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Heartwarming / The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

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This is the page for heartwarming moments from Jon Stewart's run. For examples from Trevor Noah's run, please see here.

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  • May 1st: ; Jon's response the day after Stephen Colbert's performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association dinner, "We've never been prouder of our Mr. Colbert, and, uh... holy shit."
  • December 20th: The "Moment of Ben" when Ben Karlin left TDS (it was a waterskiing squirrel);

  • April 12th: 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



  • 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.
  • Kicking up such a fuss about the 9/11 First Responders Bill — a fuss that was almost immediately thereafter piled upon by other news channels, most notably Shep Smith of Fox News — that it actually passed, 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.

  • January 10th: 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.
  • February 22th: Jon tells Anderson Cooper that he "just wants to give [him] a big old hug" when he sees Cooper somewhere dangerous, and tells Cooper that "we're big fans of yours." Particularly lovely given how hard and how often Jon has gone after Cooper's network, CNN; idiocy is fair game, but Jon Stewart knows stellar journalism when he sees it and doesn't let his disgust for the network affect his admiration for the reporter one whit.
  • June 20th: His tribute to Clarence Clemons, "The Big Man". "Here it is, MY moment of zen."
  • July 12th: Jon "outs" Kid Rock as a "responsible, caring, diligent, professional parent".
  • September 20th: 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 Funny Moment / Tear Jerker on September 26th, 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 19th: 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 31st: "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 25th: 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 4th: 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.
  • April 16th: 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 27th: Jon shows up via Skype to praise John Oliver over the job he's been doing as guest host of The Daily Show.
  • August 15th: John Oliver thanks everyone for their support during his time as guest host.
  • September 24th: Jon congratulates Stephen for The Colbert Report winning the Best Writing Emmy, breaking The Daily Show's 10-year winning streak.
  • October 3rd: 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 8th: 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 29th: 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 20th: 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 19th: 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 3rd: The Moment of Zen in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • February 12th: 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 10th: Jon congratulates Stephen for being named David Letterman's successor on The Late Show.
    Jon: ...there is no greater joy than seeing a genuinely good man, who works as hard as he can every day and deserves all the success in the world, actually get that success — so for Stephen, we're just thrilled.
  • September 9th: 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 18th: 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 8th: Jon thanks Jason Jones and Samantha Bee for hosting the show in his absence the day before.
  • October 13th: 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 ever having to explain themselves or demonstrate what they know.
  • December 10th: 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 18th: "Thanks for that report, Stephen."note 

  • February 10th: 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 26th: The send off to Jason Jones
  • April 9th: It's a small moment compared to the rest of these, but when Jon is shaking hands with that day's guest Elizabeth Warren in her last appearance before his retirement, at the end of their interview she unmistakably says, "I'll miss you."
  • April 30th: The send off to Samantha Bee. Particularly when Jon hugs her after she starts to tear up.
  • May 14th: Jon ends the show by paying tribute to David Letterman on the eve of his retirement.
  • May 28th: 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 18th: 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 22th: Al Franken salutes Jon for educating a younger demographic of Americans, making them more politically aware, as host of The Daily Show.
  • August 6th: Jon's last show. All of it.
    • The opening segment, which ran as long as a standard episode itself, saw almost all the past correspondents come back. 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.
    • Stephen Colbert surprised Jon at the end of the segment by going off-script and doing something Jon specifically told his team not to do: he gave Jon a sincere thanks for everything, calling him "a great artist and a good man". As the show went to commercial, everyone rushed onto the set and gave an emotional Jon a giant group hugnote .
      Stephen: We owe you because we learn from you. We learn 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, okay? And all of us — 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.
    • 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.
    • During the commercial break, Jon's longstanding target of jest, Arby's, aired a commercial saying "Not sure why, but we'll miss you."
    • Jon's Moment of Zen: his idol Bruce Springsteen performs on set, starting off with "Land of Hope and Dreams". 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."

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