Jon Stewart ends his long run as host of The Daily Show on Thursday.
Of course, after more than than 2,000 Daily episodes, Stewart and The Best F#@king News Team Ever have tackled no shortage of stories about media, politics—and the culture’s biggest targets. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of Stewart’s most memorable takedowns during his time on The Daily Show.
Chaos on Bullshit Mountain
No Fox News anchor is safe from Stewart’s commentary—but every now and then, the network as a whole just gets to be too much for him. After Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” video appeared online during the 2012 election, Stewart went after the many Fox News anchors who defended the clip and how it was posted. Unsurprisingly, Stewart disagreed with those on Bullshit Mountain.
But Stewart’s most hilarious commentary about a Fox News pundit may have come when he impersonated Glenn Beck. Stewart completely dives into the extended bit—linking one nonsencial conspiracy theory to the next, adopting Beck’s mannerisms and cadence, and blowing the lid on one of the greatest coverups in Sesame Street history.
It Gets Worse PSA
Stewart frequently took on John McCain, particularly during his ‘08 presidential election—but his most scathing criticism came in 2010, when he analyzed McCain’s opinion on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy with a Daily Show PSA.
Jon Stewart vs. Bill O’Reilly
No list of Stewart’s best attacks would be complete without mentioning O’Reilly. The two hosts have engaged in a strange, embittered-yet-cordial relationship over the years, frequently mocking each other while still agreeing to appear on one another’s shows. Always engaging, frequently awkward, and consistently funny and full of jabs, their many interviews on both The Daily Show and The O’Reilly Factor combine to make up Stewart’s best running takedowns.
Michael Steele Plays the Race Card
Speaking of Sesame Street: Stewart has featured several puppet guests on his show, including a felt version of Republican National Committee chariman Michael Steele. While perhaps not the most biting attack, Stewart poking fun at Steele’s attempts to bring cool to the RNC—and failing miserably at that goal—always guaranteed some great digs at the chairman.
The War on Christmas
Stewart has covered a number of major world conflicts throughout his time on The Daily Show, but perhaps none more important than the war waged against Christmas. Specifically, Stewart pointed to Fox News’ years-long attempt to keep the “Christ” in Christmas.
Jon Stewart on Crossfire
While not a Daily Show segment, one of Stewart’s most impressive moments came during his appearance on CNN’s Crossfire. Stewart, who had only been hosting The Daily Show for five years, proved he wasn’t just a funny guy stepping into the world of news: He was a sharp critic who could be equal parts scathing and hilarious. Both qualities are on full display as he questions Crossfire’s mere existence while on the show itself.
Bush vs. Bush
The George W. Bush presidency was good to Stewart, and one of his best segments knocking the president came in the form of a debate between Bush and… Bush. Stewart compared the president’s responses to similar issues during both his first term as president and while he ran for election in 2000.
Stewart has never been afraid to criticize members of either political party, but his shots at Obamacare came as a surprise to everyone else in the media. So The Daily Show host made his point that it’s no real shock “even Jon Stewart” would mock the president’s plans with nothing less than a full gospel choir singing “Go f— yourself.”
Jim Cramer Interview
Stewart has had plenty of great interviews, and several with people he’s willing to criticize directly to their faces. Few have been as equally exciting and cringeworthy as his takedown of Mad Money host Jim Cramer, especially when watching the full extended interview.
Palin became a frequent topic for Stewart during the 2008 presidential election, but he never let the former Alaskan governor’s comments pass by—even after she and John McCain lost the race. One of his most memorable takedowns came in 2011, in which Stewart perfectly distilled his point about post-election Palin: “You have become a lighting rod less for your clarity of vision, but more for your ability to turn any criticism of you into persecution of you,” he said.
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