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Not one to shy away from heavy topics while still bringing comedy to the table, Stewart interviewed and debated with several respected political presences, including Rachel Maddow , Bill O'Reilly and Tucker Carlson.

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Stewart's commentary was known to leave an impact. His debates with O'Reilly also showcased his political presence on a grander scale, addressing topics such as health care, foreign affairs in Syria and the actions of the GOP. Stewart and Colbert's joint rally brought in a reported , people, by some estimates more than doubling the number of participants at Beck's rally. It's an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution.

Stewart's writing has also been published in several magazines, including The New Yorker and Esquire , and he has authored multiple books. His first effort was Naked Pictures of Famous People , a collection of satirical essays. In November , Stewart took his first step toward the next phase of his career with the announcement he had signed a four-year deal to create digital content for HBO platforms. However, after many starts and stops, HBO and Stewart decided to part ways on what was originally an animation project, citing too many technical and production issues.

In its official statement, the premium cable channel said it would be working with Stewart on other projects.

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Stewart and wife Tracey McShane have been married since They have a son, Nathan Thomas, and a daughter, Maggie Rose. We strive for accuracy and fairness. They were kind of like the grand Pooh-Bahs of the alternative-comedy scene in L. It was that whole wave of comics.

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Bob and David said The Daily Show sounded like a great opportunity. So I sublet my apartment, sold my Harley, found someone to take my dog for a while, and came to New York with three duffel bags. But the staff had its allegiances, and the things that they liked to do, and the way they liked to do it.

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As much as I loved the original writers, I created some little monsters. Karlin arrived as head writer in April and quickly formed a complementary duo with Stewart. BEN KARLIN: We were very kindred spirits, with very similar points of view, and my critique of the show was very much in line with his problems with the show: Why are we going after these helpless targets?

Maybe we should focus the power of this kind of big news show on things that are actually newsworthy, rather than just look through the paper for what seems funny. It was an absolute flat-out power struggle, but one that I felt blindsided by. Some of them were about me; some were about other people. It was the most juvenile thing in the world. Jon and I used to have this thing: crazy out, sane in. We wanted to try to build a show of smart, funny, reasonable people with a similar vision who were hard workers.

I had a lot of creative things I was interested in, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was temping for three years at law firms and Merrill Lynch. I knew Ben Karlin from a teen tour that we were on together, the thing where Jewish middle-class kids go around the country and pretend to rough it for six weeks. Then I spent a year at Letterman as a writer, and I hated that.

And I quit. I was making six figures. It was crushing my soul. He always was like this. And D. In Karlin, and now Javerbaum, Stewart had hired invaluable off-camera allies. But he quickly recognized that he had inherited an indispensable on-camera co-conspirator.

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Stephen Colbert had a subversive streak that was greatly abetted by the fact that he looked like a trustworthy middle-American insurance salesman. I desperately needed a job. Someone from the entertainment division recommended to the news division that if they were looking for somebody who was funny but looked really straight, for a correspondent for Good Morning America , that they should consider me. They hired me.

I did exactly two reports. Only one of which ever made it to air. After those two reports, I pitched 20 stories in a row that got shot down. But it was totally a day job. When Jon first got there, he had a rough ride with some of the people who had worked with Craig.

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But I immediately knew he was a guy I should listen to. I saw how thoughtful he wanted to be about political comedy and how he invited us to have our own thoughts, invest the jokes with our own beliefs. And maybe he thought he could trust me. Changing the lineup of correspondents and contributors, the on-air faces of the show, was crucial, if less contentious.

Then Colbert helped recruit another major talent. I got a call from Stephen Colbert.


So we were just watching a lot of the Game Show Network. We decided to stage the field piece right underneath the HOLLYWOOD sign, up in the Hills, and that I was going to do the walk-and-talk as I was essentially walking up the side of a mountain, and obviously play up the fact that I was really out of shape, that it was a very bad correspondent to have chosen for a walk-and-talk. Apparently Madeleine really liked that moment within the piece and thought that that was a good choice.

No one was really familiar with this show. They just saw it as a little nothing cable show. A job, but nothing that was going to amount to much. Jon had just become the host about six months before.

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I knew stand-ups. I did not know Vance, Mo, Steve, Stephen. What Stewart and his colleagues could not have known was that they had arrived at the perfect moment, with the media and political worlds on the cusp of upheaval. But the network news hegemony had been rattled by the arrival of CNN, and especially by its coverage of the Gulf War.

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Soon the Internet would flatten the traditional TV news industry. And a wised-up, postmodern generation of viewers was hungry for what The Daily Show would soon deliver. The turn of the century was also a boom time for network newsmagazines. NBC was airing Dateline five nights a week. Syndicated shows including Inside Edition added an even cheesier, tabloid flair to the genre.

The TV-newsmagazine formula—leaning heavily on sensationalized crime stories, breathless celebrity profiles, and consumer-product scares—was ripe for parody. In the Kilborn era, field-department pieces frequently featured obscure eccentrics—say, a man who pulled his own teeth and replaced them with driveway gravel.

This piece may well have been in the works before Jon arrived. But it airs, and after the show you have a postmortem. And Jon was not happy. I think it ended up being a policy-changing piece. Jon left it up to us in terms of what sort of characters we were developing. I saw my character as a former local-news anchor who had been demoted to reporting on a nondescript cable news show and was a little bitter about it. In fact, it was 15 years ago when he specifically took CNN and the wider media to task in an appearance on the debate show "Crossfire," which effectively served notice that despite the primary mandate to entertain, late-night comedians needn't shy away from more serious critiques and policy positions that propelled their monologues into the political conversation.

After some opening pleasantries, he called the show "bad," compared it to pro wrestling and urged the hosts to "stop hurting America. When Carlson essentially pleaded with Stewart to stop lecturing them and "be funny," the comic responded that he wasn't "going to be your monkey. Stewart closed by calling Carlson a somewhat crude name, which is perhaps the best remembered and least significant part of the exchange.

The larger point -- that turning political dialogue into a kind of sporting event had consequences -- was somewhat overlooked in the uncomfortable banter that ensued. Begala would later write -- somewhat hyperbolically -- that Stewart "blew up" the show, while acknowledging that some of his criticisms were valid and dismissing others.