What Did the Critics Think of Jon Stewart's Last Daily Show?

by | August 7, 2015 | Comments

FILE - This Nov. 30, 2011 file photo shows television host Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in New York. The 18th edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," has just been released, the first for the electronic age and a chance to take in some of the new faces, events and catchphrases of the past 10 years. General editor Geoffrey O'Brien says he has expanded upon the trend set by his predecessor, Justin Kaplan, of incorporating popular culture into an anthology once known for classical citations. Shakespeare and the Bible still reign, but room also has been made for Steve Jobs, Madonna and Michael Moore, Justin Timberlake and Jon Stewart. (AP Photo/Brad Barket, file)

On Thursday, Aug. 6, Jon Stewart said goodbye to The Daily Show,  and critics around the country (and some overseas) weighed in with their responses to his final episode. Fresh opinions all around, and you can read them all here, with access to each review.

Dave Itzkoff, The New York Times
Fresh: “Jon Stewart said goodbye to The Daily Show on Thursday evening with a farewell broadcast that mixed wry parting shots with earnest displays of emotion and with a passionate speech urging his audience not to accept falsehoods and misinformation in their lives.”

Liz Shannon Miller, Indiewire
Fresh: “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was as tight and clean as you might ever hope, saving some well-deserved self-indulgence for the very end.”

Verne Gay, Newsday
Fresh: “It was sweet 16 indeed. And pretty darned near perfect, too.”

Jesse David Fox, Vulture
Fresh: “If the Twitter reaction is any indication, we felt something. It reminded us of what Jon meant to so many people, especially from 2002 to 2008.”

James Poniewozik, Time
Fresh: “Stewart signed off — ‘Here it is, my moment of Zen’ — and turned over the stage to Bruce Springsteen, fellow New Jersey balladeer of skepticism and hope, to play him off. This, at last, was just a little treat for Jersey boy Stewart, a little gift for himself. He earned it.”

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer
Fresh: “It was a topsy-turvy night as funny people became suddenly serious, and the professionally serious cracked jokes.”

Matt Roush, TV Insider
Fresh: “Nothing fake in this fake-news show about the genuine admiration his co-stars displayed for Stewart, and which Stewart bestowed generously on his staff, family and audience.”

Katey Rich, Vanity Fair
Fresh: “There was no better proof of The Daily Show’s cultural impact than the first 15 minutes of Jon Stewart’s episode.”

Todd VanDerWerff, Vox
Fresh: “Stewart is choosing the exact right moment to step down. As he does, however, let’s not forget that part of what made him so potent was that rage, that sense that the world would always be out of joint and he was the only one out there yelling about it.”

Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
Fresh: “It was a satisfying conclusion to Stewart’s influential run, which has aroused endless tributes since he announced his departure in February.”

Dennis Perkins, AV Club
Fresh: “Stewart’s final episode manages to convey that feeling of optimism without sacrificing the show’s central idea that the mission isn’t over, all in the shape of a joyous party.”

Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post
Fresh: “The parade of smart, irreverent and creative actors and comedians, plus politicians and media mavens appearing on Stewart’s final Daily Show testified to the influence he has had on the culture.”

Lauren Piester, E! Online
Fresh: “Jon Stewart has officially signed off of The Daily Show for the last time after giving us pretty much everything we could have wanted.”

Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
Fresh: “The correspondent parade on Stewart’s final Daily Show was a feast for people who groove on showbiz-comedy mythology, a profound argument for The Daily Show to get its own Live From New York.”

Robert Bianco, USA Today
Fresh: “With an extended Thursday night finale that mixed the Daily Show’s usual biting humor with a totally unusual dose of sentiment, Stewart’s sixteen year run as host of Comedy Central’s late night staple came to an end.”

Maria Sciullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fresh: “After 16 1/2 years of hosting The Daily Show, Jon Stewart earned his rock star exit.”

Hadley Freeman, The Guardian
Fresh: “At the end, the eloquence for which he has been so known deserted Stewart, and all he could manage was a choked up, awkward ‘Thank you and good night.’ He walked off stage, taking with him a glorious era of political satire.”

Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter
Fresh: “There had to be tears, it had to run long, spontaneity had to have its way. And in what was maybe the best decision a channel could make, Comedy Central seemingly said, ‘Let it roll. Keep the lights on until it’s over, no matter what.'”

Max Nicholson, IGN
Fresh: “It was a truly heartwarming thing to see Colbert go off-prompter and speak for everyone there to say ‘thank you’ to Stewart, who couldn’t help but get misty-eyed before the first commercial break.”

Kevin Yeoman, Screen Rant
Fresh: “The farewell to Jon Stewart was a great tribute to the comedian, but also to all the people who have helped make this show the institution it has become.”

Sonia Saraiya, Salon
Fresh: “Maybe, just maybe, we have all learned something. Maybe it is not so silly, to be a good person—and to hope for a better future.”

Kristi Turnquist, The Oregonian
Fresh: “For once, The Daily Show wasn’t a series of barbed comments about current affairs. Instead, Stewart presided over a loose, affectionate, energetic sendoff, a tribute to the man who has been the face and voice of a show that has helped blend politics and pop culture like nothing else.”

Penn Collins,
Fresh: “It was a pitch-perfect goodbye to a host who has pretty much BECOME the show he took over.”

David Sims, The Atlantic
Fresh: “While Stewart’s farewell monologue on BS was certainly on brand, Colbert’s unscripted goodbye (which, delightfully, caught Stewart off-guard) was the emotional high point of the evening.”

David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
Fresh: “Overall, it was a classy farewell because it was simple, emotionally understated, really, and honest.”

Ken Tucker, Yahoo TV
Fresh: “It was a fine, emotional way to conclude what Colbert called Jon Stewart’s ‘basic-cable fellowship of funny.'”

Jonathan Bernstein, The Telegraph
Fresh: “Other than a brief reference to the Fox debate as ‘incredible’, Stewart devoted his final night to shining a spotlight on the vast, teeming army of friends, colleagues and co-workers who kept the gears of his show spinning for so many years.”

Brad Oswald, Winnipeg Free Press
Fresh: “It was as close to perfect as TV moments get. And it was the kind of exit Stewart fully deserved.”

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