Today marks the end of era for political news junkies. After 16 remarkably successful years, Jon Stewart will appear in his final episode of The Daily Show, and many of his viewers will lose their most-trusted news source.
During his time as host of the show, Stewart blurred the lines between journalism and comedy so ingeniously that the question of whether his show should be categorized as “news” (as opposed to “comedy”) was often debated. While Stewart himself insisted he wasn’t a journalist, many Americans considered him one, as countless polls have shown.
The “Walter Cronkite of the millennial generation,” as he’s been called, may not have set out for the role he filled, but his work as an interviewer and reporter is widely respected. His journalistic drive and talent is what made The Daily Show important, what made it matter so much more than just a comedy show ever could have mattered.
If you’re still not convinced, check out this article in Rolling Stone: “10 Times Jon Stewart Outdid Journalism.” And, if you’re feeling a little nostalgic, The New York Times has a great compilation of sentiments from Daily Show writers, producers and guests.
As we prepare to tune in for the final show tonight, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jon Stewart—for making his show about more than just laughs. For calling out injustices and insisting upon real answers. For digging deeper. For asking the questions we wished network news anchors would ask. And most of all, for reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.