First they came for Colbert, and I didn’t speak up because I still had Stewart. And even though the end of The Colbert Report made it crystal clear that no show, no matter how exquisitely crafted, can last forever, I still wasn’t prepared for Jon Stewart’s announcement Tuesday that his time at The Daily Show will soon draw to a close.
Although I knew his departure was inevitable, it was an eventuality I almost actively blocked from my imagination. Sure, I knew his contract was almost up for renewal, but that was just a formality. Of course, I knew he took time off two summers ago to direct a movie, but he reclaimed his throne from that shifty foreigner John Oliver right on schedule. Jon Stewart was an institution. Jon Stewart wasn’t going anywhere. Jon Stewart was going to die in that chair.
But as it turns out, all good things come to an end. The Daily Show host actually related a touching incident along these lines the night before his official announcement, during his interview with Patricia Arquette (who recently claimed a BAFTA for her role in Boyhood):
What I always find what’s interesting is to watch [kids] grow up from that age because they’re going from the age where they don’t understand temporal relationships and time and all that, to when they do. And that is, you know, my kids are just beginning to get that. My daughter said to me, recently, it was her birthday and she said, you know when I’m 60 you will be 100. And I was like – yep.
I feel a little like Jon Stewart’s daughter: “When I’m 60, you’ll still be hosting The Daily Show. What’s this ‘mortality’ of which you speak?”
I know I should be old enough to understand ‘temporal relationships and time and all that’, but — admittedly naively — Jon’s hosted The Daily Show for so long that, until last night, it felt impossible to imagine things any other way.
Or, to consider his tenure from a slightly different perspective:
Just like Boyhood, everybody grows up. Things change. Life goes on: as Stewart pointed out last night, he’s not dead yet. But it’s still hard to imagine that desk without him in it. Now I have to. #ThanksJon