Blaugust Entry, Day 8
I loved watching Jon Stewart work.
It was more than for the comedy. It was for the commentary; his hawk-like ability to observe, aggregate, and articulate the absurdity hidden in plain view. This was most evident when he spoke, not from the prompter, but from an unscripted place of sincerity.
Stephen Colbert gave this touching farewell message to Jon on his final show this past Thursday:
“We owe you because we learned from you. We learned from you, by example, how to do a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect. You are infuriatingly good at your job . . . All of us who were lucky enough to work with you for sixteen years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours. And we are better people for having known you. You are a great artist and a great man.”
Intention. Clarity. Respect.
They sum up what I admire about Jon Stewart very succinctly. It’s what I see in his interviews with authors, politicians, and other distinguished guests on his show. It’s what I see in those rare moments we witness him outside of his comfort zone of satirical comedy. His sincerity and razor sharp intellect shone through the brightest in his one-on-one, unscripted conversations.
The only other person on my radar that commands my respect in this way in the media is Dan Carlin, creator and host of the podcasts, Common Sense with Dan Carlin, and Hardcore History.
Colbert also drives home another point. Jon was an artist; not only as an architect of the show, but as a mentor and developer of comedic talent. He has been a leader in executing a vision with world-class excellence; a leader who has allowed for others to take their shot – and those others grew into world-class talents because of him.
That is worth admiring, and it’s something I personally aspire to.
Thank you, Jon Stewart, for all you have given us. We will miss you.
Onward, to Day 9!
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