DC -- Newseum -- Exhibits -- (2) Seriously Funny: From the Desk of ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’:
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Description of Pictures: Seriously Funny: From the Desk of ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’
Open Through 2019
With his furiously funny brand of satire, Jon Stewart and his “Daily Show” correspondents skewered politicians and the press, challenging the integrity of government, the news media and democracy along the way. As the 2020 presidential campaign season heats up, this exhibit will explore the impact Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” had on American politics and the press through four presidential campaigns, two wars and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Stewart’s humorous take on the daily news — amplified by the arrival of social media and YouTube — made him the go-to source for information for a new generation of news consumers. Many viewers considered Stewart a more trusted source for news than actual broadcast journalists.
More than 50 artifacts will be on display, from “The Daily Show” and the satirical news shows it inspired, as well as print publications that reported on the show’s influence. The exhibit also features an original Newseum-produced film that goes behind the scenes at “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” The centerpiece of the exhibit will be Stewart’s desk from “The Daily Show,” donated to the Newseum after Stewart’s final appearance on the late-night series after 16 years hosting the popular program.
“Seriously Funny” will also explore humor as a protected form of free speech under the First Amendment and Stewart’s lasting influence on political satire through the comedians he mentored, including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Hasan Minhaj and Trevor Noah, current host of “The Daily Show.”
Contributing support for Seriously Funny: From the Desk of ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ was provided by Comedy Central.
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NEWFUN_190626_011.JPG: "Welcome to 'The Daily Show.'
I'm Jon Stewart."
Name: Jon Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz
Birth date: Nov. 27, 1962
Birthplace: New York, NY
Career: Jon Stewart began performing stand-up in 1987 at New York's The Bitter End nightclub before becoming a regular at the Comedy Cellar club in Greenwich Village. He broke into television in 1990 as a co-host of Comedy Central's "Short Attention Span Theater." In 1993, Stewart was in the running to replace David Letterman on NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman." When Conan O'Brien was selected instead, he started hosting "The Jon Stewart Show" on MTV. In 1999, Stewart took over "The Daily Show" from comedian Craig Kilborn.
NEWFUN_190626_015.JPG: Jon Stewart's Impact
NEWFUN_190626_016.JPG: "No one had made news so funny, or made comedy such big news. #JonStewart #JonVoyage"
-- Ellen DeGeneres, comedian and talk show host
NEWFUN_190626_018.JPG: Smothers Brothers Battle TV Censors
"I really feel like I'm on pretty solid ground with the footsteps of my ancestors. I don't know if 'The Smothers Brothers' don't happen."
-- Jon Stewart in a 2010 interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow
For two years in the tumultuous 1960s, brothers Tommy and Dick Smothers fought network censors as they took the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson and religion in their CBS variety show, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." The brothers' pointed attacks on Johnson and the war spurred an angry late-night call from the president to the head of CBS, William Paley. The brothers clashes with CBS censors over cut skits, songs and jokes until the network canceled their show.
NEWFUN_190626_022.JPG: Uncensored in "Look"
In this June 1969 issue of Look, the Smothers brothers argued that CBS censorship suppressed their right to free speech. The Beatles' George Harrison, a fan an guest of the show, encouraged the brothers. "Whether you can say it or not, keep trying to say it."
NEWFUN_190626_035.JPG: "SNL" Moose
This moose head is from a 2008 "Saturday Night Live" sketch that features comedian Amy Poehler rapping about Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, then governor of Alaska. Spoofing Palin's love of hunting, Poehler pretends to shoot a dancing moose.
NEWFUN_190626_051.JPG: Laughing at Lincoln
This satirical 1864 newspaper, The Funniest of Phun and the Phunnyest Sort of Phun, mocks President Abraham Lincoln for failing to free slaves in Union states, comparing him to the Bible's tyrannical King Herod.
NEWFUN_190626_056.JPG: Unite or Die
This graphic of a 1775 newspaper nameplate features a snake in a variation of Benjamin Franklin's famous "Join or Die" political cartoon used two decades earlier, shown on wall above. This "Unite or Die" version urged the divided Colonies to join forces against British rule.
NEWFUN_190626_061.JPG: Female First
Lawyer and suffragette Belva Lockwood was the first woman to run for president in 1883. This 1888 card, which misspells her name, ridicules her second run for the office. When her skirt is lifted, she is shown secretly sitting on a man's shoulders, graphics at right.
NEWFUN_190626_066.JPG: Mock Candidate
Mad, a humor magazine, touted its fictional mascot, Alfred E. Newman, for president in the 1960 edition.
NEWFUN_190626_072.JPG: Comedic Cover Boy
This 1960 Time features stand-up comedian Mort Sahl, whose biting social satire cut across the political spectrum. A sample joke about Chicago residents "voting" after their deaths: "I've arranged with my executor to be buried in Chicago. Because when die, I want to still remain active politically."
NEWFUN_190626_077.JPG: First Gentleman's Gown?
Satirical newspaper The Onion mocked former President Bill Clinton's hopes to be "first lady" when Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama in 2008.
NEWFUN_190626_081.JPG: Spoofing Trump
In the 2017 edition of The Atlantic, actor Alec Baldwin discusses his portrayal of President Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" and its effect on American politics.
NEWFUN_190626_090.JPG: Show Globe
In 2007, director Chuck O'Neil came up with the idea to digitally display city names on the globe, above. They were chosen by the staff, updated each show and usually had a theme, like cities with colors in their names.
NEWFUN_190626_092.JPG: The Anchor's Desk
From behind this desk, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart made millions laugh as he poked fun at TV news and newsmakers. In 2003, Newsweek called the show "the coolest put stop on television." Seated to Stewart's right, presidents, politicians, journalists, activists and celebrities traded thoughts, theories and sometimes heated exchanges with Stewart. This desk and globe were part of the show's set from 2007 to 2015.
The Daily Spin
In 2012, "Daily Show" guest Neil deGrasse Tyson -- an astrophysicist and author -- pointed out that the show's opening graphics showed the Earth rotating the wrong way: clockwise instead of counterclockwise. The next time he appeared on the show, the graphics department presented its low-budget fix: spinning a desk globe by hand. Not until Trevor Noah took over as host in 2015 did the world turn the right way.
NEWFUN_190626_095.JPG: Stewart's TV Desk
Set designers Jim Fenhagen and Larry Hartman said Stewart wanted the desk to look similar to those on real news shows. They used warm wood tones, slick screens, glowing light boxes and metal accents to complete the aesthetic. "The Daily Show" logo appears where a monitor once was.
Secret Side Table
The side table that was kept under Stewart's desk was typically loaded with props. Sometimes, people crouched under the desk to they could hand him props or stick out an arm for a high five for comedic effect.
NEWFUN_190626_106.JPG: A Crack Team of Correspondents
NEWFUN_190626_109.JPG: "Daily Show" correspondents reported from the field, sometimes traveling to places like Australia and Iraq, but often using a green screen to fake a far-off location. Early on, they copied the serious manner of "Dateline NBC" anchor Stone Phillips. They had titles such as senior Middle East correspondent, senior black correspondent and senior British correspondent. "The Daily Show" was a training ground for these comedians, some of whom went on to host their own satirical comedy programs. But South African comedian Trevor Noah was Stewart's pick to succeed him on "The Daily Show."
NEWFUN_190626_110.JPG: From the Front Lines
This fake flak jacket was worn for years by "Daily Show" correspondents pretending to report from war zones. Correspondents Samantha Bee and Jason Jones are shown passing a jacket to each other while pretending to report from Beirut and Jerusalem.
NEWFUN_190626_125.JPG: The Investigative Comedian
British comedian John Oliver debuted on "The Daily Show" in 2006 as senior British correspondent. From dressing down the royal family to dressing up as a Civil War soldier, his style ranged from dry humor to absurd physical comedy, often punctuated with an exaggerated accent. A guest stint anchoring "The Daily Show" in 2013 while Jon Stewart worked on a movie led to Oliver's own show on HBO. "Last Week Tonight" uses the news parody format to cover topical news and devotes the last 20 minutes of the half-hour show to deeply researched stories that often go uncovered.
NEWFUN_190626_128.JPG: British comic John Oliver is the creator and host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight."
NEWFUN_190626_130.JPG: "The dream was to work with Jon, because it would be like playing with Michael Jordan, and because you get to do work that intrinsically moves the needle forward culturally in the national dialogue."
-- Hasan Minhaj, "Daily Show" correspondent, 2016
NEWFUN_190626_133.JPG: Oliver's Fight for Net Neutrality
"Net neutrality -- the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are 'featuring Sting.' "
-- John Oliver, 2014
NEWFUN_190626_136.JPG: Wyatt Cenac Takes the Stage
NEWFUN_190626_139.JPG: In this segment about Tronc -- now Tribune Publishing, a conglomerate that acquires local newspapers and then slashes their staffs -- John Oliver championed local reporting: "The media is a food chain, which would fall apart without local newspapers."
NEWFUN_190626_140.JPG: A Puppet on Prison Report
In a 2014 segment, John Oliver used this puppet, named Timmy, to sing "Sesame Street"-style about the dire state of the U.S. prison system, image below.
NEWFUN_190626_148.JPG: A Mug for Mockery
In 2017, John Oliver used this giant Reese's mug to mock the one used by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, who argued to end net neutrality.
NEWFUN_190626_150.JPG: Catheter Cowboy
"Last Week Tonight" paid for several commercials on Fox News featuring Catheter Cowboy, costume at left and image above. They spoofed real commercials that aired on the network. "Last Week" hoped the ads would teach Fox News fan President Donald Trump about issues like clean coal and the 2015 Iran deal.
NEWFUN_190626_157.JPG: The Angry Anchor
This 2014 Rolling Stone issue describes John Oliver's comedy as "driven by a raging sense of injustice."
NEWFUN_190626_159.JPG: Humor and the First Amendment
NEWFUN_190626_160.JPG: Americans have long enjoyed satirical humor under the free speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment. Even before the First Amendment became law in 1791, Colonial Americans used satire and parody to ridicule King George III and British rule. From Founding Father Benjamin Franklin to author Mark Twain to TV's "Saturday Night Live," Americans have relished satire that lampoons government, politicians and the press.
NEWFUN_190626_162.JPG: "The trouble with practical jokes is that very often very get elected."
-- Early 20th century humorist Will Rogers
NEWFUN_190626_166.JPG: "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
-- Satirist Mark Twain, shown here in a 1907 photograph
NEWFUN_190626_171.JPG: "There's a lot of money in wars, except in the war on poverty. Can't make any bread helping the poor."
-- Comedian Lenny Bruce, whose 1950s and '60s stand-up routines pushed societal boundaries
NEWFUN_190626_172.JPG: "If crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?"
-- George Carlin, counterculture comedian of the 1960s and '70s and one of Jon Stewart's comedy heroes
NEWFUN_190626_176.JPG: Behind the Desk
For 16 years, Jon Stewart delivered his version of the news for 22 minutes, four nights a week. Behind the scenes, researchers, writers, editors, producers and fact-checkers helped craft each program. A bank of TVs with more than a dozen video recorders captured TV news reports that staffers combed through for the seeds of a joke. Fact-checker Adam Chodikoff was dubbed "an investigative humorist" by The Washington Post for sifting through pages of news transcripts and the Congressional Record.
NEWFUN_190626_180.JPG: Behind the Jokes
The show's brain trust included reporters, comedians, writers for the satirical newspaper The Onion and a former "60 Minutes" producer.
NEWFUN_190626_182.JPG: Breaking News; Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show"
"Welcome to 'The Daily Show." Craig Kilborn is on assignment in Kuala Lampur. I'm Jon Stewart."
-- Jon Stewart on his first show, Jan. 11, 1999
In 1999, comedian Jon Stewart became anchor of "The Daily Show" on cable's Comedy Central. Stewart transformed the program from a modestly successful parody of TV news into a cultural powerhouse. With fast-paced video clips and pointed commentary, "The Daily Show" became a trusted source of news for many. A 2004 video of Jon Stewart was so popular it helped inspire the creation of YouTube in 2005. By 2007, a Pew Reseanderson Cooper as a trusted source for news.
NEWFUN_190626_187.JPG: Anchoring the Fake News
Sometimes Jon Stewart had to remind people he was a comedian. As anchor of a satirical news show that many called fake news at the time, Stewart used the conventions of TV news to mock broadcast journalism. Stewart interviewed such newsmakers as Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Sens. Bob Dole and John McCain, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Government officials promoting policies and politicians seeking office considered the show a key stop. Backstage, Stewart's writers, producers and fact-checkers worked furiously to accurately portray the subjects of his ridicule.
NEWFUN_190626_189.JPG: On Stewart's last show, correspondents Jordan Klepper, Jessica Williams and Hasan Minhaj pretend to provide "on-site coverage" of the Republican debate in Ohio from in front of a green screen.
NEWFUN_190626_192.JPG: Finding Humor in Serious Matters
NEWFUN_190626_199.JPG: In a heated interview with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in 2015, Stewart said that Miller's coverage of the Iraq War and weapons of mass destruction aided in "the most devastating mistake in foreign policy that we've made in, like, 100 years."
NEWFUN_190626_201.JPG: Stewart interviews New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2003 about her book and her thoughts on California's newly elected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
NEWFUN_190626_204.JPG: In 2014, Stewart and Larry Wilmore, dubbed "senior black correspondent," critique a Fox News analyst who claimed the Civil War was about tariffs, not slavery.
NEWFUN_190626_207.JPG: A Different Kind of Fake News
Jon Stewart grounded his parody in the reality of TV news, using over-the-shoulder graphics and correspondents reporting from the field. Actual news footage and video montages were edited to show politicians contradicting themselves -- a technique real news programs copied. By 2014, more than 1 in 10 adults ages 18 to 29 said they trusted "The Daily Show" over CNN, Fox News and newspapers to give them the most accurate information about current events.
NEWFUN_190626_211.JPG: "The Daily Show" versus Fake News
Early on, commentators referred to "The Daily Show" newscast as fake news. Today, "fake news" means intentionally deceptive information spread on social media. The term is also used by powerful people to undermine factual reporting critical of them.
NEWFUN_190626_213.JPG: Golden Gag
In 2015, Stewart introduced this "Emergency Presidential Campaign Trumpinator 2016" button. Stewart pressed it whenever he was bored, image at left, to hear excerpts of candidate Donald Trump's campaign kickoff speech like "I'm really rich" and "How stupid are our leaders?"
NEWFUN_190626_221.JPG: Mic Cube
This microphone cube was used during the last season of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
NEWFUN_190626_224.JPG: Cover of "Rolling Stone"
Rolling Stone put Jon Stewart on its cover in 2004, above. In this graphic of the magazine's cover story, top, Stewart said "We need a news organization that puts country over partisanship."
NEWFUN_190626_226.JPG: One of the Last Scripts
This script from Stewart's last week compared a Republican presidential candidate forum to a scene from the movie "Toy Story."
NEWFUN_190626_229.JPG: A Critical Debate: Bush vs. Bush
"We're going to have an honest open debate between the president of the United States and the one man we believe has the insight and the cojones to stand up to him."
-- Jon Stewart, 2003
In April 2003, a segment that became one of the show's signatures debuted. "The Daily Show" team gathered videotapes of speeches that George W. Bush had made as Texas governor and contrasted them with conflicting statements he made as president about policy in Iraq. The video was edited so that Gov. Bush appeared to debate President Bush, with Jon Stewart moderating. Television newscasts began copying the technique.
NEWFUN_190626_232.JPG: When Stewart Spoke, Networks Listened
"Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America."
-- Jon Stewart, 2004
On the pretext of promoting his book America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction in 2004, Jon Stewart took his critique of pundit-hosted opinion news shows directly to one of his favorite targets, CNN's debate show "Crossfire." Stewart called hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala partisan hacks, saying their program was "hurting America." CNN president Jonathan Klein agreed and canceled "Crossfire" four months later.
NEWFUN_190626_235.JPG: Social Media and "The Daily Show"
The "Crossfire" segment went viral despite the difficulty of downloading video in 2004. The clip's popularity inspired YouTube's creators to launch their site a year later.
NEWFUN_190626_237.JPG: Stewart's Essentials
From tissue to toothpicks, Stewart had an assortment of items stowed under his desk to ensure he would always be camera-ready. Clockwise from left: mirror, water bottle, hand sanitizer, tissue box, alarm clock and toothpick jar.
Pens are Mightier Than Swords
At the beginning of each show and between acts, Stewart doodles, scribbles and edited his blue script with these pens, which he kept hidden behind his desk.
NEWFUN_190626_247.JPG: Stewart talks to the audience during a pre-show warmup in 2005. His take on the news drew younger viewers than traditional TV newscasts. By 2014, the median age of his viewers was 34 versus 52 for "The NBC Nightly News."
NEWFUN_190626_250.JPG: The writers room included former journalists, stand-up comedians and writers for the satirical newspaper The Onion.
NEWFUN_190626_254.JPG: Stewart talks with executive producer Rory Albanese and co-executive producers D.J. Javerbaum and Josh Lieb during a commercial break while on-site at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
NEWFUN_190626_256.JPG: Gitmo's World
"Listen, Gitmo, wouldn't you want a chance to prove your innocence? Maybe go free?"
-- Jon Stewart, 2008
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that accused terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba could contest their imprisonment. One outraged TV pundit argued that terrorists had more rights than "a poor Mexican landscaper" in America. To mock the outrage, Jon Stewart introduced senior imprisoned correspondent Gitmo, a "Sesame Street" hand puppet with a glued-on beard, who was voiced by Stewart. Gitmo returned to the show to discuss attempts to close Guantanamo Bay and end the use of torture.
NEWFUN_190626_258.JPG: Puppet Gitmo
In "Guantanamo Baywatch" segments, Stewart wears the Gitmo hand puppet and voices the character. The camera often caught him speaking for Gitmo or pulling the puppet onto his side of the split screen.
NEWFUN_190626_264.JPG: Taking it to DC
This flier refers to Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's dueling rallies. Stewart would hold the Rally to Restore Sanity, while Stephen Colbert hosted the March to Keep Fear Alive. Ultimately, the two events merged into one.
NEWFUN_190626_266.JPG: Support Stewart
This fan-made sign mocks Stewart's opponents who say the comedian fosters cynicism that debases Americans' attitudes about politics.
NEWFUN_190626_268.JPG: Marching for Fear
This pennant promotes Stephen Colbert's part of the rally, the March to Keep Fear Alive.
NEWFUN_190626_276.JPG: Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
"Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey."
-- Jon Stewart, 2010
Amid the divisive political climate of 2010, Jon Stewart was a comedic voice of moderation. He and Stephen Colbert co-hosted the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall in Washington, a spoof of the Rally to Restore Honor hosted by Fox News commentator Glenn Beck months earlier. Stewart often criticized Beck for spreading fear and conspiracy theories. Stewart's rally drew more than 200,000 people -- about twice Beck's crowd. Criticizing the negative discourse in Washington and on cable TV news, Stewart said "To get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together."
NEWFUN_190626_278.JPG: Flanked by "Daily Show" correspondents, WWE wrestler Mick Foley, second from the left, was awarded the Medal of Reasonableness by Stewart for his charity work and for "exemplifying sanity and reason everywhere but in his day job."
NEWFUN_190626_281.JPG: In a musical duet, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), to the right of Colbert, and Ozzy Osbourne, far left, take turns playing "Peace Train" and "Crazy Train." The comedic spectacle ends with The O'Jays performing "Love Train," not pictured.
NEWFUN_190626_287.JPG: Comedian in Chief
"Look, let me say this about members of Congress..."
-- President Barack Obama
"Are you gonna curse?"
-- from Obama's first "Daily Show" appearance as president, 2010
In October 2010, Barack Obama became the first sitting president to appear on "The Daily Show." Despite accusations he was soft on Democrats, Jon Stewart proved that he could get touch with them -- even one holding the highest office in the land. Stewart accused the president of being timid with his reforms and teased him about his campaign slogan, suggesting it should be "yes, we can, with conditions attached." The Los Angeles Times called it a "testy encounter, and an Obama staffer said it was one "of the toughest and most insightful interviews of the president."
NEWFUN_190626_289.JPG: President Barack Obama first appeared on "The Daily Show" in 2010. Obama appeared twice more on the show, and later Politico reported that Obama quietly summoned Stewart to the White House in 2011 and 2014, recognizing that Stewart could be "a more potent influence on policy than Obama himself."
NEWFUN_190626_292.JPG: Reporters watch and take notes during Stewart's first interview with President Barack Obama.
NEWFUN_190626_297.JPG: Dishing It Out in "TV Guide"
This TV Guide, signed by Stewart, explores the comedian's 2004 presidential campaign coverage.
NEWFUN_190626_300.JPG: TV's Coolest Pit Stop
In the 2004 edition of Newsweek, "The Daily Show" is described as the "coolest pit stop on television" and is lauded for its "fearless social satire."
NEWFUN_190626_303.JPG: Official Press Credentials
"Daily Show" correspondents were given press credentials to cover both the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2007 and wore these photo IDs produced by the show.
NEWFUN_190626_311.JPG: Stewart's Hardest Hits
Since the beginning of "The Daily Show," a Jon Stewart downplayed is cultural influence, calling himself a comedian who has the satisfaction of writing jokes about things he cares about. But he became a voice for his audience -- 3.5 million viewers at its peaks -- venting righteous anger and exasperation at government incompetence and news reporting designed to inflame. From advocating for changes in the law to get health care coverage for 9/11 first responders to challenging the hypocrisy of four campaigns' worth of presidential candidates, Stewart shaped debate about the major events of his era.
NEWFUN_190626_317.JPG: In his first post 9/11 monologues, Stewart mocked TV news coverage that spread fear rather than reason and context. "The Daily Show" had an "America Freaks Out!" segment with a breaking news ticker at the bottom of the screen that read, "Oh God Oh God Oh God..."
NEWFUN_190626_320.JPG: A Humorist Responds to Tragedy
"They said to get back to work. And there were no jobs available for a man in the fetal position under his desk crying."
-- Jon Stewart, Sep. 20, 2001
From their studio in New York City, "The Daily Show" staff, some weeping, watched smoke rise from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The show went off the air until Sept. 20. "When we were doing our first show after 9/11, [it] was basically me in my office just pacing and jotting stuff down," said Jon Stewart. He scribbled his monologue on one of the paper plates littering his office. In a tearful, raw message of unity and perseverance, Stewart expressed appreciation for the United States and the freedom of speech that allows him to criticize the powerful with satire and humor.
NEWFUN_190626_327.JPG: Fighting for 9/11's First Responders
"Apparently, the party that turned 9/11 into a catch phrase [is] now moving suspiciously into a convenient pre-9/11 mentality when it comes to this bill. What's more, none of the three broadcast networks have mentioned any of this on their evening newscast for two and a half months!"
-- Jon Stewart, 2010
In 2010, Stewart brought a panel of 9/11 responders on his show to shame members of Congress into passing a bill to fund health care for rescue workers who were sickened from toxic substances at Ground Zero. He also took his fight to the Capitol. His tactic worked: The bill passed. The New York Times compared Stewart's advocacy to legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow's ability to turn public opinion. Twice more in 2015 and 2019, Stewart lobbied for adequate funding for first responders' health care. Said Stewart, "The idea that 18 years later they're still tugging on the hemline [of] the government to get this bill through and get it funded properly is truly beyond comprehension."
NEWFUN_190626_336.JPG: "Time" on Satire
This 2016 Time magazine suggests that candidate Trump's campaign "triggered an extreme makeover for political satire, which is now... more passionate and often more partisan than ever before."
NEWFUN_190626_338.JPG: Stewart's Parting Words
This script page from the final show has Jon Stewart's final one-on-one address to camera three, which Stewart used to deliver punchlines and sincere messages directly to the viewer.
NEWFUN_190626_341.JPG: During Stewart's final show, his successor, Trevor Noah, crept on stage to measure the anchor's desk. Stewart politely asked, "Hey, Trevor, can you give me 20 more minutes?"
NEWFUN_190626_344.JPG: One of Stewart's favorite targets, CNN's Wolf Blitzer sends Jon a goodbye message from his studio during Stewart's finale.
NEWFUN_190626_345.JPG: Stewart's Legacy
For 16 years, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" challenged viewers to think about politics and the press while laughing at the absurd. Whether advocating for legislation, challenging the powerful or launching a new generation of comedians, Stewart had a vast impact on American culture. "The Daily Show' inspired books and classroom studies. "Daily Show" clips were shared to ignite social activism. But he left the show in 2015 because, he said, expressing a constant state of baffled anger wore him down. Echoing his watchdog role, Stewart's parting words were, "So I say to you, friends: The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something."
31 MAY 2017 - 12:06 AM (DELETED APPROXIMATELY
MEDIUM: TWITTER FOR IPHONE
DIMENSIONS: 43 CHARACTERS
Here in his single-tweet Minimalist phase, the real subject is not Trump's wholly original non-word, but rather that which is not seen: the ghostly remainder of the sentence that would have followed. With confident reference to Gilbert Stuart's "Unfinished Portrait" of President Washington, President Trump compels viewers to a greater level of engagement, demanding that they fill the post-fragment negative space. Seeking guidance along this path not taken, we find ourselves shocked at how familiar we have become with his oeuvre -- feeling, as a community, the unspoken "Sad!," the silent boast, the invisible #MAGA.
NEWFUN_190626_357.JPG: "Covfefe" Confusion
In 2017, "The Daily Show" created The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library -- a traveling mock presidential library dedicated to "Trump's most profound and revealing tweets." The image of the library at left was taken from an online interactive display. The "covfefe" tweet and label above were part of the library. At the time this tweet was sent, "people were searching 'covfefe' on the internet like it was a Kim Kardashian nude," said Noah. The meaning of the word has never been determined.
NEWFUN_190626_363.JPG: Noah Finds The African in Trump
"Trump is the perfect African president."
-- Trevor Noah, 2015
One of Trevor Noah's defining moments as the new host of "The Daily Show" came in October 2015, when he compared presidential candidate Donald Trump's behavior to that of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe -- two of Africa's most brutal dictators. Noah noted that Trump's disparaging remarks about immigrants and his brash statements on winning the election sounded like something African warlords would say. Crowning his segment with an image of Trump in full military regalia, below, Noah concluded, "I say it's time to be bold once more and elect America's first African president!"
NEWFUN_190626_372.JPG: "I do not have the same point of view as other late-night hosts because I don't come from the same world."
-- Trevor Noah, 2017
NEWFUN_190626_377.JPG: An Anchor with Global Appeal
Jon Stewart saw less than a minute of South African Trevor Noah's comedy routine in 2013 before concluding, "Oh, that guy could do my job." Noah joined "The Daily Show" as senior international correspondent the next year and took over the show in 2015. The transition between hosts ushered in a new audience, with 20 percent more 18-to-24-year-old viewers, according to Nielsen, and more African American and Latino viewers. Born to a black mother and white father during South Africa's apartheid era, Noah uses anecdotes from his life to confront racism and discrimination in America.
NEWFUN_190626_379.JPG: Catering to millennial viewers, Trevor Noah also does a digital-only, short-form show, "Between the Scenes," where he answers audience questions or tests out new jokes.
NEWFUN_190626_382.JPG: Trevor Noah's correspondents team includes, from top to bottom and left to right: Michael Kosta, Lewis Black, Ronnie Chieng, Roy Wood Jr., Dulce Sloan, Jaboukie Young-White and Desi Lydic.
NEWFUN_190626_385.JPG: "Time" Covers Noah
"When I started, there was a lot of criticism around me not being angry," said Trevor Noah in this 2017 edition of Time. "And then Donald Trump was elected." Noah's contract runs through 2022.
NEWFUN_190626_388.JPG: Trump Magic 8 Ball
"The Daily Show" created this Trump edition Magic 8 Ball, reverse side shown in image above, that answers questions using the president's evasive responses to the press. The staff pretended to nominate it to the National Toy Hall of Fame.
NEWFUN_190626_394.JPG: Well-Suited for the Job
Trevor wore this suit and these shoes on his first day hosting "The Daily Show" in 2015. Noah, who is from South Africa, joked, "A job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant."
NEWFUN_190626_398.JPG: Standing up for Press Freedom
Known for tough criticism of the news media, Jon Stewart has also been an advocate for press freedom. In 2014, Stewart produced and directed the film "Rosewater" about Iranian-born Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned in 2009 for 118 on trumped-up charges while covering election protests in Tehran. Bahari's 2009 appearance on "The Daily Show" shortly before his arrest was used as evidence against him. Stewart also championed comedian Bessem Youssef, known as the Egyptian Jon Stewart for his satirical take on Egyptian politics following the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011.
NEWFUN_190626_401.JPG: Bassem Youssef gets touch-ups on the set of his show, "Al Bernameg" or "The Programme" in 2012. "The Daily Show" inspired Youssef to launch his own satirical show in response to the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Youssef's popular show was forced off the air in 2014, and he had to flee Egypt.
NEWFUN_190626_403.JPG: "Daily Show" correspondent Jason Jones's 2009 interview in Iran with Newsweek reporter Mazier Bahari, right, led to his arrest.
NEWFUN_190626_406.JPG: Jim Cramer Smackdown
"To pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst."
-- Jon Stewart on the 2008 financial meltdown
Jon Stewart billed it as the "Battle of Brawl Street." Amid the 2008 financial meltdown, Stewart took Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," to task for failing to warn viewers about the risky Wall Street practices that triggered the collapse. Stewart rolled clips of Cramer assuring viewers that "Bear Stearns is fine" days before the investment bank collapsed. "Listen, you knew what the banks were doing," said Stewart. "And yet were touting it for months and months. The entire network was." More than 2 million viewers tuned in. But some suggested Stewart was blaming the messenger rather than the real culprit.
NEWFUN_190626_412.JPG: In this searing 2009 interview, CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer defended his role on a financial entertainment show during the 2008 financial crisis.
NEWFUN_190626_414.JPG: "You have become the most reasonable voice on Fox... You have become in some ways the voice of sanity here, which, as I said, it like being the thinnest kid at fat camp."
-- Jon Stewart to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, 2010
Stewart and O'Reilly Square Off
Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly had sparred over politics and current events since O'Reilly's first appearance on "The Daily Show" in 2001. In 2010, Stewart appeared on Fox's top-rated "The O'Reilly Factor," accusing O'Reilly of misleading viewers by calling it a fair and balanced show. Months later, Stewart welcome O'Reilly back to "The Daily Show" with a trail of rose petals and a crooning singer. Their frenemy relationship continued through Stewart's tenure as "Daily Show" host.
NEWFUN_190626_417.JPG: During their first on-air encounter in this 2001 interview, Stewart and Bill O'Reilly discuss the partisan tendencies of 24-hour TV news networks.
NEWFUN_190626_420.JPG: Taking the Press to Task
NEWFUN_190626_423.JPG: "The country's 24-hour political-pundit, perpetual-panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder."
-- Jon Stewart, 2010
The arrival of 24-hour news networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC gave rise to influential TV commentators like Jim Cramer, Bill O'Reilly and Rachel Maddow, who injected misleading information, partisan sensibilities or sensationalism into shows touted as news programs. Jon Stewart held the press accountable for distorting the truth the same way he held politicians accountable. Said New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum: "Over time, [Stewart] became not merely a scourge of phonies but the nation's fact-checker."
NEWFUN_190626_426.JPG: Stewart and Bill O'Reilly co-produced the 2012 pay-per-view, web-only debate, Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium, a spoof of Rumble in the Jungle, the 1974 world heavyweight boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.
NEWFUN_190626_428.JPG: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow was a frequent guest on "The Daily Show." In a 2010 interview on Maddow's program, Stewart took her to task for using a derogatory term to refer to the Tea Party.
NEWFUN_190626_429.JPG: Critics React to Stewart
Jon Stewart's pointed and often profane ridicule of people and institutions angered those who disagreed with his point of view. Critics blamed Stewart for fostering cynicism and causing young people to disengage from politics. In 2010, the feminist website Jezebel criticized "The Daily Show" for having too few women correspondents and writers. And a 2011 show mocking Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, an African America, prompted Fox News to ask, "Jon Stewart, racist?"
NEWFUN_190626_430.JPG: Jon Stewart and Race
In 2011, Jon Stewart mocked Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, an African American, on the show in a voice some saw as offensive. In a heated staff meeting, Wyatt Cenac -- the show's only black correspondent at the time -- compared Stewart's impersonation to "Amos 'n Andy," an old-time radio show in which white actors stereotyped African Americans. Stewart later apologized to Cenac, and they discussed racism on the show. Said Stewart, "It's not enough to ask somebody's opinion. You also have to understand the context and the atmosphere with which they're giving that opinion, and the power dynamic that's involved."
NEWFUN_190626_435.JPG: Fostering Cynicism or Engagement?
Many of Jon Stewart's critics accused him of spreading cynicism about politics. The New Republic in 2015 said Stewart "did his part to foster that atmosphere of distrust and scorn." But a 2011 study of young adults by the American Political Science Association found that "The Daily Show" and other late-night comedy shows promoted political engagement by informing viewers and inspiring them to do further research. In high schools and colleges, educators used "The Daily Show" episodes to teach about current events.
NEWFUN_190626_436.JPG: Presidential Summons
In one of Jon Stewart's trips to the Obama White House, he and the president discussed Stewart's influence. The president "wanted to talk about whether or not I was making everyone in the world cynical," Stewart said. "And if I was, for me to stop doing it."
NEWFUN_190626_438.JPG: Minhaj Makes News
This 2018 New York Times article explores Hasan Minhaj's Netflix show, which is aimed at a more diverse, youthful crowd. "Culturally for us, I think we need something like this," Minhaj said.
NEWFUN_190626_441.JPG: A New Patriot
As an American Muslim of Indian descent, Hasan Minhaj's voice and perspective stood out from his mostly white male counterparts on "The Daily Show." In 2018, Minhaj launched his talk show, "Patriot Act," on Netflix. Like John Oliver's program, Minhaj's show primarily researched, investigated and dissected a single story related to politics and and social issues. But instead of sitting behind a desk, Minhaj roamed a stage set in front of gigantic screens, similar to Samantha Bee's, a setup that he described as "a woke TED Talk."
NEWFUN_190626_444.JPG: Minhaj on Being Muslim
"This is the most unbelievable cover story since Blake Shelton won 'Sexiest Man Alive.' Are you kidding me?"
-- Hasan Minhaj, 2018
Hasan Minhaj's earliest episodes featured topics tied to his identity as an Asian American and a Muslim. Commenting on the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey and US connections to Saudi Arabia, Minhaj noted: "Whatever Saudi Arabia does something wrong, Muslims have to live with the consequences." Three months after Khashoggi's murder, Netflix was criticized for pulling from its Saudi Arabian streaming service the "Patriot Act" episode that criticized the country and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after royal officials complained.
NEWFUN_190626_447.JPG: The Queen Bee of Comedy
After 12 years, Samantha Bee -- the longest-serving "Daily Show" correspondent -- left in 2015 for her own late-night comedy show, "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," on cable's TBS network. Bee tackled topics that weren't typically discussed in the boy's club of late-night comedy, like abortion and rape. Her show debuted in 2016 and won an Emmy the next year for its "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner" special, which championed the role of the press as President Donald Trump disparaged the profession. Hundreds of journalists attended Bee's alternative to the official White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Bee donated the proceeds to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
NEWFUN_190626_450.JPG: Bee Imitates Hannity
"Whoaaaa, is Sean Hannity a serial killer?"
-- Samantha Bee, 2018
Samantha's shtick, like Jon Stewart's, often targeted network pundits who peddlers their opinions as news. In a 2018 segment, image below, Bee took aim at Fox New's Sean Hannity for his habit of "throwing together scary buzzwords and out-of-content clips to support an outrageous conclusion." Through a montage of Hannity clips, Bee compared his talking points and actions to the characteristics of a serial killer. Spoofing Hannity's signature techniques, Bee exposed his program as "an hourlong list of lies and conspiracy theories" that are branded as news.
NEWFUN_190626_456.JPG: Suited for Bee
Samantha Bee wore this white suit for her "Not the White House Correspondent's Dinner" special. The show earned Bee an Emmy in 2017.
NEWFUN_190626_458.JPG: In 2018, Samantha Bee encountered fierce backlash when she called President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump a vulgar word on the air for failing to persuade her father to change his immigration policies. Bee apologized in a tweet and on her show, saying, "It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line. And I deeply regret it."
["Let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices you feckless c*nt. He listens to you."]
NEWFUN_190626_462.JPG: Feminist Handbook
Samantha Bee mockingly referred to a "feminist rules book" while chastising a Georgia female politician who blocked a bill that would have reduced the backlog of untested rape kits.
NEWFUN_190626_466.JPG: Cover Comedian
This 2018 edition of culture magazine The Guide declares Samantha Bee "the defining voice of satire." "I'm leaning so hart into feminism that I've gone full witch," said Bee of her show.
NEWFUN_190626_470.JPG: The "Truthiest" News Reporter
Comedian Stephen Colbert modeled his most famous "Daily Show" character on top-rated Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. Colbert played the conservative foil to Jon Stewart. In 2005, Comedy Central offered Colbert his own show, "The Colbert Report." From his star-spangled desk, Colbert promised to "feel the news at you" instead of relying on logic and analysis. Colbert's pundit persona skewered government officials, journalists and authors with his deadpan satire. In 2008, Colbert amped up his antics with a mock run for president. In 2005, Colbert took over CBS's "The Late Show."
NEWFUN_190626_471.JPG: Stephen Colbert sits behind his C-shaped desk on the set of his hit satirical show, "The Colbert Report." Colbert said the show's character is a "well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot."
NEWFUN_190626_475.JPG: After nine years, Stephen Colbert left "The Colbert Report" in December 2014 to take over "The Late Show" from David Letterman in 2015. Here, he interviews actor Hugh Jackman.
NEWFUN_190626_476.JPG: Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow
"As we stand here on this historic site where 250 years ago today George Washington filed his papers to form his independent-expenditures, non-connected political action committee, we are also standing at an American crossroads."
-- Stephen Colbert, 2011
The 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC opened the floodgates for campaign spending by corporations. So Stephen Colbert hired former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter to help him start his own super PAC -- an independent political action committee that can raise unlimited sums of money for a candidate -- to shed light on this political loophole. Colbert named his super PAC Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. Fans donated more than $1 million, which Colbert gave to charities supporting disaster relief, injured American troops and campaign finance reform.
NEWFUN_190626_479.JPG: The Truth About "Truthiness"
On his inaugural episode of "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert coined the term "truthiness" during his recurring segment "The Word," a parody of a segment on "The O'Reilly Factor." Truthiness is something that "feels" true but isn't. Citing the Iraq War as an example, Colbert said: "If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing?"
NEWFUN_190626_484.JPG: Colbert Script
On this script page from the first episode of "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert promises "to feel the news 'at' you."
NEWFUN_190626_485.JPG: Anchors on "Rolling Stone"
In this 2006 Rolling Stone, Stewart and Stephen Colbert are called "the Cronkite and Murrow for an ironic millennium." The graphic at right shows the inside spread of the magazine.
NEWFUN_190626_496.JPG: Presidential Papers
This is Stephen Colbert's copy of his Presidential Candidate Filing Statement. He submitted it for his mock run as a presidential candidate in South Carolina's 2008 Democratic primary. He ran as a Democrat rather than a Republican because the filing fee was cheaper.
NEWFUN_190626_502.JPG: Campaign Poster
This poster was used for Stephen Colbert's 2008 mock campaign for president. In November 2007, the Democratic Party in South Carolina -- where Colbert grew up -- rejected his filing in a 13 to 3 vote.
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