Sarah Larson, writing for The New Yorker, on the news that Jon Stewart dropped like a bomb on his unsuspecting audience last night:
At the end of last night’s episode, after a thoughtful conversation with Axelrod—“The book’s title insinuates your hope: the fact that, even spending time in Washington, you really sort of believe in the process,” a sentiment that could apply to him, too—he made his announcement. “In my heart, I know that it is time for someone else” to have the opportunity to host the show, he said, to cries of horror. (There were more of these on “The Nightly Show” and “At Midnight,” afterward; people sounded like they’d been stabbed.) But Stewart wouldn’t have it. “Bup! Ba-dap-bap!” he said, waving his arms in protest. His fans quieted down. He explained a bit more, and said, “I don’t think I’m going to miss being on television every day. I’m going to miss being here every day.” He spoke admiringly of his writers and other co-workers, and said, “I love them and respect them so much.” He shook his head and smacked the desk with his palm, briskly, full of emotion he was trying to keep under control.
Jon Stewart is one of the greatest TV presenters of our time, and The Daily Show has left a profound imprint in our collective consciousness under his tenure. I love that he’s doing things his own way up to the very end. Much respect.