Heartwarming: The Daily Show

Some heartwarming and occasionally tear-jerking moments:

  • September 20, 2001: The first post-September 11th, 2001 show. Just all of it.
  • September 13, 2005: Kurt Vonnegut's interview. The entire room - Jon, the audience, even the camera - is in awe of the man, and rightly so.
  • April 12, 2007: The Moment of Zen is a clip from the aforementioned Kurt Vonnegut interview, ending with a title card saying "So it goes".
  • The Report and The Daily Show, between them, have quite a few Crowning Moments of Heartwarming. A few that come to mind: The first time Steve Carell came back as a guest; Colbert's combination civil-rights episode and tribute to his striking writers and his own father; the "Moment of Ben" when Ben Karlin left TDS (it was a waterskiing squirrel); the standing-ovation toss when Colbert came back from Iraq; and Stewart's response the day after Colbert's speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association dinner ("We've never been prouder of our Mr. Colbert, and, uh... holy shit.")
  • November 4, 2008: Jon's reaction to Barack Obama winning the 2008 Presidential election.
  • March 19, 2009: Jon introduced his guest, Bruce Springsteen, by simply saying, "What do you want me to say? My guest tonight, he's my favorite!" At the end of the interview, Jon took time to thank Springsteen for inspiring him through his music.
    Springsteen: All I can say is, you have done well, grasshopper.
  • June 29, 2009: After Michael Jackson's death, Jon asks everyone to stop calling Michael "Jacko" or "Wacko Jacko".
    Jon: However you felt about the man, whatever your opinions are, I believe we, as a people, should make a rule that once you die… whatever derisive nickname that we used for you, it dies with you. So can we stop calling him 'Jacko' now? After you die, can a brother get a 'Mr. Jackson'?
  • November 19, 2009: Mick Foley comes on the show and vows to protect a 10-year-old who supports gay rights from bullies.
    • From that very same episode, Andrew McMahon of the band Jack's Mannequin discussed his battle with leukemia, and performed his song "Swim". Two CMoH's in one show. Not bad.
  • April 2010: After the incident where Revolution Muslim made death threats against Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Jon not only stood up for the South Park writers, he also made it clear that whatever disputes he had with Fox News, he didn't consider them enemies.
  • At the Rally To Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010, basically asking everyone why can't we all just get along no matter what our political views are.
    • Also, this statement:
    Jon: We are living in hard times...not end times.
  • Getting Congress to pass the 9/11 first responders bill, providing them with much-needed healthcare. It really says something that a news-comedy show managed to turn a nine-year, shameful neglect of America's 9/11 heroes from a political logjam along party lines into a bipartisan passage.
    • Of course, Fridge Horror takes effect once you realize that it was up to a COMEDY program to bring the insanity of this issue to light, instead of any of the news networks.
  • January 10, 2011: His serious and sensible reaction to the Arizona shootings, treating such an incident with the respect it deserves instead of trying to make it about something it's not or using it to push his views on people.
  • His tribute to Clarence Clemons, "The Big Man" on 6/20/2011. "Here it is, MY moment of zen."
  • July 12, 2011: Jon "outs" Kid Rock as a "responsible, caring, diligent, professional parent".
  • September 20, 2011: With the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy taken down, Jon showed a clip of a gay soldier telling his father he's gay, and his father responding that he still loves him. Jon even teared up.
    • And then it was a Crowning Moment of Funny / Tear Jerker on September 26, 2011, when a Tea Party audience insisted that the man shouldn't serve anymore now that he's out of the closet. John pointed out that the man's biceps were bigger than most people's heads, so getting a strong guy out of the armed forces (or being a jerk to him) isn't a good idea.
    Jon: If he turned into The Hulk his arms wouldn't get bigger, they'd just turn green.
  • June 19, 2012: The interview with Denis Leary—they talked little about the movie but they talked about their careers, their kids and ribbed each other with the comfortableness of two men who known each other for a long time.
    • This happens every time Leary comes on the show, ten minutes of the two just catching up whatever brought Leary on long forgotten about.
  • October 31, 2012: "A Daily Show Tribute to Institutional Competence". When Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast, NYC's Independent mayor Mike Bloomberg and New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie each put aside their differences with President Obama and they all worked together, showing how when politicians put partisanship aside, the government can do great things. It really lives up to the message of 2010's "Rally to Restore Sanity".
  • February 25, 2013: His willingness to apologize for using Dick Molpus, a politician who fought for civil rights, as the center for a joke about how Mississippi failed to ratify the banning of slavery. What's even better is that neither Molpus nor anyone on his staff contacted The Daily Show. Jon just chose to take the high road to apologize without any provocation.
  • April 4, 2013: The day Roger Ebert died, the Moment of Zen was a clip from a 2006 interview with him, talking about his hilariously scathing review of Jon's movie Death to Smoochy.
  • On April 16, 2013, Jon dedicated the entire opening act of the show to talking about how much he enjoyed hearing about the acts of heroism and kindness that people displayed in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, managing to both be funny and utterly heartwarming at the same time.
    • And as a small tribute, that whole week, the globe on the set that scrolls through real/joke city names at the start of every episode (see Couch Gag on the main page) simply said "Boston Boston Boston" over and over.
      • Not only did he do that but he also switched his usual Daily Show mugs for a Boston Celtics (for himself) and a Boston Bruins mug (for his guest). Not bad for someone who is a huge fan of most of the New York sports teams.
  • June 27, 2013: Jon shows up via Skype to praise John Oliver over the job he's been doing as guest host of The Daily Show.
  • August 15, 2013: John Oliver thanks everyone for their support during his time as guest host.
  • September 24, 2013: Jon congratulates Stephen for The Colbert Report winning the Best Writing Emmy, breaking The Daily Show's 10-year winning streak.
  • October 3, 2013: Jon thanks the viewers for getting the book The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism to Amazon's #1 spot after watching the October 1, 2013 segment on it.
  • October 8, 2013: Malala Yousafzai getting a near minute long round of applause after she spoke with Jon. Then just before the Moment of Zen Jon saying that she was one of the finest examples of the human spirit and that he was so honored to have spoken with her.
    • "Would your dad be mad if I adopted you?"
  • October 29, 2013: While determining which state is more homophobic and therefore, least likely to legalize gay marriage, Alabama or Mississippi, Al Madrigal has the two actors playing a gay couple stage a proposal in an Alabama Waffle House restaurant. Everyone there applauds when it's accepted.
  • November 20, 2013: When Jon's rant on Chicago-style/deep dish pizza outraged Chicagoans, Jon invites Chicago pizza maker Marc Malnati to share some some pizza, agreeing to a truce and bonding in a mutual loathing of California-style pizza.
  • December 19, 2013: In John Oliver's last show as a Daily Show correspondent, Jon abandons the bit that he'd practiced with John (it was really an excuse to get him onstage and surprise him) a montage of some of John's funniest moments is shown, Oliver sheds Manly Tears, and it's capped off with Jon and John doing the "Carlos Danger" dance.
    Jon: There's only one British royal I care about tonight, and his name is Prince John Oliver. (the two hug)
  • February 3, 2014: The Moment of Zen in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • February 12, 2014: Jason Jones explores the homophobia of Russia. He meets with a group of young gay Russians, who tell Jason that they'd stay to make Russia better. In the end of the segment, Jason interviews a Russian woman who remains optimistic, who even quotes Angel from the Angel episode "Epiphany": "If nothing we do matters, then the only thing that matters is what we do." Jason hugs her, saying he has nothing ironic to say about that.
  • April 10, 2014: Jon congratulates Stephen for being named David Letterman's successor on The Late Show.
  • September 9, 2014: In Michael Che's segment on some old bigot who wanted to stem the tide of refugee children, Michael went to the streets of Vermont to facetiously promote the movement. Several people stopped to tell him that refugee children absolutely deserved to come to America to have better lives, and got worked up about it. One was even a former refugee child herself. It's good to know that even with hateful people like the man behind Operation: Normandy in America, there are still people who want to look after all children.
  • September 18, 2014: Even though Michael Che had only been on TDS during the summer, Jon and the TDS team gives him a fond farewell before he joins the cast of Saturday Night Live.
  • October 8, 2014: Jon thanks Jason Jones and Samantha Bee for hosting the show in his absence the day before.
  • October 13, 2014: Matt Bai discusses the sensationalism of mainstream media, and how it hurts politics by driving otherwise decent leaders out of office after the slightest transgression(s). A sobering examination about how the perception of a person tends to overshadow the person themselves.
    Matt: I do think we lose people who don't want to put themselves through this unendurable process, or their families through it. I think we drum good people out of politics who are defined by the single worst thing they have ever done as opposed to the context of their public life, and I think we make it much, much easier for people who have no business holding office, to enter the process. Because when you are not talking about ideas, world views, and agendas, when you are talking about character and personality, it makes it very easy for for someone to float through the process, without every having to explain themselves or demonstrate what they know.
  • December 10, 2014: Jon is upset by the full revelations about how the CIA tortured terror suspects since September 11th, until John McCain, who had been tortured as a POW during the Vietnam War, delivers a moving speech condemning torture, leading to a Slow Clap montage from such films as Citizen Kane, The Dark Knight, Rudy, Amadeus, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and of course Independence Day. Jon thanks McCain for taking this stand.
  • December 18, 2014: "Thanks for that report, Stephen."note 
  • February 10, 2015: Jon Stewart announces his retirement, thanks the audience and the people of The Daily Show, plus an implication that one of the reasons he's stepping down is to spend more time with his family.
    Jon: I'm gonna have dinner, on a school night with my family. Who, I have heard from various sources, are lovely people.
  • March 26, 2015: The send off to Jason Jones
  • April 30, 2015: The send off to Samantha Bee. Particularly when Jon hugs her after she starts to tear up.
  • May 14, 2015: Jon ends the show by paying tribute to David Letterman on the eve of his retirement.
  • May 28, 2015: New York Mets player Matt Harvey greets Jon by giving him a NY Mets jersey numbered 17, in honor of his time as host of The Daily Show.
  • June 18, 2015: Jon is so devastated about the Emanuel AME shooting and the do nothing response that he really needed someone to show him there is still good in the world and who better than Malala Yousafzai.
  • June 22, 2015: Al Franken salutes Jon for educating a younger demographic of Americans, making them more politically aware, as host of The Daily Show.
  • August 6, 2015: Jon's last show. All of it.
    • The opening segment itself, which ran as long as a standard episode itself, saw ALL the past correspondents come back. As if that's wasn't heartwarming enough, Stephen Colbert surprised Jon at the end of the segment by doing something off-script, and something Jon specifically told his team not to do: he gave Jon a sincere thanks for everything. As the show went to commercial, everyone gathered at the desk and gave an emotional Jon a giant group hug.
    • Wyatt Cenac's presence was especially heartwarming, as a few weeks before he mentioned in an interview that he got into a nasty argument with Jon. It seems like they managed to mend their bridges in time for the finale.
    • Jon gives credit to all of the people who helped make the show work behind-the-scenes by touring through the office hallways, showing each of them in conversation and at work. The way it's done is as a homage to Goodfellas, one of Jon's favorite films, which makes it doubly heartwarming.
    • Jon's Moment of Zen: his idol Bruce Springsteen performs on set. During Bruce's performance of "Born to Run", Jon, his family, the correspondents, and the production crew get on stage and dance.
    • Jon signs off as host by simply saying "Thank you, good night."