This evening, Jon Stewart anchored The Daily Show for one last time, ending his 16-year run as host of Comedy Central’s flagship program.
As to be expected, the episode was an emotional one. Nearly all of The Daily Show’s past correspondents including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Ed Helms, and Steve Carell were on hand to pay their respects. The episode also featured a Goodfellas-inspired segment recognizing every member of The Daily Show staff, as well as one last sermon of advice from the comedian turned advocate journalist: “I say to you, friends, the best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.”
The episode concluded with one final moment of zen: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s first performance together in over a year.
“An artist I really admire said that he thinks of his career as a long conversation with the audience,” Stewart said in introducing Springsteen. “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 show isn’t ending. We’re merely taking a small pause in the conversation. A conversation which, by the way, I have hogged … I’ve really been dominating this in a really selfish way. So rather than saying goodbye, or goodnight, I’m just gonna say: I’m gonna go get a drink, and I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave.
“So here it is. My moment of zen.”
Stewart then gave way to the E Street Band who performed “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “Born to Run” as Stewart and the rest of The Daily Show staffed danced along.