Tear Jerker: The Daily Show

Jon Stewart's Run

  • In general, all versions of the I Give Up segment. While Jon does his best to be funny, its really horrifyingly depressing to watch at times.
  • September 20, 2001: Jon Stewart in The Daily Show's first episode after September 11th. The Moment of Zen from that episode probably is heartwarming in its own right.
  • December 13, 2005: The Moment of Zen for Billy Clarey, a Daily Show employee who was a victim of suicide.
  • September 29, 2010: Jon's eulogy to Greg Giraldo.
  • December 16, 2010, Jon lamented the Senate blocking a bill to provide health insurance for 9/11 first responders and the complete lack of coverage on the issue by the media including Fox, who regularly takes pride in playing the 9/11 card. After spending the entire first segment chewing them out, he spends the entire second segment interviewing first responders who are suffering serious health problems brought on by their efforts and now can't afford care.
  • December 19, 2013. John Oliver's final episode. After a montage of some of his best moments, Oliver is pretty clearly teary-eyed.
  • February 3, 2014: The Moment of Zen in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • December 3, 2014: After the Eric Garner case, where the cop who strangled Garner in New York City was let free with no charges, just a little bit after a grand jury found Officer Darren Wilson innocent of murder charges after his controversial shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Jon Stewart is so upset and frustrated by the case and how far our society hasn't gone.
    Jon: If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more time. But really, I could do with less fucking tragedy.
  • February 10, 2015: Jon announces that he'll retire from hosting The Daily Show by the end of the year.
  • March 9, 2015: Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis visits the Daily Show and retells his story of the Selma March.
  • April 30, 2015: Samantha Bee, the longest-serving cast member, visibly tears up during her sendoff.
  • June 18, 2015: Jon's reaction to the Charleston shooting.
  • August 6, 2015: Jon's last show.
    • After Stephen Colbert came on at the end of the opening segment (where most every correspondent over the years showed up), he surprised Jon as he tried to throw to commercial by thanking him on behalf of all the lives and careers he has influenced over the years. Jon was so overcome by the sincerity that all the correspondents in the studio rushed over to Jon's desk to give him a group hug as the show went to commercial — and a visibly teary Jon just buried his face in Stephen's shoulder and cried.
    • At the end, Jon's Moment of Zen is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing "Land of Hope and Dreams" and "Born to Run", with Jon, his family, and Daily Show correspondents dancing during the latter. After which, Jon signs off by saying "Thank you, good night."

Trevor Noah's run

  • During his segment on pro-life, he notes that despite the facts being against them that pro-lifers are successful in passing restrictive legislation and living in denial and if they put that effort into gun control
  • Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny, but Jessica Williams after the Oregon shooting revealing that she's started to pre-tape reactions to various national tragedies such as police shooting unarmed black men, shootings and politician sex scandals, because she's getting too worn out and depressed to handle these tragedies on a regular basis. She says she may as well not do her job if our national leaders won't do theirs. Her final line, following Trevor Noah's affirmation that maybe we can change things for the better, that we are probably going to have another mass shooting before Thanksgiving earns a Stunned Silence from the audience.