Two months until Jon Stewart signs off the Daily Show forever and we feel a song going out of our heart, or at least the goofy theme music that cheered us for 17 years. Your show was our ace in the hole, our sunshine on a cloudy day, our moment of Zen. Yes, you are a comedian, but one who appealed to reason and logic and our hope that something better was just around the bend. You were there for us like a favorite cocktail or a bottomless bowl of ice cream to comfort and soothe our national angst.
We wish you well, Jon Stewart, but wonder how we’ll live without you. You brought us laughter even when the world was going to hell in a handbasket. You brought us through the George Bush years. We watched with a clutch in our throats as the Iraq war started, our brave soldiers on their way and the rest of us staring at the TV. You brought us through the economic downturn, that funhouse ride when the bottom fell out and we never recovered our balance.
You walked with us into the hope and change of the Obama election. As time went by and the congress became a deadlocked mess, we wondered if you weren’t getting discouraged, too. But you continued to show up, screaming and cajoling when the political theater turned into a goddamned shame.
You were there for us before the recession, when we still had livable salaries and benefits. You were also there afterwards, when we had to work harder for less money, sometimes more than one job and sometimes just sitting on the couch unemployed. You made us laugh. You were the guy in the back of the room hollering insults at the stuffed shirts. You were the one who told us the emperor had no clothes.
In the end, the responsibility for safeguarding our sanity was probably too much to ask of one person. Bob Dylan couldn’t save us with his songs in the sixties, and you can’t save our political process with your savvy commentary. We can’t blame you for being tired of watching Fox news. We acknowledge you probably want to try something new. Just remember, we watched Rosewater, and will watch anything new you would like to share. When we are done grieving, we will have to follow the 2016 election, and go out and vote.
And yes, we know the Daily Show is a fake news show on basic cable. It’s just that you had to raise it to an art form.
We’re trying to be brave, but it’s hard to imagine our post-August 6 life. It’s good to have Larry Wilmore, and Trevor Noah, and John Oliver holding down the fort at HBO. We’ll continue to rant with Lewis Black into a stroke of glorious rage.
But no one can make us feel like you did, Jon Stewart.