. [1] Prior to this date, The Daily Show introduction included footage of a fly-in towards the World Trade Center and New York City. The first nine minutes of the show included a tearful Stewart discussing his personal view on the event. His remarks ended as follows:

The view... from my apartment... was the World Trade Center... and now it's gone, and they attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity, and strength, and labor, and imagination and commerce, and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the South of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can't beat that."[38]

Another notable moment occurred on April 4, 2006, when Stewart confronted US Senator John McCain about his decision to appear at Liberty University, an institution founded by Jerry Falwell, a man who McCain had previously denounced as one of the "agents of intolerance,"[39][40] In the interchange, Stewart asked McCain, "You're not freaking out on us? Are you freaking out on us, because if you're freaking out and you're going into the crazy base [politics] world—are you going into crazy base world?" McCain replied, "I'm afraid so." The clip was played on CNN and created a surge of articles across the blogosphere.[41][42]

In 2007 The Daily Show was involved in former correspondent Stephen Colbert's announcement that he would run for president in 2008.

On October 18, 2007, Stewart renewed his contract with Comedy Central and will continue to host The Daily Show through 2010.

Stewart is paid a reported $1.5 million for one season of The Daily Show.[43] According to the Forbes list of Celebrities, he earns $14 million per year.[44]

Speculation of replacing Letterman on The Late Show

In the middle of 2002, amid rumors that David Letterman was going to make a switch from CBS to ABC when his contract ran out, Stewart was rumored to be the person who would take over Letterman's show on CBS.[45] Ultimately, Letterman renewed his contract with CBS. On the March 9, 2002 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Stewart, a "Weekend Update" sketch poked fun at the situation. In the middle of the sketch, Weekend Update anchor Jimmy Fallon said that he could not continue doing the broadcast and he brought Stewart in to replace him. Stewart glowed with excitement and chattered to himself about this chance to prove himself on network television. His pep talk went on too long, however, and before Stewart could deliver any headlines, Fallon returned and said he would be able to finish out the broadcast himself.

Later that year, ABC offered Stewart his own talk show to air after Nightline. Stewart's contract with The Daily Show was near expiring and he expressed strong interest. But ABC decided to give another Comedy Central figure, Jimmy Kimmel, the post-Nightline slot.[46]

Crossfire appearance

In a televised exchange with (at the time) CNN personality Tucker Carlson on Crossfire on October 15, 2004, Stewart criticized the state of television journalism and pleaded with the show's hosts to "stop hurting America," and referred to both Carlson and co-host Paul Begala as "partisan hacks."[47] When posted on the internet, this exchange became widely viewed and a topic of much media discussion.

Despite being on the program to comment on current events, Stewart immediately shifted the discussion toward the show itself, asserting that Crossfire had failed in its responsibility to inform and educate viewers about politics as a serious topic. Stewart stated that the show engaged in partisan hackery instead of honest debate, and said that the hosts' assertion that Crossfire is a debate show is like "saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition." Carlson responded by saying that Stewart criticizes news organizations for not holding public officials accountable, but when he interviewed John Kerry, Stewart asked a series of "softball" questions. Stewart responded that he didn't realize "the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity."[48] When Carlson continued to press Stewart on the Kerry issue, Stewart said, "You're on CNN! The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls! What is wrong with you?" In response to prods from Carlson, "Come on. Be funny", Stewart said, "No, I'm not going to be your monkey." Later in the show when Carlson jibed, "I do think you're more fun on your show.", Stewart retorted, "You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."[10]

Stewart discussed the incident on The Daily Show the following Monday:

We decided to go to this place, Crossfire, which is a nuanced public policy analysis show... named after the stray bullets that hit innocent bystanders in a gang fight. So I go to Crossfire and, let's face it, I was dehydrated, it's the Martin Lawrence defense... and I had always in the past mentioned to friends and people that I meet on the street that I think that show... um... blows. So I thought it was only the right thing to do to go say it to them personally on their program, but here's the thing about confronting someone with that on their show: They're there! Uncomfortable! And they were very mad, because apparently, when you invite someone on a show called Crossfire and you express an opinion, they don't care for that... I told them that I felt their show was hurting America and they came back at me pretty good, they said that I wasn't being funny. And I said to them, "I know that, but tomorrow I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow."[9][49]

In January 2005, CNN announced that it was canceling Crossfire. When asked about the cancellations, CNN/US' incoming President, Jonathan Klein, referenced Stewart's appearance on the show: "I think he made a good point about the noise level of these types of shows, which does nothing to illuminate the issues of the day."[50] Soon after, Stewart quipped on The Daily Show that "I fought the law, and the law lost!"

When asked about his relationship with Tucker Carlson on CNN's Larry King Live in February 2008, Stewart said: "It became this idea that it was personal between the two of us, and it wasn't… If there's one thing I regret about that thing, it was probably the idea that it was personal, that there was something I was saying about Tucker to Tucker, but actually it was about the show."

On March 18, 2009, Carlson wrote a blog entry for The Daily Beast criticizing Stewart for his handling of the CNBC controversy (see below). In this article, Carlson discusses the CNN incident and claims Stewart remained backstage for at least "an hour" and "continued to lecture our staff", something Carlson described as "one of the weirdest things I have ever seen."[51]

CNBC criticism

Stewart again became a viral internet phenomenon following a March 4, 2009 The Daily Show sequence. CNBC cancelled Rick Santelli's scheduled appearance but Stewart still ran a short segment showing CNBC giving bad investment advice. The segment was meant to make Santelli uncomfortable before the interview.[52]

Subsequent media coverage of exchanges between Jim Cramer, who had been featured heavily in the original segment and Stewart led to a highly anticipated face-to-face confrontation on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.[53] The episode received a large amount of media hype and became Comedy Central's second most-viewed episode of The Daily Show trailing only the 2009 Inauguration Day episode. It had 2.3 million total viewers and the next day The Daily Show website saw its highest day of traffic in 2009.[54] Although Cramer acknowledged that some of Stewart's criticisms of CNBC were valid and that they could "do better," he later said that Stewart's criticism of the media was "naïve and misleading."[55]


In 1998, Stewart released his first book, Naked Pictures of Famous People, a collection of humorous short stories and essays. The book reached The New York Times Best Seller List.

In 2004, Stewart and The Daily Show writing staff released America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, a mock high school history textbook offering insights into the unique American system of government, dissecting its institutions, explaining its history and processes, and satirizing such popular American political precepts as "one man, one vote," "government by the people," and "every vote counts." The book sold millions of copies upon its 2004 release and ended the year as a top fifteen best-seller.[12]

In 2005, Stewart provided the voice of President James A. Garfield for the audiobook version of Assassination Vacation.

In 2007, Stewart voiced a role on friend Stephen Colbert's audiobook version of I Am America (And So Can You!). He plays Mort Sinclaire, former TV comedy writer and Communist.

Film and television acting

Although best known for his work on The Daily Show, Stewart has also had roles in several films and television series.

His first film role was a minor part in The First Wives Club but his scene was deleted.[56] In 1995, Stewart signed a three-year deal with Miramax.[57] He played romantic leads in the films Playing by Heart and Wishful Thinking. He also had supporting roles in the romantic comedy Since You've Been Gone and in the horror film The Faculty. Other films were planned for Stewart to write and star in but they were never produced. Stewart has since maintained a relationship with Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein and continues to appear in films they have produced including Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Doogal and the documentary Wordplay.

He also appeared in Half Baked as an "enhancement smoker," in Big Daddy as Adam Sandler's roommate, and he has joked on the Daily Show and in the documentary The Aristocrats that to get the role he slept with Sandler. Stewart often makes fun of his appearances in the high-profile flop Death to Smoochy,[58] in which he played a treacherous television executive, and the animated film Doogal,[59] where he played a blue spring named Zeebad that shot a freeze ray from his mustache. In 2007, Stewart made a cameo appearance as himself in Evan Almighty which starred former Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell. In the movie, Stewart was seen on a television screen in a fictional Daily Show episode poking fun at Carell's character for building an ark.

Stewart had a recurring role in The Larry Sanders Show in which he played himself as an occasional substitute and possible successor to late-night talk show host Larry Sanders (played by Garry Shandling). In 1998, Stewart hosted the television special, Elmopalooza, celebrating thirty years of Sesame Street. He has guest-starred on other sitcoms such as The Nanny, Dr Katz, Professional Therapist, Spin City, NewsRadio, American Dad, and The Simpsons. He has also made guest-appearances on the children's television series Between the Lions, Sesame Street and Jack's Big Music Show.


In the mid-1990s, Stewart launched his own production company named Busboy Productions. The name of the company is a reference to Stewart's previous job as a busboy. The company's production logo features the sound of a glass being knocked over followed by a voice whispering "Oops. Sorry." Stewart signed a deal with Miramax to develop projects through his company, but none of his ideas were ever produced. After Stewart's success as host and producer of The Daily Show, he revived Busboy Productions with Daily Show producers Ben Karlin and Rich Korson. In 2002, Busboy planned to produce a sitcom for NBC starring Stephen Colbert but the show did not come to fruition.[60]

In 2005, Comedy Central reached an agreement with Busboy to finance the production company. Comedy Central has a first-look agreement on all projects, then Busboy is free to shop them to other networks.[61][62] The deal spawned the Daily Show spin-off The Colbert Report. Other projects include the sitcom pilot Three Strikes, the documentary Sportsfan, the series Important Things with Demetri Martin, and the film The Donor.

WGA strike of 2007-2008

Stewart was an important factor in the unionization of the writers for Comedy Central. The Daily Show writers were the first of the Comedy Central's writers to be able to join the guild, after which other shows followed.[63][64]

He supported the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, commenting on The Daily Show episode just before the strike in a sarcastic manner about how Comedy Central had made available all of the episodes for free on their website, but without advertising, and said 'go support our advertisers'. The show went on hiatus when the strike began, like other late night talk shows. Upon Stewart's return to the show on January 7, 2008, he refused to use the title The Daily Show, stating that "The Daily Show" was the show made with all of the people responsible for the broadcast, including his writers. During the strike, he referred to his show as A Daily Show with Jon Stewart until the strike ended on February 13, 2008.[65] Stewart, as well as several other late night talk shows, returned to TV early in January even though the strike was not over, because their stage crews and production teams were suffering much more than the writers from the financial crunch, and by that point had been out of work for two months.[citation needed]

The Writers Guild Strike of 2007 was also responsible for a notable mock feud among Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien in early 2008. Without writers to help fuel their witty banter, the three comedians concocted a crossover/rivalry in order to garner more viewers during the ratings slump. Stephen Colbert made the claim that because of "the Colbert bump", he was responsible for Mike Huckabee's success in the 2008 presidential race. Conan O'Brien claimed that he was responsible for Huckabee's success because not only had he made mention of him on his show, but also that he was responsible for Chuck Norris' success (Norris backed Huckabee). In response, Stewart claimed that he was responsible for the success of O'Brien, since Stewart had featured him on The Jon Stewart Show, and in turn the success of Huckabee. This resulted in a three-part comedic battle between the three pundits, with all three appearing on each other's shows. The feud ended on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with a mock brawl involving the three talk-show hosts.[66]


Stewart and the rest of the members of The Daily Show have received two Peabody Awards for Indecision 2000 & Indecision 2004 covering the 2000 Presidential Election and the 2004 Presidential Election.

In the December 2003 New Years edition of Newsweek magazine, Stewart was named the "Who's Next?" person for the coming year of 2004, with the magazine predicting he would emerge as an absolute sensation in that year (the magazine said they were right at the end of that year).

Entertainment Weekly named Stewart as its "Entertainer of the Year" for 2004.

In 2004, Jon Stewart gave the Class Day address at Princeton University.[67]

Asteroid 116939 Jonstewart, discovered April 15, 2004, is named in his honor.

Stewart was also named one of the 2005 Time 100, an annual list of 100 of the most influential people of the year by Time Magazine.[68]

In addition, Stewart and The Daily Show received the 2005 NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.

Stewart was presented an Honorary All-America award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 2006.[69]

April 21, 2009. President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf made Jon a chief[2].

Grammy Awards

Stewart has hosted the Grammys twice, in 2001 and in 2002. In the middle of the 2001 broadcast, after laying a number of comedic duds, Stewart did what he encourages most public officials to do, and owned up to his bad hosting: he said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I just want to say I feel your scorn and accept it." When Stewart returned to host the next year, his comedy was more successful. Joking about the performance of the song "Lady Marmalade", he said, "Our next performance is from the movie Moulin Rouge!, a film about a time when the whorehouses were about the music!" When the award winners for Album of the Year walked up on stage, many in number, Stewart quipped, "I don't know what you may have heard, but you were only supposed to go on stage if you worked on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, not if you heard it."


On January 5, 2006, Stewart was officially announced as the host of the 78th Academy Awards, which were held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on March 5. Responding to press questions at the time of his selection, Stewart remarked: "As a performer, I'm truly honored to be hosting the show. Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."[70] (According to The New York Times, Oscar producer Gil Cates knew Crystal was going to be performing 700 Sundays during the time period and was not able to host.) On the Monday before the Oscars, Stewart told Larry King that he was more "excited" than nervous about the job and joked that if he turns out a failure, he could be "bumped down to public access". When asked what the opening would be, the comedian chastised himself by comparing a Stewart opening to a "Gene Rayburn homage". Instead, the opening segment, preceding Stewart's monologue, featured several recent hosts "declining" to host the show.

Critical response to Stewart's performance was mixed. Various celebrities and other film personalities were generally positive, but not tentative. Roger Ebert compared him favorably to legendary Oscar host Johnny Carson.[71] Other reviewers were less positive; Tom Shales of The Washington Post said that Stewart hosted with “smug humorlessness.” James Poniewozik of Time said that Stewart was a bad host, but a great “anti-host” in that he poked fun at parts of the broadcast that deserved it, which lent him a degree of authenticity with the non-Hollywood audience.[72] Stewart and correspondent John Oliver later poked fun at his lackluster reception on The Daily Show's coverage of the 79th Academy Awards by saying that the "demon of last year's Oscars had finally been exorcised."

Stewart also hosted the 80th Academy Awards on February 24, 2008. Reception this time, however, was far more positive, with Stewart's performance commended by critics and viewers.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Mixed Nuts Rollerblader
1996 The First Wives Club Elise's lover scenes deleted
1997 Wishful Thinking Henry
1998 Half Baked Enhancement Smoker
Since You've Been Gone Todd Zalinsky TV film
The Faculty Prof Edward Furlong
Playing by Heart Trent
1999 Big Daddy Kevin Gerrity
2000 The Office Party Pizza Guy short film
Committed Party Guest uncredited cameo
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Reg Hartner
2002 Death to Smoochy Marion Frank Stokes
The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina Godfrey voice
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Himself scenes deleted
2006 The Magic Roundabout (Doogal in North America) Zeebad voice
Wordplay Himself documentary
American Dad Himself Voice, 1 episode
2007 Evan Almighty Himself
2008 The Simpsons Himself Voice, 1 episode
The Great Buck Howard Himself


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  41. ^ Candy Crowley; Wolf Blitzer (March 15, 2006). "Transcripts: The Situation Room". The Situation Room. CNN. Retrieved July 26, 2006. 
  42. ^ "John McCain on The Daily Show". Comedy Central. Retrieved April 4, 2006. 
  43. ^ "Who Makes How Much". New York magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2008. 
  44. ^ "The Celebrity 100". Retrieved July 22, 2008. 
  45. ^ Hiatt, Brian (March 11, 2002). "David Letterman will stay at CBS". Entertainment Weekly.,,216668,00.html. Retrieved March 29, 2008. 
  46. ^ Carter, Bill (November 3, 2002). "In the Land of the Insomniac, the Narcoleptic Wants to Be King". The New York Times. 
  47. ^ Jon Stewart, Tucker Carlson. (2004). Crossfire. [Television]. GoogleVideo's mirror of the clip: CNN. 
  48. ^ "Jon Stewart on Crossfire: "Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America."". Media Matters. October 15, 2004. 
  49. ^ Stewart, Jon (October 18, 2004). "Your Show Blows". Comedy Central. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  50. ^ Howard Kurtz (January 6, 2004). "Carlson & 'Crossfire,' Exit Stage Left & Right". Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2006. 
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  53. ^ Matea Gold (March 10, 2009). "Exclusive: Jim Cramer set to appear on The Daily Show Thursday". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  54. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 13, 2009). "Stewart-Cramer Confrontation Draws ‘Daily’s’ Second-Biggest Audience of ’09". Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  55. ^ Calderon, Michael (March 19, 2009), Cramer slams Stewart: 'naive and misleading', The Politico,, retrieved March 20, 2009 
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External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

"My life [is] a series of Hollywood orgies and Kabbalah center brunches with the cast of Friends. At least that's what my handlers tell me."

Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, 28 November 1962) is an American actor, comedian, and political commentator. He is also the host of the Emmy-award winning program, The Daily Show, author of Naked Pictures of Famous People and co-author of the New York Times bestseller America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.



  • Little and hairy. But if [The New York Post] want to go with smart and stylish then hey, more power to them. Good luck.
  • I've always run by the hierarchy of "If not funny, interesting. If not interesting, hot. If not hot, bizarre. If not bizarre, break something."
  • I signed up for what? I thought I was just ordering cable.
    • Chicago Tribune, August 12, 1998; on signing on as host of The Daily Show.
  • The best-laid plans of mice and comedians usually wind up on the cutting-room floor.
    • Charleston Gazette interview, January 9, 1999
  • You wake up and you're still a little drunk and you can't believe that hot girl from last night actually has a beard and a penis.
  • You just have to keep trying to do good work, and hope that it leads to more good work. I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything. Yes, I want to look back and know that I was terrible at a variety of things.
    • Orange County Register, July 9, 1999
I've seen otters—they look better covered in oil.
  • That whole thing has been overstated by environmentalists. First of all, what is it, rocks and snow? C'mon, what is that, you want that? Go to Canada my friend. Believe me, rocks and snow are overrated. I've seen otters—they look better covered in oil.
    • Nightline, 2001. On governments plans to drill in Alaska.
  • I don't know what all the controversy is about, quite frankly. I've met Eminem, I met him backstage, and he's really gay.
    • Grammy Awards, February 21, 2001
  • If you look on their lawn, there are... it looks like a tent city of reporters. I don't know what insight they think they're going to glean from these people's grief, but if there's ever a situation where someone who's just lost their daughter has anything to say other than "this sucks," I'd be happy to see a news crew on their lawn, but until then, why are these people there?
  • This show is our own personal beliefs.
    • Paley Center interview, in response to an audience question, "How do you keep your own personal beliefs from showing up in the show?"
  • If done for the right reasons, liberating a country from a despot, I don't see how that's immoral. Ah, done quickly, and then we all leave, yeah that's kind of... I mean, it's so much obviously more complicated than that. They're literally, if he doesn't allow inspections, we're bombing him — I'll allow inspections. If he doesn't allow them... on Tuesday — I'll allow them on Tuesday. If he doesn't serve fondue — alright, I'll serve fondue. I mean, they're gonna do anything, it's clear they cast their die, I mean, as hard as it is for Dick Cheney to get an erection, he's not gonna let this opportunity go by.
    • Harvard University, December 13, 2002, in response to a question about the prospect of war in Iraq, should Saddam Hussein continue to dodge weapons inspections.
The pursuit of being a judge, an arbiter, and earning the trust of the audience over time as an oversight to the shenanigans of the political world.
  • Here is what I believe is the paradigm that would be effective and what I would love to see, and you're going to laugh because Fox News is my model. What Fox has done is they've got a guy, Roger Ailes, who's passionate and has created a model for a 24-hour news station that makes money based on a point of view... Using Fox's model, find someone with the passion and the huevos to just lay it on the line — not in a partisan way, not in the pursuit of political power and political gain, but in the pursuit of credibility. In the pursuit of being a judge, an arbiter, and earning the trust of the audience over time as an oversight to the shenanigans of the political world.
  • If I was to really get at the burr in my saddle, it's not politics — and this is, I think, probably a horrible analogy — but I look at politicians as, they are doing what inherently they need to do to retain power. Their job is to consolidate power. When you go to the zoo and you see a monkey throwing poop, you go, "that's what monkeys do, what are you gonna do?" But what I wish the media would do more frequently is say "bad monkey."
    • Charlie Rose interview, September 29, 2004
  • It's a brilliant metaphor. What I meant to say was, when you see a monkey masturbating at the zoo...
    • C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004, when asked about the above quote.
  • [Robert Novak] apparently, they say, broke his hip. I think it's not the case. I believe his hip tried to escape.
    • C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004
  • How did Memogate get a "gate"? How did Nipplegate get a "gate"? We invaded a country with the wrong information, and Janet Jackson's tit got a "gate". Who gives out the "gates"? Is there a "Gate"-gate? Is there a, a... I mean, it's absolute... We're living in insanity!
    • C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004
  • Everybody wrings their hands about Fox News. You know, "fair and balanced? Why, that's snide!" Yeah, okay, maybe they're not fair and balanced, but CNN used to have the slogan "You Can Depend on CNN". Guess what? I watch it, no you can't. So what's the difference?
    • C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004
  • The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. That's all it is. All those media companies say, "We're going to make a killing here." You won't because it's still only as good as the content.
  • The American people. For their just utter patience.
    • On Larry King Live, in response to the question "Who in this administration fascinates you the most?" February 26, 2006
  • Did you really just ask me if I want it to be bad? I have kids! What do you think? "Yeah, I don't want them to have any kind of a -- I want things to corrode to the point where we're all living in huts." [...] [I] "like things to go a little wrong" like birdshot to the face of a guy that would survive, not "like things to go wrong" till it's like Mad Max, every-man-for-himself-let's-all-ride-around-and-machine-guns, which seems to be the way that it's [going].
    • Responding to King's suggestion that as a political comedian Stewart would "want things to be bad" because that would provide him with the most fodder for jokes
  • Are you insane?!
    • Responding to King's example, "So, you wouldn't want Medicare to fail?"
  • Everybody thought Barack Obama was going to [inspire people] when he came to Washington, but, you know, the Senate seems like the place where smart people go to die.
President Bush has uranium-tipped bunker busters and I have puns. I think he'll be OK.
  • Here's the way I look at it. President Bush has uranium-tipped bunker busters and I have puns. I think he'll be OK.
  • We are not warriors in anyone's army. And that is not trying to be self-deprecating. I'm proud of what we do. I really like these two shows. I like making 'em. I like watching them. I'm really proud of them. But I understand their place. I don't view us as people who lead social movements.
I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever’s going on.
  • The best part is that I'm able to come in, and whenever I want, choose an intern... oh, wait — Is this being recorded? No, the coolest part is the ability to have a silly thought about whatever is going on in your world at 10 o'clock in the morning, and be able to see it go out on the airwaves at 11 o'clock that night. That's an amazing privilege.
    • Philadelphia Inquirer interview, April 22, 2007
  • The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every fucking day.
  • Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch.
    • "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," January 29, 2009

Naked Pictures of Famous People (1998)

I always thought I could stop any time I wanted.
  • Nazi Germany was so destructive to Judaism not only for the loss of life, but because many who survived began to see the practice of Judaism as somewhat of a health hazard.
  • Orthodox Jews, or, as they are known in the Talmud, the Really Chosen Ones, are committed to the idea that the entire Torah was dictated by God verbatim to Moses at Mount Sinai... Other forms of Judaism dispute this claim, although it does explain certain passages in the first Torah, such as, "I'm sorry, am I boring you?" and "What do you like better, Moses, Lord Almighty or Big Hoohah?"
  • Reform Jews are the children of Conservative Jews, or as they are sometimes known, Christians with curlier hair.
  • Hitler: (biting into a bagel) First of all, Larry, I don't know what I was so afraid of. These are delicious!!!
  • Hitler: Look, I was a bad guy. No question. I hate that Hitler. The yelling, the finger-pointing, I don't know... I was a very angry guy.
    King: And this... new Hitler?
    Hitler: I get up at seven, have half a melon, do the Jumble in the morning paper and then let the day take me where it will. Some days I'll fish, maybe hit the mall for an Orange Julius. The other day I spent seven hours in the park watching ants cart off part of a sandwich. Me!! The inventor of the Blitzkrieg... When you stop having to control everything, it's very freeing.
  • Hitler: Denial is a powerful thing... I always thought I could stop any time I wanted. "If I could just get Czechoslovakia, that'll be the end of it. I'll be happy then." And then I'd get it and think, well geez, Poland's just up the road a piece and... you know the rest.
  • Hitler: I'm not going to lie to you, it took a while. There were moments all along where I knew something was wrong. I remember one time... I think it was in Munich. We were having a rally. 100,000 people all chanting my name. The bonfires were going. The whole shebang. It should have been a crowning moment, but I clearly remember thinking, What am I doing here? I hate crowds.

College of William & Mary Commencement Address (2004)

College of William & Mary (May 20, 2004)
Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us.
Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.
  • My life [is] a series of Hollywood orgies and Kabbalah center brunches with the cast of Friends. At least that's what my handlers tell me. I’m actually too valuable to live my own life and spend most of my days in a vegetable crisper to remain fake news anchor fresh.
  • We declared war on terror—it's not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I'm sure we'll take on that bastard ennui.
  • Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.
  • Let's talk about the real world for a moment. We had been discussing it earlier, and I… I wanted to bring this up to you earlier about the real world, and this is I guess as good a time as any. I don’t really know to put this, so I’ll be blunt. We broke it. Please don’t be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry.
    I don’t know if you’ve been following the news lately, but it just kinda got away from us. Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us. So I apologize.
  • I have not found this generation to be cynical or apathetic or selfish. They are as strong and as decent as any people that I have met. And I will say this, on my way down here I stopped at Bethesda Naval, and when you talk to the young kids that are there that have just been back from Iraq and Afghanistan, you don’t have the worry about the future that you hear from so many that are not a part of this generation but judging it from above.
  • And the other thing… that I will say is, when I spoke earlier about the world being broke, I was somewhat being facetious, because every generation has their challenge. And things change rapidly, and life gets better in an instant.

America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (2004)

(Co-written with Ben Karlin, David Javerbaum and the writers of The Daily Show)

To the huddled masses, keep yearnin'!
  • Dedication: To the huddled masses, keep yearnin'!
A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy. It serves to inform the voting public on matters relevant to its well-being.
Why they've stopped doing that is a mystery.
  • 1300 BC: God gives Ten Commandments to Israelites, making them His Chosen People and granting them eternal protection under Divine Law. Nothing bad ever happens to Jews again.
  • May 3, 325: Rome built.
  • 30 AD: Death penalty debate heats up after controversial execution of alleged "Son of God".
  • Through most of colonial history, inhabitants of the 13 colonies were loyal subjects of the British crown — resourceful, dedicated and as the Third Duchess of Kent... was fond of saying, "Some tea-drinkin' motherfuckahs." In fact, whenever the subject of the New World was mentioned, the Duchess could always be counted on for a wistful head-shake and a hearty "Motherfuckahs love that motherfuckin' tea."
  • But on what basis should the three branches of government be divided? It came down to two dueling ideas: Madison's proposal of an executive, judicial and legislative branch, and Georgia's Joseph Morton's proposal to dole out power according to, "The presence, forbearance, rectictude and largeosity of one's 'Plums and Carrot'." After much deliberation, it was decided Madison's proposal would be accepted, Morton only relenting after the Constitutional Convention agreed to proclaim him "impressive."
  • By far the most revolutionary aspect of this new position [of the presidency] would be who could hold it. The short answer: just about anyone. By placing no explicit race, gender, or religious requirements on the presidency, the Founders opened the door to a true meritocracy. Why no women, blacks, or non-Christians have answered the founders' challenge is a mystery, though most indications point to some inherent genetic flaw. (William Howard Taft came closest, having what most observers agreed were boobs.)
  • If the presidency is the head of the American body politic, Congress is its gastrointestinal tract. Its vast and convoluted inner workings may be mysterious and unpleasant, but in the end they excrete a great deal of material whose successful passage is crucial to our nation's survival.
  • A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy. It serves to inform the voting public on matters relevant to its well-being. Why they've stopped doing that is a mystery. I mean, 300 camera crews outside a courthouse to see what Kobe Bryant is wearing when the judge sets his hearing date, while false information used to send our country to war goes unchecked? What the fuck happened?

Crossfire Appearance (2004)

Jon Stewart appeared on Crossfire on October 15, 2004 with hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. CNN's rush transcript of Stewart's appearance from CNN's official website.
Video of Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire provided by IFILM (requires Macromedia Flash).
The absurdity of the system provides us the most material. And that is best served by sort of the theater of it all—which, by the way, thank you both.
  • Stewart: You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.
    Carlson: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.
    Stewart: You need to go to one. [...]
    Carlson: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.
    Stewart: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.
  • Stewart: [To Tucker Carlson] How old are you?
    Carlson: Thirty-five.
    Stewart: And you wear a bow tie... So this is theater... Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that you're not a smart guy, because those are not easy to tie... But the thing is that this—you're doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great... It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery.
  • You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?
    • After being accused by Carlson of not having asked John Kerry hard-hitting enough questions during an interview on The Daily Show.
  • We look at, the absurdity of the system provides us the most material. And that is best served by sort of the theater of it all, you know, which, by the way, thank you both, because it's been helpful.
    • In response to Paul Begala's question of which 2004 presidential candidate would provide the best comedic material if elected.
  • You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.
    • To Tucker Carlson after Carlson accused Stewart of not being as funny as he appeared on The Daily Show.
  • They said I wasn't being funny. And I said to them, "I know that, but tomorrow I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow."

Stand-up performance at RIT (2005)

You know, I'm straight, but you've made such a convincing argument...
  • What you do for Jewish New Year is you go down to Times Square... It's a lot quieter than the regular New Year. It's just a few Jews walking around going, "'sup?"
  • It upset me that, five days after the hurricane hit down in New Orleans, the President's plan was for a day of prayer. I would have thought a truck of food. A day of prayer. Now, maybe I'm mistaken here and, again, I'm not a scientific expert, but isn't a hurricane officially an act of God? Isn't a day of prayer kind of redundant? Hasn't God already made up his mind on that sort of thing? So we do a day of prayer. The President has his stupid day of prayer. Three days later, Hurricane Rita hits. Somebody must have said something... something like, "is that all you got?"
  • Here's how bizarre the war is that we're in in Iraq, and we should have known this right from the get-go: When we first went into Iraq, Germany didn't want to go. Germany. The Michael Jordan of war took a pass.
  • You can always tell when Bush is in trouble. He always brings out 9/11. 9/11 is the cudgel that he waves. As far as he's concerned, it's "Open Sesame". 9/11 is his way of saying, "Okay, I'm fucking up now, but remember four years ago? That was cool." I think he thinks he can use it for anything. "9/11. On 9/11 we were attacked. And so, I should get to bang your wife." What? "Now, there are some nay-sayers out there who think I shouldn't bang your wife, well, that's the cut-and-run crowd."
  • What is the fear of the "gay agenda" that has so upset people? Do people think that if gay people are given a place at the table, they'll be so convincing we'll all end up blowing them? What is the issue? "You know, I'm straight, but you've made such a convincing argument..."

The 78th Academy Awards (2006)

Stewart hosted the Academy Awards on March 5, 2006.
"Overheard During the 78th Annual Oscars", AP (via Yahoo! News). Found to be inactive on 2009-04-06.

  • I do have some sad news to report. Björk couldn't be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her.
  • Good evening everybody, ladies, gentlemen... Felicity.
  • I really thought that the make-up artist for Cinderella Man should have won. I mean, it's so hard to make Russell Crowe look like he got in a fight.
  • If there's anyone out there involved in illegal movie piracy... don't do it. Take a good look at these people. These are the people you're stealing from. Look at them! Face what you've done! There are women here who can barely afford enough gown to cover their breasts.
  • Tonight is the night we celebrate excellence in film, with me, the fourth male lead from Death to Smoochy. Rent it.
  • For those of you who are keeping score at home, I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. Three 6 Mafia, one.

The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards (2007)

  • [with Stephen Colbert, after presenting the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to Ricky Gervais and being informed that Gervais was not there] Ricky Gervais couldn't be here tonight, so instead we're going to give this to our friend Steve Carell.
    • Carell, who was among the nominees who had just lost to Gervais, then ran onto the stage, where the three of them group-hugged and jumped around screaming.

Hartford Advocate Interview (2008)

Bulger, Adam (2008-06-12). No News is Good News. The Hartford Advocate. Retrieved on 2009-04-12.

Watching those creatures writhe will always be interesting.
Theater doesn't make for authentic public discourse.
  • As a comedian, as a person, as a citizen, as a mammal—in all of those areas, I am looking forward to the end of the Bush administration with every fiber of my being.
  • I am sick of deconstructing their propaganda, because it's pretty much the same as it's always been. It's just repeating something over and over again until we believe it and we hope that you believe it.
  • If someone was to introduce hope and idealism into our political system, I think the tension that would create in other areas would certainly be ripe. You would think that if you bring oxygen to the organism, the organism lives. But there may be other organisms in there that thrive in darkness and in a more anaerobic environment. Watching those creatures writhe will always be interesting.
    • On whether satire would be difficult under an Obama administration
  • I think the metric by which television is considered liberal is literally based on the metric of liberalism in each person's soul. Peoples' senses of humor tend to go about as far as their ideology.
    • On whether The Daily Show is liberal.
  • I reject the idea there are just two sides. I think that with the amount of ideas and thoughts there are, it's not even going to be consistent with the same person. People can hold liberal and conservative dogma points at the same time. They're not living their lives via platforms. They're living their lives. The whole thing is an awfully tired construct.
  • People would like to place a standard on our show that doesn't exist. We're not set up for reporting; we don't have an apparatus for that. We're discussing things that hopefully people might get something out of, but it's wildly inconsistent. Just because we hit on points that resonate, or people think are real complaints—that doesn't make us journalists.
  • Stewart: The real issue is that TV news can either bring clarity or noise. And it tends to not seem to know the difference between them. ... We do a show that doesn't try to bring noise. I think that we have a more consistent point of view than most news shows, I'll say that.
    Bulger: What's that point of view?
    Stewart: That theater doesn't make for authentic public discourse.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1999-present)


  • The Jews celebrate Passover by eating unpalatable food to remind them what will happen to their people if they ever leave New York City. The traditional meal often includes gefilte fish. For those of you who don't know what gefilte fish is, it strongly resembles a ball of tuna fish that has been passed nasally. It's not good. During Passover, the angel of death passed over the Jews—an event that, up until the late 1950s, was re-enacted every year by Ivy League colleges and suburban country clubs.
  • Big election tomorrow! But y'know, I was thinking this weekend, as I was running the New York Marathon, um, how much like an election it is. This 22.6 mile, grueling race through all five boroughs—many, many cultures—and, uh, much like our own elections, always won by either a Kenyan or a Moroccan.


Monologue on September 20, 2001

At the beginning of the first episode of The Daily Show to air after September 11th, 2001, Stewart gave a personal monologue about the impact of the attacks on himself and the show.
View video of the monologue at The Daily Show's official website (requires Marcromedia Flash). Read a fan's transcript.

But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that's extraordinary.
It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and... burdened.
The aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.
  • The show in general we feel like is a privilege. Even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wise cracks... which is really what we do. We sit in the back and throw spitballs—but never forgetting that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. That is, a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds like it goes without saying. But that’s really what this whole situation is about. It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and... burdened. And we don’t take that for granted here, by any stretch of the imagination.
  • And our show has changed. I don’t doubt that. And what it has become I don’t know.
  • I just wanted to tell you why I grieve—but why I don’t despair.
  • One of my first memories was of Martin Luther King being shot. I was five and if you wonder if this feeling will pass... [choked up]... When I was five and he was shot, here's what I remember about it: I was in school in Trenton and they turned the lights off and we got to sit under our desks... and we thought that was really cool. And they gave us cottage cheese, which was a cold lunch because there were riots, but we didn’t know that. We just thought, "My God! We get to sit under our desks and eat cottage cheese!" And that’s what I remember about it. And that was a tremendous test of this country's fabric and this country has had many tests before that and after that.
  • The reason I don’t despair is that... this attack happened. It's not a dream. But the aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.
  • Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They've gotten together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill..." It's, it's—it's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won... they can't... it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.
  • The view... from my apartment... was the World Trade Center... And now it's gone. And they attacked it. This symbol of... 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. The view from the south of Manhattan is the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that.

I do think that the message of this country has been over the past ten years—not just Play, but Buy. And Consume.
  • What we've been telling [young people] for the last ten years, I think, is: "Buy Coke." [...] But I do think that the message of this country has been over the past ten years, it's been—not just Play, but Buy. And Consume. And it has been Consume, and I think in the corporate oligarchy that we've established that is—that was what we were dealing with. We were dealing with trying to raise a generation of people who would like to buy our products. [...] Can I tell you something though? Spending time at colleges and spending time with these people—I never thought that this was an apathetic generation, and I never thought that this was a group of people that would not answer a call to arms. And I personally feel extremely hopeful about that because of the experiences I've had with them. They're a smart group and there's a hell of a lot of 'em.
  • I keep seeing, over these past couple of weeks, people trying to make cultural pronouncements about what these terrible events will mean for our culture. The one I keep seeing is that Irony has passed. That it is The Death of Irony. Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair—one of the foremost, by the way, magazine authorities on irony. I don't know if you've seen their Young Hollywood issue, but they don't mean it. Uh, but I was thinking... maybe we should wait to make pronouncements about what will happen to us culturally until the fire [at Ground Zero] is completely put out—don't you think? I mean, it's still smoking down there. Maybe we shouldn't necessarily decide what's the rest of History of Man going to be. No? And why did Irony have to die? Why couldn't puns have died? Or would that have been too devastating for Mr. Al Yankovic? No, no... apparently, only the kind of humor I'm fond of is dead. Thanks, Graydon.
  • So to all those naked prisoners out there: Unpile!
    • Reaction to Bush's claim that he has never ordered torture.
    • Finding Memo. The Comedy Central official website. (2004-06-23). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  • On a personal note, I'm a comedian who makes fun of what I believe to be the absurdities of our government. Tomorrow when you go to the polls, make my life difficult. Make the next four years really hard, so that every morning all we can do is come in and go, "Madonna is doing some Kaballah thing, you wanna do that?" I'd like that. I'm tired.
    • Speaking to his audience the night before the 2004 U.S. presidential election.


  • By the way, if that baby in there turns out to be Jesus... somebody owes somebody an apology.
  • Referring to Samantha Bee's then-unborn child after she appeared, eight months pregnant, on the show to illustrate how much time had elapsed since she'd performed a year-old joke cited by Bill O'Reilly as evidence of the show's anti-Christian agenda, December 7, 2005
  • But apparently, we liberal, secular fags here at Comedy Central have fired a devastating year-old, six-second-long joke that doesn't barely even make any sense to us anymore across the bow of Christianity. When you think of liberals, your thoughts naturally turn to others who are fighting against Christmas, like the Puritans, the first white Americans, who banned Christmas celebrations for twenty-two years in Boston because they deemed all of them unseemly. Godless pricks. Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "happy holidays" as anti-Christian -- although for some people, there is also a celebration of the New Year, so Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter S. Now I suppose you could say, "Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, but YOU PROBABLY HAVE SHIT TO DO! You shorten it to "happy holidays"! Not everyone who says that is anti-Christian! But -- for those of you who don't feel like you want to be idiots walking around starting on November 27th saying "Merry Christmas" to people -- ehhh, knock yourself out. But you know what, it's okay. If Bill O'Reilly needs to have an enemy, needs to feel persecuted, you know what? Here's my Kwanzaa gift to him. You ready? All right. [a festive Christmas border appears around the frame] I'm your enemy. Make me your enemy. I, Jon Stewart, hate Christmas. Christians. Jews. Morality! And I will not rest until every year, families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's Homobortionpot'n'commiejizzporium. [border disappears] You're welcome.
  • Response to O'Reilly's accusation, December 7, 2005
  • [whispering] Thank you, Jesus!
  • Now, this situation certainly has its humorous aspects... very easy to make fun of an incident such as this, very easy... unbelievably easy... the kind of easy that makes you want to return your check...
  • On covering the story
  • Mr. Whittington is doing fine, but based on this development, we're gonna downgrade the condition of the story from "Incredibly hilarious" to "Still funny, but, mmm, a little sad."
It's the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life, the two Bushes dueling and making the jokes like, "I'm stupid!" "No, you're stupid!"
  • So this weekend, I'm home, it's Saturday night, I'm spending my Saturday night as I spend all my Saturday nights — I'm just flipping through the C-SPANs. C-SPAN 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 'cause I'm trying to find this show on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that I wanted to watch. Did you know that it was almost called the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? It's really quite an interesting story. Anyway, I come across this horribly frightening image. [picture of President Bush standing next to impersonator Steve Bridges] The President of the United States of America, who is now apparently reproducing asexually. He is somehow cloning himself via spores in an effort to create a mammoth, 10,000-strong Busharmy, and, uh, I was scared to death. Turns out it's a bit at what's called the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's the dinner where the White House press corps and the government consummate their loveless marriage. So anyway, it's the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life, the two Bushes dueling and making the jokes like, "I'm stupid!" "No, you're stupid!" — very very amusing... but then I see this young fella on the screen. [picture of Stephen Colbert, greeted with huge applause] Captivating. Captivating. Delivered a twenty-minute keynote address that I can only describe as "ballsalicious." Uh... it really was something to behold. Apparently he was under the impression that they'd hired him to do the thing he does on television every night! Anyway, I'm sure he'll be talking about it at 11:30, but boy, we've never been prouder of our Mr. Colbert, and, uh... holy shit.
  • Reaction to Stephen Colbert's address at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association dinner, May 1, 2006
  • Well, I don't like this bad blood between us, Robert. If you're watching -- and I know you're not -- I think it's time we buried the hatchet. We need to get together and talk. We'll meet on neutral ground. You're on Fox, I'm on Comedy Central; how 'bout the Food Network? This Rachael Ray seems like a peacemaker. We can work this out, because I know that you're a good person, deep down in your... [gestures wordlessly at his chest] the thing that they replaced your heart with that pumps the... I know you have redeeming qualities! I see your redeeming qualities. For example, when you're on television, you let others shine while you generously absorb all light and oxygen. When you leave an area, it stops raining. And I know that in the past I've referred to you as a douchebag. But that's not an "air of grandeur," that's just mean! And sophomoric! [earnestly] And I only said those things to you because I sincerely believe... you are a terrible person.
  • Reaction to Robert Novak publicly stating that he'd never seen any of Stewert's criticisms of him on The Daily Show, that he intended never to watch the show, and that Stewart was a "self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur"
  • [ Michelle Obama ]'s a Democrat. She must prove she loves America. As opposed to Republicans, who everyone knows love America—they just hate half the people living in it! [audience applauds] Apparently they're all here tonight.
It seems hard for me to imagine that we could go to war enough to make the world safe enough that nineteen people wouldn't want to do harm to us.
  • Nineteen people flew into the towers. It seems hard for me to imagine that we could go to war enough to make the world safe enough that nineteen people wouldn't want to do harm to us. So it seems like we have to rethink a strategy that is less military-based.
  • I think that's our biggest problem right there.
  • Guantanamo Bay isn't a prison, it's a leadership camp!
  • I have great fondness and affection for John McCain, I would have voted for him, if he had made it, against Gore, quite frankly, in 2000. The guy that I see now, putting air quotes around women's health, and doing all the things that he does, I don't know what that is. And if that's a strategy that's disingenuous from how he really thinks, then my opinion of him is even lower.
    • Interview with Bill Kristol, October 30, 2008 [1]
Interview with Mike Huckabee (December 9, 2008)

Stewart and Huckabee discussed fiscal and social conservatism; the second part of the interview focused on their differing views on same-sex marriage.
Mike Huckabee, Part 2. The Daily Show official website (2008-12-09). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.

At what age did you decide not to be gay?
Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality.
  • This gets to the crux of it. I think it's the difference between what you think gay people are and what I do. And I live in New York City, so I'm going to make a supposition that I have more experience being around them. And I'll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. [...] We protect religion and talk about a lifestyle choice. That is absolutely a lifestyle choice. Gay people do not choose to be gay. At what age did you decide not to be gay?
  • You talk about the Pro-Life movement being one of the great shames of our nation. I think, if you want number two, I think—I think it's that. I think it's absolute—it's a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights.
  • You keep talking about it would be redefining a word. And it feels like semantics is cold comfort when it comes to humanity.
  • I think you are looking at sexuality and not attributes, and I think it's odd because the conservative mantra is a meritocracy. And I think what you're suggesting is the fact that being gay parents makes you not as good as others. And I would suggest that a loving, gay family with a financially secure background beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day of the week.

2009 (present)

One of the genius moves of The Founders was not writing The Bill of Rights on the back window of a dusty van.
  • If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values—they're hobbies. You know, one of the genius moves of The Founders was not writing The Bill of Rights on the back window of a dusty van.
No matter what we do, there is no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society.
  • Jon Stewart: It's a new era, Gitmo. We, in America, are done sacrificing civil liberties to fight the War on Terror. President Obama said so.
    Gitmo: Yay! Gitmo love President Obama! Gitmo finally see Promise of America! It's a new beginning for all of us! Yay! [...] You know Gitmo and all of Gitmo's friends still want to kill you—you know that, right? We want to destroy your way of life.
    Jon Stewart: Yeah, we get it, Gitmo. But with these abuses we're doing that for you.
    Gitmo: You're not safe. Don't you want to be safe?
    Jon Stewart: Gitmo, there is no safe! No matter what we do, there is no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society. So—finally—we're going to do what's right.
    Gitmo: I'm very scary.
    Jon Stewart: Gitmo, this has nothing to do with you! You can't define us. It's about not letting fear do that. [...] We can safeguard ourselves well using smart and legal tactics.
  • It's nice to see that even in retirement Dick Cheney is still making the time to scare the shit out of people. So many people retire and just stop doing the thing they love. But not him. Yes, apparently less than two weeks after riding off into the sunset—which he has to do, because he's allergic to sun—Dick Cheney wanted to make clear that if anything happens now, it's the new guy's fault. [...]
    Ooh, I have a question. What if we're hit again by a guy who's really sad because his whole family was killed in Iraq—who's responsible for that? Or what if someone got pissed off at us because his brother was potato sacked and bound and kept in a cage without a lawyer for seven years on an island in the Caribbean—who's responsible for that? Or! If Al Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border had time to reconstitute and devise another attack because we pulled all our resources into invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11—who's responsible for that? I'm gonna go with, hold on... who's responsible for that? I'm gonna have to go with... Obama.
    Y'know, over the years we have tried very hard to make Dick Cheney look evil, but in kind of a cute way. Y'know, kinda funny, cartoonish, lot of Darth Vader jokes, funny pictures, man-sized safe, then we did that funny wheelchair mock-up. It was all really funny and we called the segment You Don't Know Dick; it was kinda light-hearted and all that, but you know what? Fuck it. He no longer deserves any satirical protection, any glib patina of sugar-coating. We are now officially changing the name of his segment. [New animated titles for Why Are You Such a Dick? play.]
  • However you felt about the man, whatever your opinions are, I believe we—as a people—should make a rule that once you die … whatever derisive nickname that we used for you, it dies with you. So can we stop calling him 'Jacko' now? … After you die, can a brother get a 'Mr. Jackson'?
  • I guess it's an efficiency thing. You don't want to waste tax-payer money giving it to someone who advises fake prostitutes how to commit imaginary crimes, you want to give it to Halliburton because they're committing real gang rape.
    • Rape-Nutd. The Daily Show official website. (2009-10-14).
CNBC Criticism and Jim Cramer Interview (March 2009)

On March 12, 2009, television personality Jim Cramer appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The host of CNBC's Mad Money, Cramer appeared in response to host Jon Stewart's highly-publicized week-long criticism of CNBC.

That is amazing! I mean these CEOs saying their own businesses are doing OK!
A real-time cause-and-effect precision barometer of how the President is doing.
You make me sound like some kind of buffoon, just flapping my arms to crazy sound effects.
  • If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars today. Provided I’d started with a hundred million dollars.
  • That is amazing! I mean these CEOs saying their own businesses are doing OK! I mean, it makes sense to take these CEOs word for it. For instance, I know O.J. Simpson. He told me he didn't kill anyone and he should know, he was there!
  • Between the two of them, I can't decide which one I'd rather see in jail.
  • Isn’t the Dow Jones Industrial Average just a short twitch numerical representation of a bunch of guesses about other people’s assumptions about the financial well-being of an arbitrarily chosen group of 30 out of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POSSIBLE COMPANIES? NO! YOU’RE WRONG! It is a real-time cause-and-effect precision barometer of how the President is doing! It’s been that way for years!
  • You don't have to make comedian sound like a venereal disease. He's a comedian. He's gonorrhea. [...] And variety show? You make me sound like some kind of buffoon, just flapping my arms to crazy sound effects. [Montage of sound effects from Mad Money plays.] Yeah! Like that guy! Whoever he is.
    • Reaction to clip of Jim Cramer's appearance on the The Today Show discussing Stewart's criticism.
  • I don't know about the markets. That's why I don't make the claim to any authority. That's why my network doesn't have the slogan "In Stewart We Trust." They don't want people to think I'm God. Now of course, I probably wouldn't have a problem if Cramer's slogan was Cramer: He's right sometimes or He's like a dartboard that talks or You feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?
  • Although to be fair, cherry picking isn't quite what we do. Cherries are sweet and delicious. What we do is more turd mining. And I'll thank you to give our work the respect it deserves!
  • Dora: Doesn't Jim Cramer understand that it's not about individual mistakes he's made, it's about him creating a false sense of urgency that helped hyperinflate the bubble!
    Stewart: I mean, that was kinda the point.
    Boots: Do you want me to throw feces on him?
    Stewart: No, Boots. That's OK. [...]
    Dora: And Joe Scarborough is accusing you of being a cherry-picking ideologue? [...] Why is everyone being such a pendejo? [...] It means jackass in Spanish. [...]
    Stewart: Hooray for the pendejos!
  • It's the inevitable consummation of this largely manufactured battle between a man who makes people laugh for a living and whatever people think I do. In a televised, two-part hatefuck that is, by all measure, bound to dissapoint anyone that's been following it. Catch the fever!
    • On his scheduled interview with Jim Cramer.
    • Jim Cramer Battle. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-11). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
It's the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as and what it is.
It is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn't happening.
  • Mr. Cramer, don't you destroy enough dough on your own show? Boom goes the dynamite! [Laughs.] How weird is our world when Jim Cramer's on TV baking pie and Martha Stewart is the one who went to jail for Securities fraud? That's weird.
    • Reaction to clip of Jim Cramer on The Martha Stewart Show earlier that day beating cold pie dough with a rolling pin after being asked by Martha Stewart to "pretend it's Jon Stewart."
    • Bern After Pleading. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-12). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  • CNBC sells itself as financial experts. And they have the access to the CEOs. And yet, they didn't catch any of this. And here they are blaming people who don't have the financial expertise and saying that they're part of the problem. [...] It seems like the banks and those that cheerlead them turned an arithmetic problem into a geometric one. They took a linear debt issue and by turning it into derivatives and securities and all that, now it's a gigantic problem. So, shouldn't we yell at them?
  • So, let me tell you why I think this thing has caught some attention. It's the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as and what it is. And the help that people need to discern this.
  • Look, we're both snake oil salesman to a certain extent, but we do label the show as snake oil here. Isn't there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic?
  • I want the Jim Cramer on CNBC to protect me from that Jim Cramer.
  • When you talk about the regulators [going after market manipulation], why not the financial news networks? That's the whole point of this. CNBC could be an incredibly powerful tool of illumination for people that believe that there are two markets. One that has been sold to us as long-term: Put your money in 401Ks, put your money in pensions and just leave it there, don't worry about it, it's all doing fine. And then there's this other market, this real market that's occurring in a back room where giant piles of money are going in and out, and people are trading them, and it's transactional, and it's fast but it's dangerous, it's ethically dubious and it's hurting that long-term market. And so what it feels like—and I'm speaking purely as a layman—it feels like we are capitalizing your adventure by our pension, and our hard-earned—and that it is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn't happening.
  • I can't rationalize the brilliance and knowledge that you have about the intricacies of the market with the crazy bullshit I see you do each night.
I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a fucking game.
  • I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a fucking game. And I, I—when I watch that, I get—I can't tell you how angry it makes me. 'Cause what it says to me is: You all know. You all know what's going on and you can draw a straight line from those shenanigans to the all that stuff that was being pulled at Bear, and at AIG. And all of this derivative market stuff that is this weird Wall Street side bet. [...] You knew what the banks were doing and yet were touting it for months and months. The entire network was. So now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that no one could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worse.
  • The CEO of a company lied to you. But isn't that financial reporting?
These guys were on a Sherman's March through their companies, financed by our 401Ks.
  • It's very easy to get on this after the fact. The measure of the network and the measure of the man is—CNBC could act as [...] nobody's asking for them to be a regulatory agency. But whose side are they on? It feels like they have to reconcile: is their audience the Wall Street traders that are doing this for constant profit on a day-to-day, short-term—these guys at these companies were on a Sherman's March through their companies, financed by our 401Ks, and all the incentives of their companies were for short-term profit. And they burned the fucking house down with our money and they walked away rich as hell. And you guys knew that that was going on.
  • Honest or not, in what world is a 35:1 leveraged position sane?
  • When are we going to realize in this country that our wealth is work? That we're workers, and by selling this idea of, "Hey man, I'll teach you how to be rich"—how is that any different than an infomercial?
  • There's a market for cocaine and hookers!
    • Responding to Jim Cramer saying there's a market for CNBC's shows.
  • What is the responsibility of the people who cover Wall Street? Who are you responsible to? The people with the 401Ks and the pensions and the general public or the Wall Street traders—and by the way, this casts aspersion on all of Wall Street when that's unfair, as well! The majority of those guys are good guys. They're working their asses off, they're really bright guys. I know a lot of 'em, they're just trying to do the right thing and they're gettin' fucked in this thing, too!
  • I'm under the assumption, and maybe this is purely ridiculous, but I'm under the assumption that you don't just take their word at face value. That you actually then go around and try to figure it out. So, I again—you now become the face of this and that is incredibly unfortunate. Because you are not the face of it, you shouldn't be the face of it. You are the person that was I-don't-know-what enough to stand up and go, "Hey, that's wasn't fair!" Which, it's not because this show isn't fair. And you can tell Doucheborough that it's not supposed to be fair. [...] That's not our job.
  • Stewart: As is very clear from the tape that you have on the internet, there is the letter of the law and the intent of the law. And I think, clearly, that it would be a great service to the American public if there was an organization out there—not just the SEC, but a news organization that was trying to maintain the intent of this and force companies to still have growth and profit, but not in a way that burns down the entire field. Y'know, my mother is 75. And she bought into the idea that long-term investing was the way to go. And guess what?
    Cramer: It didn't work.
    Stewart: [nods] So maybe we could remove the "financial expert" and In Cramer We Trust and get back to the fundamentals in reporting, as well, and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.
    Cramer: I think we make that deal right here. [Stewart and Cramer shake hands.]
  • That was our show! [...] I hope that was as uncomfortable to watch as it was to do.
    • Closing of the March 12, 2009 show before the Moment of Zen.

You go through the tunnel and you take a chance, and you can work to get away from your circumstance.
  • People always talk to me about, "Who are your influences? What makes you do what you do?" I can say, I draw a line—I do what I do because of Bruce Springsteen, and I'll tell you why: You introduced me to the concept of The Other Side. You introduced me to the concept of: you go through the tunnel and you take a chance, and you can work to get away from your circumstance. And by working to get away from your circumstance you can make something better of yourself, but there's no guarantee. [...] But you know what? The joy of it is chasing that dream, and that was my inspiration for leaving New Jersey and goin' to New York. And bless you, my friend. You're the Man. So I just wanted to thank you personally from the bottom of my heart for giving me something to put into the dashboard as I drove a U-Haul van through the Holland Tunnel.

  • [quietly] I guess there's one more thing I want to say to him... uh, if you're heading out from uptown, take 42nd Street west to 9th Avenue, make a left, go down four blocks, Lincoln Tunnel's on your right, and you know what? [taking E-ZPass out of his pocket] Here's my E-ZPass, get the fuck out of here.
    • Conclusion to a segment about Rush Limbaugh's announcement that he was moving himself and his show out of New York City to escape its high taxes, April 1, 2009

  • Sarcasm - I get it now! See at the time I thought your jokey manner was just the way you were sublimating your shame over the discomfort you feel deep in your soul after extinguishing the last smoldering embers of any of your program’s journalistic bonafides!

Reacting to Starbucks-sponsored MSNBC show Morning Joe’s taking Stewart to task for not getting their “sarcasm” over their praise of Starbucks coffee, on The Daily Show.


  • I fought the law and the law lost!
    • Following CNN's cancellation of Crossfire.
  • I love watching the White House press conferences; they're very enjoyable. I love watching talented journalists who spent their entire lives to get the point where they're in the White House press corps, only to find out they're dictation machines where the White House will tell them what to say. But I'm watching it today and the strangest thing happened: today was the first press conference since they released the President's Vietnam service record and suddenly, it's like there's a whole new attitude. I have just one question for the press corps: Where the fuck have you been? You're starting to ask questions now? Now? All of a sudden, they've got questions and it's about his Vietnam service. Guys, you're like eight wars behind. Hey! I heard there was a break-in at the Watergate! You might want to check in on that!
  • I heard Dennis Kucinich say in a debate, "When I'm president..." and I just wanted to stop him and say, "Dude."
  • I'm 145 pounds of asthma.
    • On Oprah After the Show
  • It's like putting Captain Ahab in charge of save the whales.
    • On Bush's Cabinet.
  • What was God thinking in putting all his holy sites in one area? Like two blocks from each other. Is the idea for God ... He just put it in there like, "I just want to see who wants it more."
  • Clearly, I like to poke fun.

Quotes about Stewart

Much of Stewart's humor seems to spring from an underlying terrain of world-weariness.
  • The set is a news desk, and the nice-looking man behind it seems... um, troubled. About his life, perhaps? About the news? A touch of indigestion? It's hard to tell, but it becomes clear—and quickly—that he is funny. And smart.
    Jon Stewart presides over Comedy Central's The Daily Show, a blessed wedding of performer and format. Free of the burden of a full stand-up monologue, Stewart is able to put all his energy and wit into the news and guest spots. The word energy is almost too strong. Much of Stewart's humor seems to spring from an underlying terrain of world-weariness. [...] Repeat viewing of Stewart's shows reveals good things you missed the first time—smallish matters of voice shading, inflections and gestures begun but not completed. If you're a latecomer to his charms, you'll wish your alleged friends had demanded that you start watching a lot sooner. I'd like to see everything he has ever done.

  • Has your boss ever poured scalding hot Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger on to your arm? It doesn't just burn, OK? It's also citrus, and the citrus stings. And then he filled the pockets of my jacket with cockroaches. I work for a child.
    • Ed Helms, The Daily Show: "American Resolutions: A Series of Human Interest Stories Used to Emotionally Manipulate You"

  • In November, America elected a black man president after two disastrous terms of George W. Bush. Race was transcended. People were so angry that they tossed aside centuries-old prejudices. [...] Last night, America witnessed a non-comedian hosting the Oscars after two calamitous stints by you, Jon Stewart: The George W. Bush of Comedy. Jon, you angered the world so much they were willing to completely redefine their concept of what an Oscars host should be. And like a phoenix from the ashes of the two massive turds you laid on that stage, rose Hugh Jackman.
  • And that is your tragedy, Jon. [imitating Stewart and affecting falsetto] Look at me! I'm a sad clown! I hate you! I need you! I hate you! I need you! I don't want you, but I need constant attention and reinforcement from you laughter!
    • John Oliver, The Daily Show: "81st Academy Awards"

  • Stephen Colbert says that for all of Jon Stewart's acumen when it comes to politics and comedic timing, "The Daily Show" host and managing editor has no problem going lowbrow.
    "He knows when to break the glass, if necessary," Colbert reasons.
  • "After coming back to the show, I was shocked at how much thought and distillation he personally puts into the script," [Stephen Colbert] says, "that care and unbelievable work ethic, and ability to consume information, digest and distill a story. He's telling us that this is the mechanics of the human interaction, and this is the actual message of the story."
    Colbert says Stewart's intelligence (the host can read books and script pages at lightning speed) can't be overstated, and that the show's mojo comes from stories Stewart brings to light that the traditional media fail to report.
    "He's naming what seems most ridiculous about the news, which is the personalities and the news itself," Colbert says. "It's only the overt game that's being reported."
  • A goal of Colbert while working as a correspondent on "The Daily Show" — one of his "greatest joys" — was whether he could make Stewart laugh in the middle of a segment. [...] "I knew the piece was good if he couldn't look at me when we were at the desk together," Colbert recalls. "We did much (fewer) green screen segments then. The highlight was when we were covering the Democratic convention in 2004, and I did a piece on Obama being the son of a goat farmer and I said I was the son of an Appalachian turd miner. Jon couldn't look at me for the entire thing."

  • Stewart spent a couple of segments lecturing Paul Begala and me about how we were somehow “helping the politicians and the corporations,” a charge that baffled me then (I’ve never particularly liked either one), as it does now.
    Unlike most guests after an uncomfortable show, Stewart didn’t flee once it was over, but lingered backstage to press his point. With the cameras off, he dropped the sarcasm and the nastiness, but not the intensity. I can still picture him standing outside the makeup room, gesticulating as the rest of us tried to figure out what he was talking about. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.
    Finally, I had to leave to make a dinner. Stewart shook my hand with what seemed like friendly sincerity and continued to lecture our staff. An hour later, one of my producers called me, sounding desperate. Stewart was still there, and still talking.

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Simple English

Jon Stewart
File:Stewart - USO-Metro Merit Awards
Stewart performing at a 2008 USO show
Birth name Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz
Born November 28, 1962 (1962-11-28) (age 48)
New York City, New York, United States
Medium stand-up, television, film, books
Nationality American
Years active 1987—present
Genres Satire/political satire/news satire, observational comedy
Subject(s) The media (esp. news media), American politics, current events, religion, Jewish culture, race relations, human sexuality, self-deprecation
Influences George Carlin,[1] Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce,[2] David Letterman,[3] Steve Martin[needs proof]
Influenced Stephen Colbert[4], Lewis Black
Spouse Tracey McShane, 2 children
Notable works and roles Host of The Daily Show
America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
Emmy Awards
Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program

2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 The Daily Show
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 The Daily Show

Grammy Awards
Best Comedy Album

2005 America (The Audiobook): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz; November 28, 1962), is an American comedian, satirist, actor, writer, and producer. He is best known as the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and for his political satire. Stewart started as a stand-up comedian, but later branched out to television, hosting Short Attention Span Theater for Comedy Central. He went on to host his own show on MTV, called The Jon Stewart Show, and then hosted another show on MTV called You Wrote It, You Watch It."


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Mixed Nuts Rollerblader
1996 The First Wives Club Elise's lover scenes deleted
1997 Wishful Thinking Henry
1998 Half Baked Enhancement Smoker
Since You've Been Gone Todd Zalinsky TV film
The Faculty Prof Edward Furlong
Playing by Heart Trent
1999 Big Daddy Kevin Gerrity
2000 The Office Party Pizza Guy short film
Committed Party Guest uncredited cameo
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Reg Hartner
2002 Death to Smoochy Marion Frank Stokes
The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina Godfrey voice
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Himself scenes deleted
2006 The Magic Roundabout (Doogal in North America) Zeebad voice
Wordplay Himself documentary
2007 Evan Almighty Himself


  1. Stewart, Jon. (1997-02-27). George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy [TV]. HBO.
  2. Keepnews, Peter (1999-08-08). "There Was Thought in His Rage". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  3. Stewart, Jon. (2005-09-18). The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards [TV]. CBS.
  4. Dowd, Maureen (2006-11-16). "America's Anchors". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
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