7 Classic Moments From 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart'

Before we say goodbye, let's take a look back.

1. Malala Yousafzai

Stewart welcomed education and human rights activist Malala Yousafzai back in 2013, and the interview left him speechless. Malala told her harrowing tale of her fight to promote education for women in Pakistan and the Taliban's attempt to silence her. 

"We are human beings," she said, "and it is part of our human nature that we don't learn the importance of anything until it's snatched from our hands." The then 16-year-old Yousafzai left the usually talkative talks show host in awe of her eloquence and bravery.

"I know your father is backstage and he's very proud of you, but would he be mad if I adopted you? Because you sure are swell."

4. The NFL

After scandals involving Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, Stewart called the NFL "The League of Exculpatory Gentlemen," calling them out on their lenient punishments. He went on to mock its attempts to fix its "image problem" by appointing women that have backgrounds in preventing sexual violence. 

"You know your business model is in rough shape when you need to appoint your own in-house Special Victims Unit."

7. Ferguson

After the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, Stewart was extremely vocal about the conservative media's reaction. Fox News claimed that some media outlets were focusing the race element of the Michael Brown case when they could be covering "black on black" violence in places like Chicago.

"Yes, describing the actual facts of the case really does color the way we look at it. White cop shoots unarmed black teen does sound terrible. Where as, hero cop kills alien hunting humans for sport would put a completely different spin on things."

10. Marijuana vs. Alcohol

Stewart pointed out the hypocrisy of a media obsessed with the criticism of marijuana use, but the silence (and in some cases, encouragement) of alcohol use. He mocked Fox News' use of phrases like "getting potted up," and then went on to cite studies that show alcohol is more harmful. 

"We clearly know that marijuana is a deadly gateway drug from which no sane person can ever hope to escape, but our view of alcohol is not even benign indifference, but celebratory." 

13. Sarah Palin

While Stewart's comparison of Sarah Palin's commercial to a commercial for a herpes medication was hilarious to say the least, it was the aftermath that made this sketch memorable. One of Stewart's typical criticisms of Sarah Palin's unorthodox strategies (see: Jon Stewart's assessment of Palin's thoughts on torture), ended with a battle of epic proportions between Stewart and Fox News' Chris Wallace. 

Wallace criticized Stewart's political commentary hidden behind the guise of comedy, to which Stewart replied:

"When did I say to you I was only a comedian? I said I was a comedian first. That's not only. Being a comedian is harder than what you do."

16. Iraq

March of 2008 marked the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War. Stewart "celebrated" by reminding his viewers that the war was supposed to last a maximum of six months with minimal casualties. Stewart highlighted comments by then President and Vice President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that the war was for the good of democracy and the safety of the American people.

"Whatever the American people may feel about this war, one thing is certain. It doesn't matter."

19. September 11th.

The Daily Show's first episode post-9/11 aired September 20th. In his opening, Jon Stewart managed to capture the emotions of the entire nation. He expressed his feelings of loss and heartbreak, but also his sense of pride, hope, and refusal to feel despair. Stewart reminded us that, even in the face of great tragedy, it is important to remember to laugh and, most importantly, to never give up.

"It's another entertainment show beginning with an overwrought speech of a shaken host, and television is nothing if not redundant. I apologize for that. It's something that, unfortunately, we do for ourselves so that we can drain whatever abscess is in our hearts and move on to the business of making you laugh, which we haven't been able to do very affectively lately."


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