Jon Stewart: He’ll Be In A Better Place
But, seriously, he’s not dying.
Today is the end of a comedic, political, and — unfortunately — a journalistic era.
Today will be the last day Jon Stewart parks his Jewish ass behind that desk, satirically eviscerating who deserves to be eviscerated in the political and journalistic arenas, on The Daily Show.
He’s been referenced as a ‘beacon’ of a lot of things lately. A beacon of hope. A beacon of rationality. A beacon of reason. And, quite frankly, if you alluded to ‘beacon’ in a conversation with him, his knee-jerk reaction would probably be “Yes, please. I’m starving.” In true comedian fashion, he would deflect the attention off of himself and most likely stick it right back you. (He’s rubber. You’re glue.)
Yet, in all honesty, Jon is a beacon.
He’s a beacon of truth.
Jon’s job required a lot of things out of him. Obviously, to entertain an audience, but at the core of this duty he had one major responsibility: to pay attention.
His show was handed the task of providing comedic relief regarding politics and society as a whole. He and his team oversaw political action from two presidential administrations. He and his team witnessed first-hand the political gridlock, and absence of political compromise, that currently damns this country. He and his team watched social movements unravel. And, he and his team had to deconstruct social and political happenings in order to generate a true understanding of what these happenings meant as to — generally — verbally defecate all over it.
However, there was one catch. To pay attention, and generate that true understanding, his team listened to the tellers: the media. But, how do you generate a true understanding of these happenings when your tellers can’t be trusted? In other words, how do you generate a true understanding of these happenings when the media delivering the information construes it to fit an agenda of their own?
Jon Stewart and company had to provide not only comedic relief from the political environment that increasingly saps sociological and political ambition from its constituents, but also play comedic gatekeeper to the fourth estate that has the responsibility of… gatekeeping.
He nailed it.
For about 23 minutes a day, four days out of the week, Stewart reaped the fruits of his and his team’s labor by dishing out gut-wrenching laughs to crowds in reference to the political and social topics that plague our country. He sought to find humor in the events and constructs that keep the American people down, and he hit the sweet spot each and every time. He bobbed and weaved through information from all angles, calling out who deserved to be called out (read: FOX News), questioning what needed to be questioned, praising who deserved to be praised, and interviewing some cool people along the way. He did so for over a decade.
The one key thing to remember is that we were the ones that laughed. He and his crew were the ones that immersed themselves in the mess that is the American political scene, and the media coverage that conveniently interprets information to fulfill whatever agendas they may have in store.
When we were couch surfing with our feet kicked up on the coffee table they shouldn’t really be on, drinking our nightcap and gnawing on some snack we shouldn’t be having, Jon made faces and wisecracks at what was wrong with America, the not-so-beautiful right now.
But, imagine what the work was like in order to find the funny in the not-so-funny that keeps our country in its troughs. Imagine the level to which he had to delve into the political action, or lack thereof, that eradicates many people’s livelihoods at a national scale. Imagine the cynicism he acquired along the way from bashing political representatives and their bonehead, hypocritical, morally distraught, and simply irrational outlooks on how our communities’ issues should be handled. Imagine how depressing it must be to have to sift through the radically varying information on a given topic, searching for the truths through the thick of all the loaded bullshit the American mediascape tends to spew out of its ass. Especially, when having what you find be as sad as you having to keep this institution in check — one that’s allegedly responsible for keeping politics in check — in the first place. Imagine being the truth telling news reporter that American people turn to in order to get an honest view of our world: as a comedian.
Imagine, over the course of 16 years, nothing changing.
Jon Stewart was a beacon of truth, and, after tonight, he will be on his farm in New Jersey with his family and pets.
He’ll be happy.