I don’t watch much live TV anymore. Like most college students, I’m at the point where Netflix rules my TV viewing and I really only switch it off to watch sports. When I do watch live TV, I almost never flip it from Comedy Central. When I wasn’t watching the daily “Futurama” marathons (my favorite show on this, or any, planet), I was watching re-runs of the previous night’s “he Daily Show.” It’s not as if I hadn’t watched it the night before; believe me, I had. I just couldn’t get enough. I wanted to re-live the jokes and bits that kept me laughing the night before.
Almost every weeknight, I would sit down with my parents and siblings and we would watch the show together. It was almost ritualistic. When 11 p.m. struck, we would inevitably be on the couch watching “The Daily Show” together.
This is why the news of Jon Stewart leaving the show hit me harder than any other host’s departure from late night or comedy television this past year. David Letterman is leaving, Craig Ferguson is finished, and Stephen Colbert is movin on to bigger and better things, but none of these really affected me much. Stewart’s announcement did.
I may not have been with him from the start. His tenure on the show started when I was too young to understand the comedy or care about the politics, but since I started watching the show, Jon Stewart has been one of my favorite people. He’s funny, clever, and most important of all, genuine and compassionate. He is a lot like many of the authority figures I admire in my own life – brutally honest, but in an endearing way.
Watching “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart shaped a good portion of my own beliefs and the way I look at things in life, and without Stewart, the show runs te risk of becoming just another categorically funny late night show to me. His impact is enormous. He’s been someone I felt I could trust for years, and Iknow I’m not the only one.
His run isn’t over yet though, so you can be sure I will be watching the show every chance that I get from here until whenever his last episode airs. My hope is that Jon Stewart’s replacement is someone who can affect others in the way he profoundly affected me during his time at the helm.