Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, 28 November, 1962) is an American actor and comedian. He is also the host of the Emmy-award winning program, The Daily Show, author of Naked Pictures of Famous People and co-author of the New York Times bestseller America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.
- Little and hairy. But if [The New York Post] want to go with smart and stylish then hey, more power to them. Good luck.
- Steppin' Out interview, December 23, 1993, when asked how he would describe himself.
- I've always run by the hierarchy of "If not funny, interesting. If not interesting, hot. If not hot, bizarre. If not bizarre, break something."
- Rolling Stone interview, January 26, 1995
- I signed up for what? I thought I was just ordering cable.
- Chicago Tribune, August 12, 1998; on signing on as host of The Daily Show.
- The best-laid plans of mice and comedians usually wind up on the cutting-room floor.
- Charleston Gazette interview, January 9, 1999
- You wake up and you're still a little drunk and you can't believe that hot girl from last night actually has a beard and a penis.
- Cosmopolitan, January 1999, on embarrassing dates.
- You just have to keep trying to do good work, and hope that it leads to more good work. I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything. Yes, I want to look back and know that I was terrible at a variety of things.
- Orange County Register, July 9, 1999
- That whole thing has been overstated by environmentalists. First of all, what is it, rocks and snow? C'mon, what is that, you want that? Go to Canada my friend. Believe me, rocks and snow are overrated. I've seen otters—they look better covered in oil.
- Nightline, 2001. On governments plans to drill in Alaska.
- I don't know what all the controversy is about, quite frankly. I've met Eminem, I met him backstage, and he's really gay.
- Grammy Awards, February 21, 2001
- If you look on their lawn, there are... it looks like a tent city of reporters. I don't know what insight they think they're going to glean from these people's grief, but if there's ever a situation where someone who's just lost their daughter has anything to say other than "this sucks," I'd be happy to see a news crew on their lawn, but until then, why are these people there?
- This show is our own personal beliefs.
- Paley Center interview, in response to an audience question, "How do you keep your own personal beliefs from showing up in the show?"
- Howard Kurtz: CNN has is broadcasting your show internationally.
Jon Stewart: I am not.
Kurtz: Does that make you legitimate?
Stewart: No, I am illegitimate. I am the bastard son of anything. We're not— we're fake.
- Kurtz: So you don't, you're not confusing yourself with a quote, "real journalist"?
Stewart: No. You guys are—
Kurtz: You're just making fun—
Stewart: You guys are confusing yourselves with real journalists.
- Reliable Sources, CNN, 2 November 2002
- If done for the right reasons, liberating a country from a despot, I don't see how that's immoral. Ah, done quickly, and then we all leave, yeah that's kind of... I mean, it's so much obviously more complicated than that. They're literally, if he doesn't allow inspections, we're bombing him — I'll allow inspections. If he doesn't allow them... on Tuesday — I'll allow them on Tuesday. If he doesn't serve fondue — alright, I'll serve fondue. I mean, they're gonna do anything, it's clear they cast their die, I mean, as hard as it is for Dick Cheney to get an erection, he's not gonna let this opportunity go by.
- Here is what I believe is the paradigm that would be effective and what I would love to see, and you're going to laugh because Fox News is my model. What Fox has done is they've got a guy, Roger Ailes, who's passionate and has created a model for a 24-hour news station that makes money based on a point of view... Using Fox's model, find someone with the passion and the huevos to just lay it on the line — not in a partisan way, not in the pursuit of political power and political gain, but in the pursuit of credibility. In the pursuit of being a judge, an arbiter, and earning the trust of the audience over time as an oversight to the shenanigans of the political world.
- If I was to really get at the burr in my saddle, it's not politics — and this is, I think, probably a horrible analogy — but I look at politicians as, they are doing what inherently they need to do to retain power. Their job is to consolidate power. When you go to the zoo and you see a monkey throwing poop, you go, "that's what monkeys do, what are you gonna do?" But what I wish the media would do more frequently is say "bad monkey."
- Charlie Rose interview, September 29, 2004
- It's a brilliant metaphor. What I meant to say was, when you see a monkey masturbating at the zoo...
- C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004, when asked about the above quote.
- [Robert Novak] apparently, they say, broke his hip. I think it's not the case. I believe his hip tried to escape.
- C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004
- How did Memogate get a "gate"? How did Nipplegate get a "gate"? We invaded a country with the wrong information, and Janet Jackson's tit got a "gate". Who gives out the "gates"? Is there a "Gate"-gate? Is there a, a... I mean, it's absolute... We're living in insanity!
- C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004
- Everybody wrings their hands about Fox News. You know, "fair and balanced? Why, that's snide!" Yeah, okay, maybe they're not fair and balanced, but CNN used to have the slogan "You Can Depend on CNN". Guess what? I watch it, no you can't. So what's the difference?
- C-SPAN interview, October 14, 2004
- Jon Stewart: And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.
Paul Begala: We have noticed.
Stewart: And I wanted to — I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't — it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.
Tucker Carlson: But in its defense —
Stewart: But I wanted to come here today and say — Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys:
Stewart: Stop. Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.
- Carlson: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?
Carlson: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you—
Stewart: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?
- Crossfire, CNN, 15 October 2004
- Do you guys have to sell everything? I'd like to buy the Earth's core.
- Amazon.com interview, 2004
- The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. That's all it is. All those media companies say, "We're going to make a killing here." You won't because it's still only as good as the content.
- Wired interview, September 13, 2005
- The American people. For their just utter patience.
- On Larry King Live, in response to the question "Who in this administration fascinates you the most?" February 26, 2006
- Did you really just ask me if I want it to be bad? I have kids! What do you think? "Yeah, I don't want them to have any kind of a -- I want things to corrode to the point where we're all living in huts." [...] [I] "like things to go a little wrong" like birdshot to the face of a guy that would survive, not "like things to go wrong" till it's like Mad Max, every-man-for-himself-let's-all-ride-around-and-machine-guns, which seems to be the way that it's [going].
- Responding to King's suggestion that as a political comedian Stewart would "want things to be bad" because that would provide him with the most fodder for jokes
- Are you insane?!
- Responding to King's example, "So, you wouldn't want Medicare to fail?"
- Everybody thought Barack Obama was going to [inspire people] when he came to Washington, but, you know, the Senate seems like the place where smart people go to die.
- Originally spoken, reprinted in Mr. Obama Goes to Washington By David Sirota in The Nation, June 7, 2006.
- Here's the way I look at it. President Bush has uranium-tipped bunker busters and I have puns. I think he'll be OK.
- Rolling Stone interview, October 31, 2006
- We are not warriors in anyone's army. And that is not trying to be self-deprecating. I'm proud of what we do. I really like these two shows. I like making 'em. I like watching them. I'm really proud of them. But I understand their place. I don't view us as people who lead social movements.
- I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever’s going on.
- Philadelphia Inquirer interview, April 22, 2007
- The best part is that I'm able to come in, and whenever I want, choose an intern... oh, wait — Is this being recorded? No, the coolest part is the ability to have a silly thought about whatever is going on in your world at 10 o'clock in the morning, and be able to see it go out on the airwaves at 11 o'clock that night. That's an amazing privilege.
- Philadelphia Inquirer interview, April 22, 2007
- The reason I don't worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I'll take those odds every fucking day.
- Rolling Stone interview, November 2007
- Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch.
- "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," January 29, 2009
- Nazi Germany was so destructive to Judaism not only for the loss of life, but because many who survived began to see the practice of Judaism as somewhat of a health hazard.
- Orthodox Jews, or, as they are known in the Talmud, the Really Chosen Ones, are committed to the idea that the entire Torah was dictated by God verbatim to Moses at Mount Sinai... Other forms of Judaism dispute this claim, although it does explain certain passages in the first Torah, such as, "I'm sorry, am I boring you?" and "What do you like better, Moses, Lord Almighty or Big Hoohah?"
- Reform Jews are the children of Conservative Jews, or as they are sometimes known, Christians with curlier hair.
- Hitler: (biting into a bagel) First of all, Larry, I don't know what I was so afraid of. These are delicious!!!
- Adolf Hitler is interviewed by Larry King.
- Hitler: Look, I was a bad guy. No question. I hate that Hitler. The yelling, the finger-pointing, I don't know... I was a very angry guy.
King: And this... new Hitler?
Hitler: I get up at seven, have half a melon, do the Jumble in the morning paper and then let the day take me where it will. Some days I'll fish, maybe hit the mall for an Orange Julius. The other day I spent seven hours in the park watching ants cart off part of a sandwich. Me!! The inventor of the Blitzkrieg... When you stop having to control everything, it's very freeing.
- Hitler: Denial is a powerful thing... I always thought I could stop any time I wanted. "If I could just get Czechoslovakia, that'll be the end of it. I'll be happy then." And then I'd get it and think, well geez, Poland's just up the road a piece and... you know the rest.
- Hitler: I'm not going to lie to you, it took a while. There were moments all along where I knew something was wrong. I remember one time... I think it was in Munich. We were having a rally. 100,000 people all chanting my name. The bonfires were going. The whole shebang. It should have been a crowning moment, but I clearly remember thinking, What am I doing here? I hate crowds.
College of William & Mary Commencement Address (2004)
- My life [is] a series of Hollywood orgies and Kabbalah center brunches with the cast of Friends. At least that's what my handlers tell me. I’m actually too valuable to live my own life and spend most of my days in a vegetable crisper to remain fake news anchor fresh.
- We declared war on terror—it's not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I'm sure we'll take on that bastard ennui.
- Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.
- Let's talk about the real world for a moment. We had been discussing it earlier, and I… I wanted to bring this up to you earlier about the real world, and this is I guess as good a time as any. I don’t really know to put this, so I’ll be blunt. We broke it. Please don’t be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry.
I don’t know if you’ve been following the news lately, but it just kinda got away from us. Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us. So I apologize.
- I have not found this generation to be cynical or apathetic or selfish. They are as strong and as decent as any people that I have met. And I will say this, on my way down here I stopped at Bethesda Naval, and when you talk to the young kids that are there that have just been back from Iraq and Afghanistan, you don’t have the worry about the future that you hear from so many that are not a part of this generation but judging it from above.
- And the other thing… that I will say is, when I spoke earlier about the world being broke, I was somewhat being facetious, because every generation has their challenge. And things change rapidly, and life gets better in an instant.
- Dedication: To the huddled masses, keep yearnin'!
- 1300 BC: God gives Ten Commandments to Israelites, making them His Chosen People and granting them eternal protection under Divine Law. Nothing bad ever happens to Jews again.
- May 3, 325: Rome built.
- 30 AD: Death penalty debate heats up after controversial execution of alleged "Son of God".
- Through most of colonial history, inhabitants of the 13 colonies were loyal subjects of the British crown — resourceful, dedicated and as the Third Duchess of Kent... was fond of saying, "Some tea-drinkin' motherfuckahs." In fact, whenever the subject of the New World was mentioned, the Duchess could always be counted on for a wistful head-shake and a hearty "Motherfuckahs love that motherfuckin' tea."
- But on what basis should the three branches of government be divided? It came down to two dueling ideas: Madison's proposal of an executive, judicial and legislative branch, and Georgia's Joseph Morton's proposal to dole out power according to, "The presence, forbearance, rectictude and largeosity of one's 'Plums and Carrot'." After much deliberation, it was decided Madison's proposal would be accepted, Morton only relenting after the Constitutional Convention agreed to proclaim him "impressive."
- By far the most revolutionary aspect of this new position [of the presidency] would be who could hold it. The short answer: just about anyone. By placing no explicit race, gender, or religious requirements on the presidency, the Founders opened the door to a true meritocracy. Why no women, blacks, or non-Christians have answered the founders' challenge is a mystery, though most indications point to some inherent genetic flaw. (William Howard Taft came closest, having what most observers agreed were boobs.)
- If the presidency is the head of the American body politic, Congress is its gastrointestinal tract. Its vast and convoluted inner workings may be mysterious and unpleasant, but in the end they excrete a great deal of material whose successful passage is crucial to our nation's survival.
- A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy. It serves to inform the voting public on matters relevant to its well-being. Why they've stopped doing that is a mystery. I mean, 300 camera crews outside a courthouse to see what Kobe Bryant is wearing when the judge sets his hearing date, while false information used to send our country to war goes unchecked? What the fuck happened?
Crossfire Appearance (2004)
- Jon Stewart appeared on Crossfire on October 15, 2004 with hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. CNN's rush transcript of Stewart's appearance from CNN's official website.
- Video of Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire provided by IFILM (requires Macromedia Flash).
- Stewart: You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.
Carlson: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.
Stewart: You need to go to one. [...]
Carlson: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.
Stewart: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.
- Stewart: [To Tucker Carlson] How old are you?
Stewart: And you wear a bow tie... So this is theater... Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that you're not a smart guy, because those are not easy to tie... But the thing is that this—you're doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great... It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery.
- You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?
- After being accused by Carlson of not having asked John Kerry hard-hitting enough questions during an interview on The Daily Show.
- We look at, the absurdity of the system provides us the most material. And that is best served by sort of the theater of it all, you know, which, by the way, thank you both, because it's been helpful.
- In response to Paul Begala's question of which 2004 presidential candidate would provide the best comedic material if elected.
- You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.
- To Tucker Carlson after Carlson accused Stewart of not being as funny as he appeared on The Daily Show.
- They said I wasn't being funny. And I said to them, "I know that, but tomorrow I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow."
- Your Show Blows, October 18, 2004
Stand-up performance at RIT (2005)
- What you do for Jewish New Year is you go down to Times Square... It's a lot quieter than the regular New Year. It's just a few Jews walking around going, "'sup?"
- It upset me that, five days after the hurricane hit down in New Orleans, the President's plan was for a day of prayer. I would have thought a truck of food. A day of prayer. Now, maybe I'm mistaken here and, again, I'm not a scientific expert, but isn't a hurricane officially an act of God? Isn't a day of prayer kind of redundant? Hasn't God already made up his mind on that sort of thing? So we do a day of prayer. The President has his stupid day of prayer. Three days later, Hurricane Rita hits. Somebody must have said something... something like, "is that all you got?"
- Here's how bizarre the war is that we're in in Iraq, and we should have known this right from the get-go: When we first went into Iraq, Germany didn't want to go. Germany. The Michael Jordan of war took a pass.
- You can always tell when Bush is in trouble. He always brings out 9/11. 9/11 is the cudgel that he waves. As far as he's concerned, it's "Open Sesame". 9/11 is his way of saying, "Okay, I'm fucking up now, but remember four years ago? That was cool." I think he thinks he can use it for anything. "9/11. On 9/11 we were attacked. And so, I should get to bang your wife." What? "Now, there are some nay-sayers out there who think I shouldn't bang your wife, well, that's the cut-and-run crowd."
- What is the fear of the "gay agenda" that has so upset people? Do people think that if gay people are given a place at the table, they'll be so convincing we'll all end up blowing them? What is the issue? "You know, I'm straight, but you've made such a convincing argument..."
The 78th Academy Awards (2006)
- I do have some sad news to report. Björk couldn't be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her.
- Good evening everybody, ladies, gentlemen... Felicity.
- I really thought that the make-up artist for Cinderella Man should have won. I mean, it's so hard to make Russell Crowe look like he got in a fight.
- If there's anyone out there involved in illegal movie piracy... don't do it. Take a good look at these people. These are the people you're stealing from. Look at them! Face what you've done! There are women here who can barely afford enough gown to cover their breasts.
- Tonight is the night we celebrate excellence in film, with me, the fourth male lead from Death to Smoochy. Rent it.
- For those of you who are keeping score at home, I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. Three 6 Mafia, one.
- [with Stephen Colbert, after presenting the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to Ricky Gervais and being informed that Gervais was not there] Ricky Gervais couldn't be here tonight, so instead we're going to give this to our friend Steve Carell.
- Carell, who was among the nominees who had just lost to Gervais, then ran onto the stage, where the three of them group-hugged and jumped around screaming.
Hartford Advocate Interview (2008)
Bulger, Adam (2008-06-12). No News is Good News. The Hartford Advocate. Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- As a comedian, as a person, as a citizen, as a mammal—in all of those areas, I am looking forward to the end of the Bush administration with every fiber of my being.
- I am sick of deconstructing their propaganda, because it's pretty much the same as it's always been. It's just repeating something over and over again until we believe it and we hope that you believe it.
- If someone was to introduce hope and idealism into our political system, I think the tension that would create in other areas would certainly be ripe. You would think that if you bring oxygen to the organism, the organism lives. But there may be other organisms in there that thrive in darkness and in a more anaerobic environment. Watching those creatures writhe will always be interesting.
- On whether satire would be difficult under an Obama administration
- I think the metric by which television is considered liberal is literally based on the metric of liberalism in each person's soul. Peoples' senses of humor tend to go about as far as their ideology.
- On whether The Daily Show is liberal.
- I reject the idea there are just two sides. I think that with the amount of ideas and thoughts there are, it's not even going to be consistent with the same person. People can hold liberal and conservative dogma points at the same time. They're not living their lives via platforms. They're living their lives. The whole thing is an awfully tired construct.
- People would like to place a standard on our show that doesn't exist. We're not set up for reporting; we don't have an apparatus for that. We're discussing things that hopefully people might get something out of, but it's wildly inconsistent. Just because we hit on points that resonate, or people think are real complaints—that doesn't make us journalists.
- Stewart: The real issue is that TV news can either bring clarity or noise. And it tends to not seem to know the difference between them. ... We do a show that doesn't try to bring noise. I think that we have a more consistent point of view than most news shows, I'll say that.
Bulger: What's that point of view?
Stewart: That theater doesn't make for authentic public discourse.
The Bill O'Reilly Factor Appearance (2010)
- "If Obama's a tyrant, he's a pretty tame tyrant. How many tyrants do you know that really suffer because they can't get cloture?"
- "[Fox News has] taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy and turned it into a full-fledged panic about the next coming of Chairman Mao."
Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear closing speech (2010)
- Closing speech of Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (30 October 2010) - YouTube video
- I can't control what people think this was. I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith. Or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.
- The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.
If we amplify everything we hear nothing.
- There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats, but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and tea partiers, or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult — not only to those people, but to the racists themselves, who have put forth the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish between terrorists and Muslims makes us less safe, not more.
- We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is — on the brink of catastrophe — torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day!
- Most Americans don't live their lives solely as Democrats or Republicans or conservatives or liberals. Most Americans live their lives that our just a little bit late for something they have to do. Often it’s something they do not want to do, but they do it. Impossible things get done every day that are only made possible by the little, reasonable compromises.
- If you want to know why I’m here and what I want from you I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted. Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1999-present)
- The Jews celebrate Passover by eating unpalatable food to remind them what will happen to their people if they ever leave New York City. The traditional meal often includes gefilte fish. For those of you who don't know what gefilte fish is, it strongly resembles a ball of tuna fish that has been passed nasally. It's not good. During Passover, the angel of death passed over the Jews—an event that, up until the late 1950s, was re-enacted every year by Ivy League colleges and suburban country clubs.
- Other News—Yeast of Burden. The Daily Show official website. (1999-03-31). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
- Big election tomorrow! But y'know, I was thinking this weekend, as I was running the New York Marathon, um, how much like an election it is. This 22.6 mile, grueling race through all five boroughs—many, many cultures—and, uh, much like our own elections, always won by either a Kenyan or a Moroccan.
- Intro—Marathon. The Daily Show official website. (2000-11-06). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
Monologue on September 20, 2001
At the beginning of the first episode of The Daily Show to air after September 11th, 2001, Stewart gave a personal monologue about the impact of the attacks on himself and the show.
View video of the monologue at The Daily Show's official website (requires Marcromedia Flash). Read a fan's transcript.
- The show in general we feel like is a privilege. Even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wise cracks... which is really what we do. We sit in the back and throw spitballs—but never forgetting that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. That is, a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds like it goes without saying. But that’s really what this whole situation is about. It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and... burdened. And we don’t take that for granted here, by any stretch of the imagination.
- And our show has changed. I don’t doubt that. And what it has become I don’t know.
- I just wanted to tell you why I grieve—but why I don’t despair.
- One of my first memories was of Martin Luther King being shot. I was five and if you wonder if this feeling will pass... [choked up]... When I was five and he was shot, here's what I remember about it: I was in school in Trenton and they turned the lights off and we got to sit under our desks... and we thought that was really cool. And they gave us cottage cheese, which was a cold lunch because there were riots, but we didn’t know that. We just thought, "My God! We get to sit under our desks and eat cottage cheese!" And that’s what I remember about it. And that was a tremendous test of this country's fabric and this country has had many tests before that and after that.
- The reason I don’t despair is that... this attack happened. It's not a dream. But the aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.
- Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They've gotten together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill..." It's, it's—it's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won... they can't... it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.
- The view... from my apartment... was the World Trade Center... And now it's gone. And they attacked it. This symbol of... of American ingenuity and strength... and labor 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.
- What we've been telling [young people] for the last ten years, I think, is: "Buy Coke." [...] But I do think that the message of this country has been over the past ten years, it's been—not just Play, but Buy. And Consume. And it has been Consume, and I think in the corporate oligarchy that we've established that is—that was what we were dealing with. We were dealing with trying to raise a generation of people who would like to buy our products. [...] Can I tell you something though? Spending time at colleges and spending time with these people—I never thought that this was an apathetic generation, and I never thought that this was a group of people that would not answer a call to arms. And I personally feel extremely hopeful about that because of the experiences I've had with them. They're a smart group and there's a hell of a lot of 'em.
- Interview with Jeff Greenfield. The Daily Show official website. (2001-09-26). Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
- I keep seeing, over these past couple of weeks, people trying to make cultural pronouncements about what these terrible events will mean for our culture. The one I keep seeing is that Irony has passed. That it is The Death of Irony. Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair—one of the foremost, by the way, magazine authorities on irony. I don't know if you've seen their Young Hollywood issue, but they don't mean it. Uh, but I was thinking... maybe we should wait to make pronouncements about what will happen to us culturally until the fire [at Ground Zero] is completely put out—don't you think? I mean, it's still smoking down there. Maybe we shouldn't necessarily decide what's the rest of History of Man going to be. No? And why did Irony have to die? Why couldn't puns have died? Or would that have been too devastating for Mr. Al Yankovic? No, no... apparently, only the kind of humor I'm fond of is dead. Thanks, Graydon.
- Irony is Dead. The Daily Show official website. (2001-09-27). Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
- So to all those naked prisoners out there: Unpile!
- On a personal note, I'm a comedian who makes fun of what I believe to be the absurdities of our government. Tomorrow when you go to the polls, make my life difficult. Make the next four years really hard, so that every morning all we can do is come in and go, "Madonna is doing some Kaballah thing, you wanna do that?" I'd like that. I'm tired.
- Speaking to his audience the night before the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
- Like, the Afghanistan war, man did I dig that. I'd like to go again.
- Interview with Colin Powell, June 8, 2005
- By the way, if that baby in there turns out to be Jesus... somebody owes somebody an apology.
- But apparently, we liberal, secular fags here at Comedy Central have fired a devastating year-old, six-second-long joke that doesn't barely even make any sense to us anymore across the bow of Christianity. When you think of liberals, your thoughts naturally turn to others who are fighting against Christmas, like the Puritans, the first white Americans, who banned Christmas celebrations for twenty-two years in Boston because they deemed all of them unseemly. Godless pricks. Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "happy holidays" as anti-Christian -- although for some people, there is also a celebration of the New Year, so Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter S. Now I suppose you could say, "Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, but YOU PROBABLY HAVE SHIT TO DO! You shorten it to "happy holidays"! Not everyone who says that is anti-Christian! But -- for those of you who don't feel like you want to be idiots walking around starting on November 27th saying "Merry Christmas" to people -- ehhh, knock yourself out. But you know what, it's okay. If Bill O'Reilly needs to have an enemy, needs to feel persecuted, you know what? Here's my Kwanzaa gift to him. You ready? All right. [a festive Christmas border appears around the frame] I'm your enemy. Make me your enemy. I, Jon Stewart, hate Christmas. Christians. Jews. Morality! And I will not rest until every year, families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's Homobortionpot'n'commiejizzporium. [border disappears] You're welcome.
- Response to O'Reilly's accusation, December 7, 2005
- [whispering] Thank you, Jesus!
- Now, this situation certainly has its humorous aspects... very easy to make fun of an incident such as this, very easy... unbelievably easy... the kind of easy that makes you want to return your check...
- On covering the story
- Mr. Whittington is doing fine, but based on this development, we're gonna downgrade the condition of the story from "Incredibly hilarious" to "Still funny, but, mmm, a little sad."
- Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking.
- About Glenn Beck, on The Daily Show (16 November 2006)
- Divorce isn't caused because 50% of marriages end in gayness.
- Debating gay marriage with Bill Bennett, June 6, 2006
- So this weekend, I'm home, it's Saturday night, I'm spending my Saturday night as I spend all my Saturday nights — I'm just flipping through the C-SPANs. C-SPAN 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 'cause I'm trying to find this show on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that I wanted to watch. Did you know that it was almost called the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? It's really quite an interesting story. Anyway, I come across this horribly frightening image. [picture of President Bush standing next to impersonator Steve Bridges] The President of the United States of America, who is now apparently reproducing asexually. He is somehow cloning himself via spores in an effort to create a mammoth, 10,000-strong Busharmy, and, uh, I was scared to death. Turns out it's a bit at what's called the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's the dinner where the White House press corps and the government consummate their loveless marriage. So anyway, it's the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life, the two Bushes dueling and making the jokes like, "I'm stupid!" "No, you're stupid!" — very very amusing... but then I see this young fella on the screen. [picture of Stephen Colbert, greeted with huge applause] Captivating. Captivating. Delivered a twenty-minute keynote address that I can only describe as "ballsalicious." Uh... it really was something to behold. Apparently he was under the impression that they'd hired him to do the thing he does on television every night! Anyway, I'm sure he'll be talking about it at 11:30, but boy, we've never been prouder of our Mr. Colbert, and, uh... holy shit.
- Well, I don't like this bad blood between us, Robert. If you're watching -- and I know you're not -- I think it's time we buried the hatchet. We need to get together and talk. We'll meet on neutral ground. You're on Fox, I'm on Comedy Central; how 'bout the Food Network? This Rachael Ray seems like a peacemaker. We can work this out, because I know that you're a good person, deep down in your... [gestures wordlessly at his chest] the thing that they replaced your heart with that pumps the... I know you have redeeming qualities! I see your redeeming qualities. For example, when you're on television, you let others shine while you generously absorb all light and oxygen. When you leave an area, it stops raining. And I know that in the past I've referred to you as a douchebag. But that's not an "air of grandeur," that's just mean! And sophomoric! [earnestly] And I only said those things to you because I sincerely believe... you are a terrible person.
- You know, I'm sorry. Normally we have all the writers. We've got a big group of people kicking that soundbite around, but right now it's just me. So... let me see if I can, just quickly, whip something up here; erm... erm... ooh! I've got something. FUCK YOU!
- [ Michelle Obama ]'s a Democrat. She must prove she loves America. As opposed to Republicans, who everyone knows love America—they just hate half the people living in it! [audience applauds] Apparently they're all here tonight.
- Michelle Obama's Patriotism. The Daily Show official website (2008-08-26). Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
- Nineteen people flew into the towers. It seems hard for me to imagine that we could go to war enough to make the world safe enough that nineteen people wouldn't want to do harm to us. So it seems like we have to rethink a strategy that is less military-based.
- Interview with Tony Blair, September 18, 2008
- I think that's our biggest problem right there.
- On George Bush's comment that he "doesn't think America has any problems"
- Interview with Tony Blair, September 18, 2008
- Guantanamo Bay isn't a prison, it's a leadership camp!
- I have great fondness and affection for John McCain, I would have voted for him, if he had made it, against Gore, quite frankly, in 2000. The guy that I see now, putting air quotes around women's health, and doing all the things that he does, I don't know what that is. And if that's a strategy that's disingenuous from how he really thinks, then my opinion of him is even lower.
- Interview with Bill Kristol, October 30, 2008 
Interview with Mike Huckabee (December 9, 2008)
Stewart and Huckabee discussed fiscal and social conservatism; the second part of the interview focused on their differing views on same-sex marriage.
Mike Huckabee, Part 2. The Daily Show official website (2008-12-09). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
- This gets to the crux of it. I think it's the difference between what you think gay people are and what I do. And I live in New York City, so I'm going to make a supposition that I have more experience being around them. And I'll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. [...] We protect religion and talk about a lifestyle choice. That is absolutely a lifestyle choice. Gay people do not choose to be gay. At what age did you decide not to be gay?
- You talk about the Pro-Life movement being one of the great shames of our nation. I think, if you want number two, I think—I think it's that. I think it's absolute—it's a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights.
- You keep talking about it would be redefining a word. And it feels like semantics is cold comfort when it comes to humanity.
- I think you are looking at sexuality and not attributes, and I think it's odd because the conservative mantra is a meritocracy. And I think what you're suggesting is the fact that being gay parents makes you not as good as others. And I would suggest that a loving, gay family with a financially secure background beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day of the week.
- If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values—they're hobbies. You know, one of the genius moves of The Founders was not writing The Bill of Rights on the back window of a dusty van.
- Jon Stewart: It's a new era, Gitmo. We, in America, are done sacrificing civil liberties to fight the War on Terror. President Obama said so.
Gitmo: Yay! Gitmo love President Obama! Gitmo finally see Promise of America! It's a new beginning for all of us! Yay! [...] You know Gitmo and all of Gitmo's friends still want to kill you—you know that, right? We want to destroy your way of life.
Jon Stewart: Yeah, we get it, Gitmo. But with these abuses we're doing that for you.
Gitmo: You're not safe. Don't you want to be safe?
Jon Stewart: Gitmo, there is no safe! No matter what we do, there is no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society. So—finally—we're going to do what's right.
Gitmo: I'm very scary.
Jon Stewart: Gitmo, this has nothing to do with you! You can't define us. It's about not letting fear do that. [...] We can safeguard ourselves well using smart and legal tactics.
- Gitmo's World — Death to America. The Daily Show official website. (2009-01-22). Retrieved on 2009-03-29.
- Michelle Bachmann (clip): We're gonna fight for our freedom.
Sean Hannity (clip): Absolutely. Against tyranny.
Jon Stewart: Yes, "tyranny". A/k/a our democratically elected President. You know what guys, meet me at camera 3 for a second — I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing. And I feel for you because ah... I've been there. A few times. In fact, one of them was a bit of a nailbiter. But see, when the guy that you disagree with gets elected, he's probably going to do things you disagree with. He could cut taxes on the wealthy, remove government's oversight capability, invade a country that you thought should not be invaded, but that's not tyranny. That's democracy. See, now you're in the minority. It's supposed to taste like a shit taco. And by the way, if I remember correctly when disagreement was expressed about that president's actions when y'all were in power I believe the response was "why do you hate America?", "watch what you say", "love it or leave it", "suck on my truck nuts".
- Baracknophobia - Obey. The Daily Show. Comedy Central (2009-04-07).
- It's nice to see that even in retirement Dick Cheney is still making the time to scare the shit out of people. So many people retire and just stop doing the thing they love. But not him. Yes, apparently less than two weeks after riding off into the sunset—which he has to do, because he's allergic to sun—Dick Cheney wanted to make clear that if anything happens now, it's the new guy's fault. [...]
Ooh, I have a question. What if we're hit again by a guy who's really sad because his whole family was killed in Iraq—who's responsible for that? Or what if someone got pissed off at us because his brother was potato sacked and bound and kept in a cage without a lawyer for seven years on an island in the Caribbean—who's responsible for that? Or! If Al Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border had time to reconstitute and devise another attack because we pulled all our resources into invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11—who's responsible for that? I'm gonna go with, hold on... who's responsible for that? I'm gonna have to go with... Obama.
Y'know, over the years we have tried very hard to make Dick Cheney look evil, but in kind of a cute way. Y'know, kinda funny, cartoonish, lot of Darth Vader jokes, funny pictures, man-sized safe, then we did that funny wheelchair mock-up. It was all really funny and we called the segment You Don't Know Dick; it was kinda light-hearted and all that, but you know what? Fuck it. He no longer deserves any satirical protection, any glib patina of sugar-coating. We are now officially changing the name of his segment. [New animated titles for Why Are You Such a Dick? play.]
- Why Are You Such A Dick?. The Daily Show official website. (2009-02-05). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- However you felt about the man, whatever your opinions are, I believe we—as a people—should make a rule that once you die … whatever derisive nickname that we used for you, it dies with you. So can we stop calling him 'Jacko' now? … After you die, can a brother get a 'Mr. Jackson'?
- Intro - RIP Jacko Nickname. The Daily Show official website. (2009-06-29).
- I guess it's an efficiency thing. You don't want to waste tax-payer money giving it to someone who advises fake prostitutes how to commit imaginary crimes, you want to give it to Halliburton because they're committing real gang rape.
- Rape-Nutd. The Daily Show official website. (2009-10-14).
CNBC Criticism and Jim Cramer Interview (March 2009)
On March 12, 2009, television personality Jim Cramer appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The host of CNBC's Mad Money, Cramer appeared in response to host Jon Stewart's highly-publicized week-long criticism of CNBC.
- If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars today. Provided I’d started with a hundred million dollars.
- That is amazing! I mean these CEOs saying their own businesses are doing OK! I mean, it makes sense to take these CEOs word for it. For instance, I know O.J. Simpson. He told me he didn't kill anyone and he should know, he was there!
- Between the two of them, I can't decide which one I'd rather see in jail.
- Isn’t the Dow Jones Industrial Average just a short twitch numerical representation of a bunch of guesses about other people’s assumptions about the financial well-being of an arbitrarily chosen group of 30 out of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POSSIBLE COMPANIES? NO! YOU’RE WRONG! It is a real-time cause-and-effect precision barometer of how the President is doing! It’s been that way for years!
- The Dow Knows All. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-04). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
- You don't have to make comedian sound like a venereal disease. He's a comedian. He's gonorrhea. [...] And variety show? You make me sound like some kind of buffoon, just flapping my arms to crazy sound effects. [Montage of sound effects from Mad Money plays.] Yeah! Like that guy! Whoever he is.
- Reaction to clip of Jim Cramer's appearance on the The Today Show discussing Stewart's criticism.
- I don't know about the markets. That's why I don't make the claim to any authority. That's why my network doesn't have the slogan "In Stewart We Trust." They don't want people to think I'm God. Now of course, I probably wouldn't have a problem if Cramer's slogan was Cramer: He's right sometimes or He's like a dartboard that talks or You feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?
- Although to be fair, cherry picking isn't quite what we do. Cherries are sweet and delicious. What we do is more turd mining. And I'll thank you to give our work the respect it deserves!
- Dora: Doesn't Jim Cramer understand that it's not about individual mistakes he's made, it's about him creating a false sense of urgency that helped hyperinflate the bubble!
Stewart: I mean, that was kinda the point.
Boots: Do you want me to throw feces on him?
Stewart: No, Boots. That's OK. [...]
Dora: And Joe Scarborough is accusing you of being a cherry-picking ideologue? [...] Why is everyone being such a pendejo? [...] It means jackass in Spanish. [...]
Stewart: Hooray for the pendejos!
- Basic Cable Personality Skirmish '09. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-10). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- It's the inevitable consummation of this largely manufactured battle between a man who makes people laugh for a living and whatever people think I do. In a televised, two-part hatefuck that is, by all measure, bound to dissapoint anyone that's been following it. Catch the fever!
- On his scheduled interview with Jim Cramer.
- Jim Cramer Battle. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-11). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- Mr. Cramer, don't you destroy enough dough on your own show? Boom goes the dynamite! [Laughs.] How weird is our world when Jim Cramer's on TV baking pie and Martha Stewart is the one who went to jail for Securities fraud? That's weird.
- CNBC sells itself as financial experts. And they have the access to the CEOs. And yet, they didn't catch any of this. And here they are blaming people who don't have the financial expertise and saying that they're part of the problem. [...] It seems like the banks and those that cheerlead them turned an arithmetic problem into a geometric one. They took a linear debt issue and by turning it into derivatives and securities and all that, now it's a gigantic problem. So, shouldn't we yell at them?
- Jim Cramer Unedited Interview Part 1. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-12). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- So, let me tell you why I think this thing has caught some attention. It's the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as and what it is. And the help that people need to discern this.
- Look, we're both snake oil salesman to a certain extent, but we do label the show as snake oil here. Isn't there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic?
- I want the Jim Cramer on CNBC to protect me from that Jim Cramer.
- When you talk about the regulators [going after market manipulation], why not the financial news networks? That's the whole point of this. CNBC could be an incredibly powerful tool of illumination for people that believe that there are two markets. One that has been sold to us as long-term: Put your money in 401Ks, put your money in pensions and just leave it there, don't worry about it, it's all doing fine. And then there's this other market, this real market that's occurring in a back room where giant piles of money are going in and out, and people are trading them, and it's transactional, and it's fast but it's dangerous, it's ethically dubious and it's hurting that long-term market. And so what it feels like—and I'm speaking purely as a layman—it feels like we are capitalizing your adventure by our pension, and our hard-earned—and that it is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn't happening.
- I can't rationalize the brilliance and knowledge that you have about the intricacies of the market with the crazy bullshit I see you do each night.
- Jim Cramer Unedited Interview Part 2. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-12). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a fucking game. And I, I—when I watch that, I get—I can't tell you how angry it makes me. 'Cause what it says to me is: You all know. You all know what's going on and you can draw a straight line from those shenanigans to the all that stuff that was being pulled at Bear, and at AIG. And all of this derivative market stuff that is this weird Wall Street side bet. [...] You knew what the banks were doing and yet were touting it for months and months. The entire network was. So now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that no one could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst.
- The CEO of a company lied to you. But isn't that financial reporting?
- It's very easy to get on this after the fact. The measure of the network and the measure of the man is—CNBC could act as [...] nobody's asking for them to be a regulatory agency. But whose side are they on? It feels like they have to reconcile: is their audience the Wall Street traders that are doing this for constant profit on a day-to-day, short-term—these guys at these companies were on a Sherman's March through their companies, financed by our 401Ks, and all the incentives of their companies were for short-term profit. And they burned the fucking house down with our money and they walked away rich as hell. And you guys knew that that was going on.
- Honest or not, in what world is a 35:1 leveraged position sane?
- When are we going to realize in this country that our wealth is work? That we're workers, and by selling this idea of, "Hey man, I'll teach you how to be rich"—how is that any different than an infomercial?
- There's a market for cocaine and hookers!
- Responding to Jim Cramer saying there's a market for CNBC's shows.
- What is the responsibility of the people who cover Wall Street? Who are you responsible to? The people with the 401Ks and the pensions and the general public or the Wall Street traders—and by the way, this casts aspersion on all of Wall Street when that's unfair, as well! The majority of those guys are good guys. They're working their asses off, they're really bright guys. I know a lot of 'em, they're just trying to do the right thing and they're gettin' fucked in this thing, too!
- I'm under the assumption, and maybe this is purely ridiculous, but I'm under the assumption that you don't just take their word at face value. That you actually then go around and try to figure it out. So, I again—you now become the face of this and that is incredibly unfortunate. Because you are not the face of it, you shouldn't be the face of it. You are the person that was I-don't-know-what enough to stand up and go, "Hey, that's wasn't fair!" Which, it's not because this show isn't fair. And you can tell Doucheborough that it's not supposed to be fair. [...] That's not our job.
- Stewart: As is very clear from the tape that you have on the internet, there is the letter of the law and the intent of the law. And I think, clearly, that it would be a great service to the American public if there was an organization out there—not just the SEC, but a news organization that was trying to maintain the intent of this and force companies to still have growth and profit, but not in a way that burns down the entire field. Y'know, my mother is 75. And she bought into the idea that long-term investing was the way to go. And guess what?
Cramer: It didn't work.
Stewart: [nods] So maybe we could remove the "financial expert" and In Cramer We Trust and get back to the fundamentals in reporting, as well, and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.
Cramer: I think we make that deal right here. [Stewart and Cramer shake hands.]
- Jim Cramer Unedited Interview Part 3. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-12). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
- That was our show! [...] I hope that was as uncomfortable to watch as it was to do.
- Closing of the March 12, 2009 show before the Moment of Zen.
- People always talk to me about, "Who are your influences? What makes you do what you do?" I can say, I draw a line—I do what I do because of Bruce Springsteen, and I'll tell you why: You introduced me to the concept of The Other Side. You introduced me to the concept of: you go through the tunnel and you take a chance, and you can work to get away from your circumstance. And by working to get away from your circumstance you can make something better of yourself, but there's no guarantee. [...] But you know what? The joy of it is chasing that dream, and that was my inspiration for leaving New Jersey and goin' to New York. And bless you, my friend. You're the Man. So I just wanted to thank you personally from the bottom of my heart for giving me something to put into the dashboard as I drove a U-Haul van through the Holland Tunnel.
- Interview with Bruce Springsteen, March 19, 2009
- [quietly] I guess there's one more thing I want to say to him... uh, if you're heading out from uptown, take 42nd Street west to 9th Avenue, make a left, go down four blocks, Lincoln Tunnel's on your right, and you know what? [taking E-ZPass out of his pocket] Here's my E-ZPass, get the fuck out of here.
- Sarcasm - I get it now! See at the time I thought your jokey manner was just the way you were sublimating your shame over the discomfort you feel deep in your soul after extinguishing the last smoldering embers of any of your program’s journalistic bonafides!
Reacting to Starbucks-sponsored MSNBC show Morning Joe’s taking Stewart to task for not getting their “sarcasm” over their praise of Starbucks coffee, on The Daily Show.
Quotes about Stewart
- The set is a news desk, and the nice-looking man behind it seems... um, troubled. About his life, perhaps? About the news? A touch of indigestion? It's hard to tell, but it becomes clear—and quickly—that he is funny. And smart.
Jon Stewart presides over Comedy Central's The Daily Show, a blessed wedding of performer and format. Free of the burden of a full stand-up monologue, Stewart is able to put all his energy and wit into the news and guest spots. The word energy is almost too strong. Much of Stewart's humor seems to spring from an underlying terrain of world-weariness. [...] Repeat viewing of Stewart's shows reveals good things you missed the first time—smallish matters of voice shading, inflections and gestures begun but not completed. If you're a latecomer to his charms, you'll wish your alleged friends had demanded that you start watching a lot sooner. I'd like to see everything he has ever done.
- My boss is like, if you took Willy Wonka, and mixed him with Hitler. He's got like — he's crazy like Willie Wonka and he's psycho like Hitler. But he doesn't have a mustache.
- Ed Helms (2005-01-25). "American Resolutions: A Series of Human Interest Stories Used to Emotionally Manipulate You". The Daily Show. The Daily Show official website. Retrieved on 2009-03-29.
- Has your boss ever poured scalding hot Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger on to your arm? It doesn't just burn, OK? It's also citrus, and the citrus stings. And then he filled the pockets of my jacket with cockroaches. I work for a child.
- Ed Helms, The Daily Show: "American Resolutions: A Series of Human Interest Stories Used to Emotionally Manipulate You"
- In November, America elected a black man president after two disastrous terms of George W. Bush. Race was transcended. People were so angry that they tossed aside centuries-old prejudices. [...] Last night, America witnessed a non-comedian hosting the Oscars after two calamitous stints by you, Jon Stewart: The George W. Bush of Comedy. Jon, you angered the world so much they were willing to completely redefine their concept of what an Oscars host should be. And like a phoenix from the ashes of the two massive turds you laid on that stage, rose Hugh Jackman.
- John Oliver (2009-02-23). "81st Academy Awards". The Daily Show. The Daily Show official website. Retrieved on 2009-03-29.
- And that is your tragedy, Jon. [imitating Stewart and affecting falsetto] Look at me! I'm a sad clown! I hate you! I need you! I hate you! I need you! I don't want you, but I need constant attention and reinforcement from you laughter!
- John Oliver, The Daily Show: "81st Academy Awards"
- Stephen Colbert says that for all of Jon Stewart's acumen when it comes to politics and comedic timing, "The Daily Show" host and managing editor has no problem going lowbrow.
"He knows when to break the glass, if necessary," Colbert reasons.
- Levine, Stuart (2009-01-20). Jon Stewart: 10 Years of The Daily Show. Variety magazine official website. Variety. Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
- "After coming back to the show, I was shocked at how much thought and distillation he personally puts into the script," [Stephen Colbert] says, "that care and unbelievable work ethic, and ability to consume information, digest and distill a story. He's telling us that this is the mechanics of the human interaction, and this is the actual message of the story."
Colbert says Stewart's intelligence (the host can read books and script pages at lightning speed) can't be overstated, and that the show's mojo comes from stories Stewart brings to light that the traditional media fail to report.
"He's naming what seems most ridiculous about the news, which is the personalities and the news itself," Colbert says. "It's only the overt game that's being reported."
- Stephen Colbert as quoted in Jon Stewart: 10 Years of The Daily Show. Variety magazine official website. Variety (2009-01-20). Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
- A goal of Colbert while working as a correspondent on "The Daily Show" — one of his "greatest joys" — was whether he could make Stewart laugh in the middle of a segment. [...] "I knew the piece was good if he couldn't look at me when we were at the desk together," Colbert recalls. "We did much (fewer) green screen segments then. The highlight was when we were covering the Democratic convention in 2004, and I did a piece on Obama being the son of a goat farmer and I said I was the son of an Appalachian turd miner. Jon couldn't look at me for the entire thing."
- Stephen Colbert as quoted in Jon Stewart: 10 Years of The Daily Show. Variety magazine official website. Variety (2009-01-20). Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
- Now back to business as usual.
- Jim Cramer during the opening of the first episode of Mad Money after his interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
- Unslave Mee (2009-03-13). Cramer dodges any mention of Jon Stewart interview. YouTube.com. Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
- Stewart spent a couple of segments lecturing Paul Begala and me about how we were somehow “helping the politicians and the corporations,” a charge that baffled me then (I’ve never particularly liked either one), as it does now.
Unlike most guests after an uncomfortable show, Stewart didn’t flee once it was over, but lingered backstage to press his point. With the cameras off, he dropped the sarcasm and the nastiness, but not the intensity. I can still picture him standing outside the makeup room, gesticulating as the rest of us tried to figure out what he was talking about. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.
Finally, I had to leave to make a dinner. Stewart shook my hand with what seemed like friendly sincerity and continued to lecture our staff. An hour later, one of my producers called me, sounding desperate. Stewart was still there, and still talking.