Tomorrow is a day many of us hoped would never arrive.
A day we knew could happen, a day that really ought not to make us so sad. But it’s a day that smacks of finality in late-night television.
I was bummed in May when David Letterman signed off, but if you threw Wonder Woman’s lasso around me and forced me to tell the truth, Dave stopped being a late-night newsmaker and having an impact on our culture years ago.
No, tomorrow night is truly an end of an era: The great, immense talent that is Jon Stewart will be taping his last episode of “The Daily Show.”
And after 16 years, he’ll sign off having changed television, and the coverage of politics, forever.
I started watching my fellow Member of the Tribe’s show (his real name is Jon Leibowitz) in 2000, when Bush-Gore was getting good, and then of course we had the recount madness and the stolen election and man, did Stewart ever go to town on that.
His sense of timing was impeccable, his outrage was always entertaining; for liberals like me, one of the things that got us through the eight long, destructive years of Bush-Cheney were Stewart’s hilarious “High atop Bullshit Mountain” segments, where he called out the lies coming from the White House.
Stewart was a comedian at heart, but he also could be poignant, like during his recent show after the Charleston black church massacre.
He was a terrific interviewer, and was just as capable of chatting with Channing Tatum about some recent movie as he was with Madeline Albright or David McCullough about world affairs.
Stewart called it like he saw it, drilling Bill Clinton and Barack Obama alike, and anyone who called him a liberal shill wasn’t watching the last six years when he called Obama out on so many things.
There’s an entire generation of people, including some from my Gen X group, that got their news entirely from “The Daily Show.” And night after night, week after week, Stewart delivered it.
He was truly an outstanding TV host, and the tributes leading up to this final show have been numerous (The best I’ve read comes, not surprisingly, from David Remnick of The New Yorker).
Stewart was a truth-teller and bullshit-detector for our time, and I will miss him very, very much.
L’chaim, and Godspeed, Mr. Leibowitz.
**Next up, this was utterly fantastic, and will appeal to all of my fellow “Friday Night Lights” devotees out there. A small movie chain in Texas called Alamo Drafthouse got Kyle Chandler to reprise his role as Coach Taylor and film a public service announcement telling people not to talk or text during movies.
So funny… Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!
**Finally today, a brief rant about a news item I saw on Twitter today, from all-time Twitter jerk Darren Rovell, an ESPN sports business reporter:
“ESPN will broadcast a record 135 Little League World Series games this year from Aug. 4 through Aug. 30.”
One hundred and thirty-five nationally televised games from the Little League World Series tournament, including all the regional semifinals and finals.
I mean, the mind just boggles. You are taking 11 and 12-year-old kids, who are still playing a pure game they love for the sheer love of it, and putting them under a nationally televised spotlight, where every mistake, every miss, every disappointment, will be available to be seen by millions.
It’s so freaking wrong, to glorify kids’ sports to this degree, and to put this kind of pressure on these kids.
ESPN has done nothing but steamroll past any moral or ethical implications of what they do for years now in a lot of areas, but by force-feeding the Little League World Series and treating these kids like major-leaguers, they’re committing, in my mind, borderline child abuse.
Absolutely, positively disgusting.