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Here’s Jon Stewart’s Tearful Goodbye to The Daily Show

3 minute read

Jon Stewart’s final episode of The Daily Show Thursday night was a fitting end to a 16-year-run, a family reunion of sorts with appearances from so many of the people who helped Stewart achieve the status he has. And although technically Bruce Springsteen sang the last word, Stewart spoke the final words, offering a warm display of gratitude to his colleagues and audience:

“There are so many people to thank that I cannot plausibly do it in the amount of time allotted. The people that worked here gave me the talent and inspiration to develop it over all those years; it’s the most incredible place. Honestly, today, it still feels like a dream a little bit. And walking around the building today, nobody was making eye contact. There’s so much love and pride filling the building right now, we just don’t want to drown it in saline. So everybody is making moves with salty goggles on.

“I can’t thank the people who work here enough and I can’t thank Comedy Central enough and I can’t thank the audience enough. Your support and enthusiasm over the years–don’t think that the energy you put out is not received on those days we seem like we don’t have it.

“I want to thank my wife Tracy and my kids Nate and Maggie–I’m not going to look over there–for teaching me what joy looks like. And an artist I really admire once said that he thinks of his career as a long conversation with the audience, a dialogue, and I really like that metaphor for many different reasons. But the main one is because it takes away the idea of finality. This is just a conversation. This show isn’t ending, we’re merely taking a small pause in conversation, a conversation, which by the way I have hogged, and I apologize for that. You are never…I really, I should have at some point turned the camera around, do you guys have anything to add? I’ve really been dominating this in a very selfish way. But I though that was a remarkable way of getting to that, nothing ends, it’s just a continuation, it’s a pause in the conversation. Rather than saying goodbye or goodnight, I’m just going to say I’m gonna go get a drink and I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave.”

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com