A few months back, I thanked Jon Stewart for being a part of my life by writing a blog article which of course he didn't read, but I couldn't resist expressing my heartfelt respect for him. Coming from India with a journalism and communications background, I needed to understand American politics and everything about how this country does its thing. I didn't know who to turn to understand all that. Until, I found Jon Stewart who literally taught me everything about America, its people and its politics. Today after about three years, whatever I know about America is because of Jon Stewart. He is like my guru. Imagine connecting with a person I haven’t met or talked to. He has got that aura about him.
The news about Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show was shattering. I don’t know why, but I just felt that I lost something. I began to crazily tweet, instagram about how devastated I was after getting this news. I began to mourn for someone who I was thankful for. I became crazy. Stewart is a guy I wanted to watch every single day and over the weekend when he didn't have his show, I watched those extended interviews which never aired on prime time. If I as a foreigner feel so much about Stewart’s exit from The Daily Show, I can’t imagine how Americans are coping with his exit. Hey America, if I were you, I would make a pledge for his return and get the whole of the United States to sign to bring him back. Can’t just let him go, can we? And even more at a time when 2016 elections is round the corner. Who’s going to make sense of the “God-alone-knows-who’s-running” 2016 elections? Stewart, can you like go after that?
There are some who are comedians, and there are some who are late night talk show hosts, and then there are some who are news anchors. But Jon Stewart is all three in one. He has a wit of a comedian which is unmatchable, the charm and aura of a late night talk show host like never seen before, and knowledge and analytical ability of hard news like no anchor person in the media today. Besides, his presentation of all that hard core news to an average lay man is mind-blowing. In a true sense, he is magical.
Besides that, Stewart comes off like a genuine human being who cares for people. There are so many issues and concerns that an average American faces today. Stewart makes sure he carries those unheard voices through the show. Right from Eric Garner, Ferguson, school shootings, elections, religious intolerance, race in America, same-sex marriage, equal rights – he has a response and reaction to all these issues. He makes real sense of issues that an average American has to deal with every single day. Like most people on television today, Stewart is not sitting there to suck in the camera lights and fame of the job. In fact he is effectively using the medium to convey a message to the public. His humility and his genuine respect for his team is contagious.
The Daily Show calls itself a phony satirical comedy show, when in reality Jon Stewart has taken it to a level where there’s nothing phony about it. Stewart is one-of-a-kind and to replace him, Comedy Central needs a news wizard with a charm of a late night talk show host, wit of a comedian, someone who is genuine and of course not someone waiting to be famous. That’s going to be a tough search for sure.
Jon Stewart, I’m going to miss you a lot. Thank you for being there and being my guru. I hope I get a chance to meet you in person someday. Oh God, what is this colorless liquid coming out from my eyes :-)
Read my earlier article on Jon Stewart: Link to the blog post