00s, 10s, 90s, Celebrities, TV — August 7, 2015 10:16 am

A Daily Show Retrospective

Posted by

Once Jon Stewart landed the hosting gig, I was an instant fan of The Daily Show.  Back around the turn of the century, the program was like a parody news magazine featuring mainly human interest pieces.  The segments tended to focus on the absurd, the strange, and the flat-out ridiculous.  Starting with the 2000 presidential election coverage, the show naturally changed focus to politics and moved forward from there with biting commentary and insight.

The final episode with Jon Stewart featured a packed-house of cameo appearances from former correspondents of The Daily Show, dating as far back as the 1990s.  Seeing greats like Mo Rocca and Steve Carell in the studio again made me reflect on my favorite parts of the show over the years.

“To Get To The Other Side”

In “To Get To The Other Side”, Mo Rocca was on the scene to investigate a story of a dog named Mr. Chips who drove a car straight from one drive-thru to another. Mr. Chips touched our hearts and, sometime later, an episode was dedicated to his memory. This is from so early on in the show’s run that the participants didn’t seem to be aware of what The Daily Show was, nor were they in on the joke. “One chicken McNuggets, please.” Ah, simpler times.

They Might Be Giants Scored the Show

It was practically one of the first orders of business under the Jon Stewart years to re-vamp the theme song and score for the show. The band chosen for this task was the best in the business (and, of course, my favorite group), They Might Be Giants. You have them to thank for all the catchy horn riffs.

Back in Black

How could you not love a good Lewis Black rant? When he poked fun, he poked hard. His criticisms always came from a place of truth, covered with sarcasm and topped with faux-anger. I guess that’s why he was the perfect choice to play Anger in the movie Inside Out.

Out at the Movies with Frank DeCaro

To this day, I can’t hear the “Let’s all go to the lobby” jingle without singing the “Out at the Movies” lyrics. I have Frank DeCaro, movie critic extraordinaire to thank for this.

Even Stevphen

No. Yes. No. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Even Stevphen was the classic segment where two comedy greats, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, came together to debate issues and often times non-issues. Shouting and personal attacks were part of the routine.

The Greatest Millennium Special

The Daily Show
celebrated the ever-approaching Y2K with a one-hour special titled “The Greatest Millennium”. The format of the special was different than the usual news desk routine, featuring a comparative look at the history of other millenniums. The set was dark and decorated to look like space, opening with Jon Stewart walking down lighted steps a la Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” music video. While the episode was a clever parody of all the other Y2K specials from around the time, the icing on the cake was seeing They Might Be Giants as the live house band.

Al Up in That – The Bedspread King on Mattresses

The 90-something year old Bedspread King made several appearances on The Daily Show and he never took anyone’s crap. This is perhaps his most memorable rant on a subject near and dear to his heart: mattresses.

The Return in September 2001

Finally, here’s a look back at what was probably the most serious moment ever on The Daily Show. Prior to this, the last episode was taped ten days earlier on 9/10/01. By the time the show returned, it seemed as if the world was a very different place. Jon Stewart’s opening speech on this episode had a tremendous impact on me and likely countless others at the time. His was the first voice in mainstream media that seemed to make sense during that confusing moment in history, demonstrating a way to take the high road and make the most of a terrible situation.

Thanks to Jon Stewart and everyone else from The Daily Show for the laughs, tear-jerker moments, and zen over the last 16 years. Here it is: your moment of zen.

What were your favorite moments on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

No Comments

Leave a Reply

— required *

— required *

Loading Facebook Comments ...