We forget that Jon Stewart’s time at The Daily Show wasn’t all wine and roses. Personally, I didn’t become a fan until after those first bumpy years so I never knew that it was anything but the societal lightning rod it now is.
I didn’t know Jon Stewart had failed so badly in his early years. I didn’t know that if The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had failed, then he likely would have never been heard from again. I didn’t know any of that when I began the book and in the first handful of pages, on page one actually, he lays all of that out in no uncertain terms.
And that’s why he’s so loved by so many—for his raw honesty, his bravery, his unapologetic, educated opinions, for his desire to be as intelligent as he is funny, for his integrity, and for his uncompromising optimism heavily influenced by his deep knowledge of history. This book, told from Jon Stewart’s perspective and the perspectives of the show’s writer, actors, and producers, is a reminder to all of us that we have all lived through dark days—as individuals and as a society.
It’s the perfect time for this message as we head into what could be another sad and fearful chapter in our nation’s news and government. I miss Jon Stewart’s voice in the national conversation. I didn’t even realize how much I missed him until I read this book. Reading this book was like visiting an old friend: I’m so glad to hear from him and after 444 pages, I am also sad, again, to see him go.