Jon Stewart, the most prominent satirical voice in the US, has bid an emotional farewell to The Daily Show after 16 years. The highlights have been numerous but we've chosen our favourite five from his verbal fisticuffs with Jim Cramer to his humble reaction to praise from protege Stephen Colbert on last night's final show...
Stephen Colbert is just one of the talents nurtured by Stewart on the show and last night he appeared to bid his mentor a fond farewell.
He called himself Sam to Stewart's Frodo, "Jon, one of us is adult size and does not have hairy toes. And Jon, like Frodo you are leaving us on a voyage to undying lands."
Colbert, who , as well as being his chief correspondent on the show, also happens to be great friends with Stewart, and he thanked him on behalf of himself and staff on the show as Stewart choked up.
"You're infuriatingly good at your job," said Colbert, "You were a great artist and a good man."
You can't talk about The Daily Show without talking about Fox News and Stewart's long history of taking pot shots at the network, which only increased in intensity in his final week in the show.
Here's one example from March this year: Fox News were right, they said, in their coverage of the death of Michael Brown and the race riots which followed in Ferguson. Stewart was on hand to congratulate them for congtratulating themselves.
He even baked the make a cake (or at least bought one) in the shape of a whale because he said, "We think you’re a whale of a network, in that we’ve been chasing you our whole lives and just can’t kill you."
Stewart's opening on his first show post 9/11 was a tough watch. He was visibly struggling not to break down as he apologised for being yet another host to address the tragedy before trying to make everyone laugh. His speech was moving and genuine and affecting.
"The view from my apartment was the World Trade Centre," he said. "Now it's gone, and they attacked it, this symbol of American ingenuity, and strength, and labour, 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."
Of all the people Stewart has jousted with in the course of his Daily Show tenure, the host of The O'Reilly Factor (on Fox News) is the most notable given the pair has had a compelling love/hate relationship over the years. It's clear that however poles apart their beliefs, they share a grudging mutual respect, as they've debated regularly on each other's shows, tackling serious issues but also taking the proverbial out of each other. Highly entertaining.
Whatever grudging mutual respect viewers may have witnessed between Stewart and O'Reilly, was certainly missing from his interview with Jim Cramer. Stewart launched a full on takedown of the CNBC financial pundit and Mad Money host and it's one of those interviews which will go down in history. Watching it guarantees a giant facial cringe as Stewart accuses Cramer of giving the public a false sense of financial security and Cramer clearly can't justify anything.
"I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it’s not a ******* game. And when I watch that I can’t tell you how angry that makes me," said Stewart.
When fop-next-door Hugh Grant was caught in flagrante with a Los Angeles prostitute in 1995, his career-saving strategy was to go on Jay Leno's Tonight Show and frankly discuss the indiscretion. In a heartbeat the wavy-haired actor was transformed in the public eye from closet sleaze to broadly upstanding chap whose baser instincts briefly – but only briefly – got the better of him. Grant's Hollywood future was rescued, Leno's ratings blasted into high orbit, viewers got to see a real-life drama play out before their eyes. Everyone was a winner.
Fox News, the American network that hosts experts believing Birmingham is a “totally Muslim” city and analysts who believe the uncovering of the CIA’s use of torture was actually designed to tell Americans they’re “not awesome,” has been voted the most trusted news network in the US.