Stories about Jon Stewart from Stephen Colbert, John Mulaney, Jimmy Kimmel, Samantha Bee and more

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By all accounts, Jon Stewart would prefer a world where he never had to speak to the press again. But when he finally said yes to attending a Zoom interview about receiving the Mark Twain Award for American Humor from the Kennedy Center, he had a thing or two to say. Here is some of what did not fit into our profile.

Comments have been easily edited for length and clarity.

About the whiteness and masculinity of “The Daily Shows” early years

“I would love to tell you the story of it as a revelation, but I do not think we were – and I certainly was not – sophisticated or conscious enough to see it. At the moment you are embarrassed by your ignorance of it. You is embarrassed that you were there for a long time and did not say, “Uh, does everyone go to Harvard?” There is a certain embarrassment associated with how long it took, and how hard it was, and how even when you did it, you still missed some of the emotional consequences.

About trying to hire more diverse writers for his new Apple TV Plus show, “The Problem With Jon Stewart”

“It was punching holes in the box to get oxygen. And it’s not woken up. It’s not made to be moral. Or to be virtuous. It makes it better.” (Authors include military veterans and an Indiana social worker who had never worked in television.)

About why it is better to do stand-up than to act

“The nice thing about comedy is that you are not dependent on anyone but a bar owner. Hopefully there will always be a bar owner who says, ‘Of course, come in on a Tuesday. Do what you can.’ . ”

On sitting out in the Trump years

During Stewart’s first episode of his new show, a man in the audience began to talk about how he had missed the Trump years. “I thought, ‘You know, I just want to interrupt you quickly and say I was not on television, but I was alive. So I experienced these things. I just did not have a show.’

On missing the daily TV

Giving up the daily morning meeting was a loss, Stewart says. “My whole circadian rhythm was around production. My body was adrenaline-tuned to that rhythm, and at four o’clock every day after the exercise, [it was like having] chocolate and espresso. “

About the difference between television and advocacy

“I think if your goal is to create change, television is probably never your first turn. Mother Teresa did not say, ‘Do you know what I think I want to do? Half an hour every week about lepers: ‘Spdalske Half Hour!’ She went out there to Kolkata and thought, “Okay, who wants porridge?”

About not having regretted attacking conservatives

“Was the language ugly at times?” Absolutely. And I would say almost overwhelmingly deserved. And I really do not need criticism from people who, four hours a day, five days a week, talk about Liberals and Democrats, as if they are a cancer, and as if they are not Americans. I was certainly inflexible, profane, reductive, like all those things. But man, I spat into a fire hose. So spare me your indignation. “

Whether he feels a sense of competition with his protégés – and how he feels about his legacy

“It’s funny that it’s you know, ‘Oh, you guys are up against each other,’ it’s not a league. It’s not like if we win, we go into the Champions League of Satire. Boy, if you want to talk about inheritance – isn’t that nice? Someone will look back at you and say, ‘Hey, man, you helped me with what I do.’ ”

About keeping the Twain Award in perspective

“It’s great, after all these years, to have a chance to go down there and spend a weekend with so many of my favorite people. But I do not want to get into that, as the legacy of, ‘We have changed the world! People, gather! We are Cable TV’s Plato and Sophocles! ‘ We were on [basic cable] with Spanish people playing football. We were so far up on the dial where you would get a nosebleed. ”

Maybe he will take the advice he told Stephen Colbert when “The Colbert Report” was downloaded. Colbert: remembers “He says, ‘You worked so hard for this, but I just want you to remember – when your child crosses that stage of a university and gets their degree 15 years from now, I want you to smile and you say to yourself, ‘I paid for some of this with poop jokes.’

John Stewart cares less about his legacy than you do.

Here’s more of what the people he worked with had to say about him.

Stephen Colbert: “He invited all of us correspondents to have our own opinions. And it turned out that I had an opinion that I did not know I had.” Colbert remembers his vacation with Stewart in the Cayman Islands on a 60 foot boat: “Jon looked up and said, ‘Part of me desperately wants to jump from the top of this boat’, and he came to the top and then he says: “Okay, at three, let’s jump!” And at three he jumped, and I did not. And I was quite surprised by a man as anxious as he is – because he is an anxious individual – that he had so much of a daredevil. He’s a tightrope walker. And he probably does the same in his work. ”

Jessica Williams: “I was shaking,” Williams says of her “Daily Show” audition, “he did not let me go away and thought I had not done a good job. I remember thinking, ‘Oh god, I just did got this job? ‘ “which is crazy, because at the time I was applying for a job at American Apparel and Urban Outfitters, and I was leaving those jobs, knowing I would not get them.”

Aasif Mandvi: “I really need to explore the idea of ​​being this brown face on this show. I could speak the truth to insanity through comedy and satire when no one did what looked like me. I owe him a lot because of it. Before ‘The Daily Show “I was the guy in the movie that you might have seen. After ‘The Daily Show,’ I was Aasif Mandvi – and that changed my life and my career.”

Samantha Bee: “Trying to make Jon laugh was our most important function,” she says. “My whole show now is a point of view, and all that foundation was really laid by my time on ‘The Daily Show’ and from observing him as a very pure example of it. In fact, no one did what he did at the time, and he was a great teacher. “

Hasan Minhaj: “Jon became this incredible distiller of truth and information during the Bush war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. He really represented what great political satire was for an entire generation of us comics that grew up in the early 2000s and came up in the middle of the aughts. ” Minaj says Stewart can still call or write to him for advice at any time. “He’s like Jewish Yoda to me.”

Trevor Noah: “We see the world in a similar way, but from different points of view, I think Jon and I share a frustration – there is something that definitely annoys us in disagreements. But we come to our conclusions in vastly different ways. If you gave Jon and I have the same cooking ingredients, there is a good chance that we would both come up with a kind of pie dish, but mine can be a cottage pie, and then he might make a quiche. ”

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