A serious void will soon be left in television. Jon Stewart makes his final appearance as the host of The Daily Show tonight, marking the close of his glorious 16-year run at making us simultaneously laugh and cringe at the sheer absurdity of current events and especially the American antigay right.
You can’t refute the ridiculousness of Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush (and even sometimes President Obama and Hillary Clinton), because they are impervious to the truth. But you can reduce them to the buffoons they are with a well timed joke or anecdote. It turns out that Stewart’s gift for satire is a far more powerful tool for change than objective news reporting, a technique we here at Queerty have taken to heart.
Yes, we still have John Oliver’s fantastic (but weekly) HBO show Last Week Tonight, and we have high hopes for Trevor Noah, Jon’s Daily Show successor, but Jon’s departure still feels like the end of an era. We hope he will find news ways of applying his rapier wit on our behalf for a long time to come.
Jon has been a funny and articulate advocate for LGBT equality over the years. By no means a comprehensive list, here are six times we were proud of the little “fake news” show that could:
Punchline that would be funnier if it weren’t so true: “Maybe the only thing that scares America more than terrorists is confronting the sexual duality that exists within all of us.”
Punchline that would be funnier if it weren’t so true: “It had everything Fox loves — ordinary people demanding their freedoms, homemade signs, flags, men in uniform.”
Punchline that wasn’t funny at all because it was so terrifyingly true: “At least this scandal didn’t involve priests molesting kids — that scandal broke a few days later.”
Non-punchline we’ll remember: “It is the height of man’s arrogance to presume what Jesus would vote for as a value…Marriage is about honest, trustworthy people working in a loving household, having nothing to do with what their sexuality is. How can you say that me believing that is registered in the book of fire?”
Graphic we’ll remember:
Punchline we’ll remember: “They tried everything, starting with the good old classic slippery slope…When women fought for suffrage, nobody was like, ‘Well, what if one day a dog wants to vote? How ’bout that ladies?’”