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Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, November 28, 1962) is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host.

Stewart started as a stand-up comedian, but branched into television as host of[[LINK|lang_en|Short_Attention_Span_Theater|Short Attention Span Theater]] for Comedy Central.

Stewart is known as an acerbic, satirical critic of personality-driven media shows, in particular those of the U.S.

Early life

Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on November 28, 1962, [[CITE|undefined|]] [[CITE|undefined|]] in New York City, to Marian (née Laskin), a teacher and later educational consultant, [[CITE|undefined|]] and Donald Leibowitz, a professor of physics at The College of New Jersey and Thomas Edison State College.

Stewart's parents divorced when he was eleven years old, and Stewart was largely estranged from his father.

Stewart grew up in the era of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, which inspired in him "a healthy skepticism towards official reports".

Stewart graduated in 1984 from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he played on the soccer team and initially majored in chemistry before switching to psychology.


With a reputation for being a funny man in school, [[CITE|undefined|]] Jon Stewart returned to New York City in 1986 to try his hand at the comedy club circuit, but he could not muster the courage to get on stage until the following year.

Stewart became a regular at the Comedy Cellar, where he was the last performer every night.

Stewart felt his career did not take off until a March 1993 appearance on NBC's[[LINK|lang_en|Late_Night_with_David_Letterman|Late Night with David Letterman]].

Later in 1993, Stewart developed[[LINK|lang_en|The_Jon_Stewart_Show|The Jon Stewart Show]], a talk show on MTV.

Among the fans of the show was David Letterman, who was the final guest of The Jon Stewart Show.

In 1996 Stewart hosted a short-lived talk show called " Where's Elvis This Week?" It was a half-hour, weekly comedy television program that aired on Sunday nights in the United Kingdom on BBC Two.

In 1999, Stewart began hosting[[LINK|lang_en|The_Daily_Show|The Daily Show]] on Comedy Central when Craig Kilborn left the show to replace Tom Snyder on[[LINK|lang_en|The_Late_Late_Show_(CBS_TV_series)|The Late Late Show]].

Stewart has since hosted almost all airings of the program, except for a few occasions when correspondents such as Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Jason Jones and Steve Carell subbed for him, and during John Oliver's stint as host during the summer of 2013.

The show of September 20, 2001, the first show after the attacks of September 11, 2001, began with no introduction.

In mid-2002, amid rumors that David Letterman was going to switch from CBS to ABC when his contract ran out, Stewart was rumored as Letterman's replacement on CBS.

In late 2002, ABC offered Stewart his own talk show to air right before[[LINK|lang_en|Nightline_(U.S._news_program)|Nightline.]]

On April 4, 2006, Stewart confronted U.S.

In 2007, The Daily Show was involved in former correspondent Stephen Colbert's announcement that he would run for president in 2008.

On April 28, 2009, during a discussion on torture with Clifford May, Stewart expressed his opinion that former President Harry S. Truman was a war criminal for his use of the atomic bomb on Japan during World War II.

In April 2010, Comedy Central renewed Stewart's contract to host The Daily Show into 2013.

On September 16, 2010, Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced a rally for October 30, known as the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

On the show of January 10, 2011, Stewart began with a monologue about the shootings in Tucson, AZ.

The New York Times opined that he is "the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow" and the UK national newspaper[[LINK|lang_en|The_Independent|The Independent]] called him the "satirist-in-chief".

Wyatt Cenac aid that Stewart cursed him out after Cenac acknowledged he was uncomfortable about a June 2011 Daily Show bit about Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain(reported in July 2015).

In March 2013, it was announced that Stewart would be taking a 12-week hiatus from The Daily Show to direct the film[[LINK|lang_en|Rosewater_(film)|Rosewater]], based on the book[[LINK|lang_en|Then_They_Came_for_Me|Then They Came for Me]] by Maziar Bahari.

On July 14, 2014, Stewart interviewed Hillary Clinton about the Middle East.

During a taping of the show on February 10, 2015, Stewart announced he was leaving The Daily Show.

On July 28, 2015, Darren Samuelsohn of Politico reported that Stewart had been twice at the White House for previously unreported meetings with President Obama: once in October 2011 and once in February 2014.

The hour-plus-long final show on August 6 featured reunions with former Daily Show correspondents and cameo video clips from people Stewart had targeted over the years including Bill O'Reilly, John McCain, Chris Christie, and Hillary Clinton.

In November 2015, it was announced that Stewart signed a four-year deal with HBO that will include exclusive digital content for HBO NOW, HBO Go and other platforms.

HBO programming president Casey Bloys has said that “the idea is it will be an animated parody of a cable news network with an Onion -like portal.”

The show's premiere was moved several times, from fall 2016, [[CITE|undefined|]] to the first quarter of 2017, [[CITE|undefined|]] and then cancelled on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

The cancelation statement read:

In 1998, Stewart released his first book,[[LINK|lang_en|Naked_Pictures_of_Famous_People|Naked Pictures of Famous People]], a collection of humorous short stories and essays.

In 2004, Stewart and The Daily Show writing staff released[[LINK|lang_en|America_(The_Book)|America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction,]] a mock high schoolHistorytextbook offering insights into the unique American system of government, dissecting its institutions, explaining its history and processes, and satirizing such popular American political precepts as " one man, one vote", "government by the people," and "every vote counts."

In 2005, Stewart provided the voice of President James A. Garfield for the audiobook version of Sarah Vowell's[[LINK|lang_en|Assassination_Vacation|Assassination Vacation]]

In 2007, Stewart voiced a role on Stephen Colbert's audiobook version of[[LINK|lang_en|I_Am_America_(And_So_Can_You!)|I Am America (And So Can You!)]]

On September 21, 2010,[[LINK|lang_en|Earth_(The_Book)|Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race]], written by Stewart and other writers of The Daily Show, was released.

In March 2012, Stewart interviewed Bruce Springsteen for[[LINK|lang_en|Rolling_Stone|Rolling Stone]]

Although best known for his work on[[LINK|lang_en|The_Daily_Show|The Daily Show,]] Stewart has had roles in several films and television series.

He appeared in[[LINK|lang_en|Half_Baked|Half Baked]] as an "enhancement smoker" and in[[LINK|lang_en|Big_Daddy_(1999_film)|Big Daddy]] as Adam Sandler's roommate; he has joked on the Daily Show and in the documentary[[LINK|lang_en|The_Aristocrats_(film)|The Aristocrats]] that to get the role he slept with Sandler.

Stewart had a recurring role in[[LINK|lang_en|The_Larry_Sanders_Show|The Larry Sanders Show]], playing himself as an occasional substitute and possible successor to late-night talk show host Larry Sanders(played by Garry Shandling).

In the mid-1990s, Stewart launched his own production company, Busboy Productions, naming the company in reference to his previous job as a busboy.

In 2005, Comedy Central reached an agreement with Busboy in which Comedy Central would provide financial backing for the production company.

The deal spawned the Daily Show spin-offThe Colbert Report and its replacement[[LINK|lang_en|The_Nightly_Show_with_Larry_Wilmore|The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore]].

After Stewart's departure from The Daily Show, he was listed as an executive producer on[[LINK|lang_en|The_Late_Show_with_Stephen_Colbert|The Late Show with Stephen Colbert]].

In March 2010, Stewart announced that he had optioned rights to the story of journalist Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned in Iran for 118 days.

On directing, Stewart noted on Lazarus's show that "The Daily Show" influenced his directing process more than his acting gigs did.

Stewart has hosted the Grammy Awards twice, in 2001 and in 2002, and the 78th Academy Awards, which were held March 5 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Stewart returned to host the 80th Academy Awards on February 24, 2008.

In December 2009, Stewart gave a speech at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honoring Bruce Springsteen, one of that year's Kennedy Center Honors recipients, and of whom Stewart is a fan.

Stewart began a comedic feud with WWE wrestler Seth Rollins in March 2015, and appeared on[[LINK|lang_en|WWE_Raw|WWE Raw]] during a Daily Show -styled segment hosted by Rollins.

Stewart got into a Twitter war with then-candidate Donald Trump, who in multiple tweets equated Stewart's changing his name from his birth name indicated that Stewart was a fraud.

Stewart's criticism of television journalists

In a televised exchange with then-CNN correspondent Tucker Carlson on[[LINK|lang_en|Crossfire_(TV_series)|Crossfire]] on October 15, 2004, Stewart criticized the state of television journalism and pleaded with the show's hosts to "stop hurting America", and referred to both Carlson and co-host Paul Begala as " partisan hacks".

Despite being on the program to comment on current events, Stewart immediately shifted the discussion toward the show itself, asserting that Crossfire had failed in its responsibility to inform and educate viewers about politics as a serious topic.

Stewart discussed the incident on The Daily Show the following Monday:

In January 2005, CNN announced that it was canceling Crossfire.

On March 18, 2009, Carlson wrote a blog entry for[[LINK|lang_en|The_Daily_Beast|The Daily Beast]] criticizing Stewart for his handling of the CNBC controversy (see below).

Stewart again became a viral internet phenomenon following a March 4, 2009, The Daily Show sequence.

Subsequent media coverage of exchanges between Jim Cramer, who had been featured heavily in the original segment, and Stewart, led to a highly anticipated face-to-face confrontation on The Daily Show.

Throughout his tenure on The Daily Show, Stewart has frequently accused Fox News of distorting the news to fit a conservative agenda, at one point ridiculing the network as "the meanest sorority in the world."

Stewart stepped up his criticism of Fox News in 2010; as of April 24, The Daily Show had 24 segments criticizing Fox News' coverage.

During an interview with Chris Wallace on June 19, 2011, Stewart called Wallace "insane" after Wallace said that Stewart's earlier comparison of a Sarah Palin campaign video and an anti-herpes medicine ad was a political comment.

In 2014, Stewart engaged in an extended "call-out" of Fox News based on their perceived hypocritical coverage of food stamps and U.S.


Stewart sometimes used The Daily Show to argue for causes such as the treatment of veterans and 9/11 first responders.

Writers Guild of America strike of 2007–2008

Stewart was an important factor in the unionization of the Comedy Central writers.

Stewart supported the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.

Stewart's choice to return to the air did bring criticism that he was undermining the writers of his show.

The Writers Guild Strike of 2007–08 was also responsible for a notable mock feud between Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien in early 2008.


Stewart has said his influences include George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, [[CITE|undefined|]] David Letterman, Steve Martin, [[CITE|undefined|]] and Richard Pryor.

Among comedians who say they were influenced by Stewart are Stephen Colbert, [[CITE|undefined|]] John Oliver, [[CITE|undefined|]] Samantha Bee, [[CITE|undefined|]] Larry Wilmore, Bassem Youssef, [[CITE|undefined|]] and Trevor Noah.

Personal life

Stewart is Jewish by ethnicity but is irreligious.

While making the 1997 film Wishful Thinking, a production assistant on the film set Stewart up on a blind date with Tracey Lynn McShane.

In 2000, when he was labeled a Democrat, Stewart generally agreed but described his political affiliation as "more socialist or independent" than Democratic.

In 2013, Jon and Tracey bought a 12-acre (4.9 ha) farm in Middletown, New Jersey, called "Bufflehead Farm".

In 2017, Jon and Tracey received approval to open a 45-acre (18 ha) animal sanctuary in Colts Neck that will be home to animals saved from slaughterhouses and live markets.

Honors and awards

Stewart and other members of The Daily Show have received two Peabody Awards for " Indecision 2000" and " Indecision 2004", covering the 2000 presidential election and the 2004 presidential election, respectively.

The Daily Showreceived the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 and Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

Stewart won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 2005 for his recording,[[LINK|lang_en|America_(The_Book)|America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction]]

In the December 2003 New Year's edition of[[LINK|lang_en|Newsweek|Newsweek]]

In 2004, Stewart spoke at the commencement ceremonies at his alma mater, William and Mary, and received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.

Stewart was named one of the 2005 Time 100, an annual list of 100 of the most influential people of the year by[[LINK|lang_en|Time_(magazine)|TIME]]

Stewart and The Daily Show received the 2005 National Council of Teachers of English(NCTE) George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.

Stewart was presented an Honorary All-America Award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 2006.

On April 21, 2009, President of LiberiaEllen Johnson Sirleaf made Stewart a chief.

On October 26, 2010, Stewart was named the Most Influential Man of 2010 by AskMen.


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