The end is nigh.
After sixteen years at the helm of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is in his final week as host of the popular Comedy Central program. Conservatives are relishing the departure of a major thorn in their side while liberals are sobbing over the loss of an ideological comrade.
I'm sorry to see a comedic genius exit stage right.
There are few times that I am in total agreement with Stewart, due largely in part to my conservative background, but I respect his tenacity and his underlying motives for the way he addresses the news and ridicules the news makers. It is truly an amazing thing to behold.
The New York Times today published a list of nine essential moments that mark Stewart's long reign over political comedy, including his coverage of the 2000 Election debacle, his appearance on CNN's Crossfire, and President Obama's first appearance on The Daily Show.
While obviously pivotal moments in the rise of Stewart, the New York Times missed something very crucial to cracking the nut that is the comedian's shtick: his ability to make young viewers care.
Many on the right (most in a serious demeanor) bemoan the involvement of my generation in the political process, because, as a whole, we tend to lean to the liberal end of the political spectrum (me being the exception to the rule), but this has always rubbed me the wrong way.
Sure, the more liberal inclined voters that are involved = the more votes a Democratic candidate is likely to receive in the political process. However, wouldn't a smarter line of thought be to reason with these voters in a way that might entice them to consider what conservatism is about?
Stewart's success has come at the relatively easy cost of listening to the outcry of muffled Millennials who want to right a world they see as rife with injustice. Are they necessary right? No. But do they have a right to see their voice represented at the podium? Absolutely.
Recognizing this sleeping giant of young, socially aware, technologically advanced, and wannabe reformers has made Stewart into what he is: the voice of my generation, our Walter Chronkite, if not in style, then definitely in substance and reverence.
I understand Trevor Noah to be a capable comedian, and from what few clips I have seen, he is quite similar to Stewart's style, but regardless of his success, I highly doubt he will come close to toppling the creator of meaningful political comedy, Mr. Jon Stewart.
Addendum: I'm sure every conservative in reading distance of this status wants to burn my entrails for reflecting positively on Stewart's tenure as host of The Daily Show... Oh well, life is but a finite amount time on earth, might as well make a few enemies at the expense of the truth.