Last week was the final episode of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 16 years after taking over the show from previous host Craig Kilborn, Jon Stewart stepped down to hand the show off to South African correspondent and comedian Trevor Noah. Love him or hate him you cannot deny the cultural and media impact that Stewart’s tenure has had in the last 16 years. The show has garnered numerous awards from institutions such as the Emmy, Peabody, TIME, Critic’s Choice, and even Grammy among others. Book authors have seen a noticeable push in sales and other television shows have met their demise after being interviewed by Stewart. It definitely won’t be the same without him, but it is not the only change in late night here in the US.
In May, TV legend David Letterman handed over his show to comedian Stephen Colbert after 41 years on television in various mediums. Again, one of those love him or hate him personalities, David pushed the envelope of comedy on television in ways that had never been seen before and have been duplicated ever since.
One other late night show worth mentioning is the lesser known Craig Ferguson who left the Late late show back in December to make way for his replacement James Corden. Craig was very unique among the late night hosts not only because of his accent, but for the style of his show. I can’t think of anyone else who could do puppets, a talking/gay/skeleton robot, a fake horse, and some of the weirder crazier interviews I can remember.
I speak to all of this because these three were a big part in my growing up. David Letterman was the very first person I can remember watching when I was able to stay awake past the nightly news. My parents were Jay Leno fans, and rightfully so tried to steer me into his fan base. However their efforts were for naught. David had a comedic wit and edginess that appealed to me more than the play-it-by the books safety net that became Jay Leno’s routine. Whether it was his no prep interviews, the crazy cast of characters among his crew and neighboring business owners, the oddball segments with the audience or even the stupid pet and human tricks and the occasional dropping stuff off of the roof and into the streets of New York City, I was always entertained. I loved watching him so much that I used any excuse to stay up past bedtime to watch Letterman. Even though college Letterman was a good excuse to take a break from studying. In recent years Letterman was not always my go to source for late night entertainment but he was always there to put a smile on my face when i needed it.
The Daily Show I discovered when I was in middle school, shortly after Jon Stewart took the reigns. My golfing buddies (yes I golfed in middle school) and I were watching tv and turned it on. Needless to say I was instantly hooked. I had always taken the news for granted and here was this guy making fun of the news in a way that I hadn’t seen before. At this time my family and I did not have cable so the only time I was able to see the The Daily Show was at a friend’s house. In college the show became more relevant to me as my views on the world began to open up. Despite the show leaning more the political left it did teach me one important lesson. The lesson, as Stewart addressed in his farewell speech, is bullshit is everywhere.
Now despite the fact that The Daily Show is touted as a fake news show, I do fall into the trend of most Millennials in that I do get most of my news from shows like The Daily Show. Is it my only news source? No. However, the show has opened up my eyes about where I do get my news information. Leading me to seek out non biased news outlets and to seek out whether the latest spam news email merits and truthful value.
The last talent I would like to reference is Craig Ferguson. I didn’t discover Ferguson’s charm until 4 years ago. A few Youtube suggestions pointed me into his general direction, and oh boy did those suggestions make me laugh. I loved his spontaneous humor, and his laid back demeanor. As I mentioned earlier he employed the use of puppets, skits, no in house band, a gay skeleton robot, and a horse for a lot of his skits. His brand of humor is not something that I believe Americans are used to which is why I believe not many people checked him out. My friends and I who were fans of the show have a merry time watching clips and spouting one liners that had us laughing out loud. I urge you to seek out some his clips, they are worth a good healthy laugh. Interestingly enough Craig, like Jon Stewart, also took the reigns of his show from comedian Craig Kilborn. While Ferguson may not have broke any new ground in comedy and late night he still managed to garner a loyal following, a Peabody Award, and give American audiences a refreshingly different if not always successful worldly view of comedy.
Now I know that this article has nothing to do with wrestling or combat sports. However, the name of this blog is “Singlets and STUFF” so this would relate to the “stuff” portion of the blog. I wanted to give you a glimpse into some of my favorites in entertainment. Most of you know who these men are and the legacies they are leaving behind. But for those of you who don’t know about these 3 great comedic hosts I hope that this article will compel you to seek out some clips online and maybe enjoy, as I have, the great comedy that they have left us.