Thank you, Mr. Stewart

Currently: kicking myself for not doing a better job keeping track of old photos. Scrolling through FB posts about the last Daily Show got me thinking about how much joy that show brought over the years.  

At times when the world-the big, outside one, and the little, personal one-seemed maddening and overwhelming, Jon Stewart always brought much needed humor and relief.  

As I’ve mentioned, the start of law school was…not great…but there’s an awesome memory of that time.  At some point (probably in the middle of a soul sucking Contracts class), I realized tickets to the Daily Show are were free.  I booked tickets for David and me for a winter 2008 filming.  On a freezing February day, I took the bus up from Baltimore, he took the train in from Hartford, and we waited in line outside the NY studio for HOURS in the cold and snow.  David’s roommate Ben joined us, and I remember the three of us thinking-this can’t possibly be worth it. It’s just too cold.

It was so worth it. 

The show was hilarious and Jon Stewart was just as humble and casual as I imagined. The best part was watching his banter with Colbert.  After the taped handoff of Stewart’s show to Colbert, the two of them just kind of Facetimed and goofed off, and you felt like you were watching two best friends who just couldn’t believe they got to do this. It was amazing to watch. 

(Wish I had a photo of the Daily Show! This is a few months later-summer 2008-at the Colbert Report)

Fast forward a few years, and the hysteria leading up to the 2010 election was out of control.  People were FLIPPING OUT because Congress approved health care reform.  Obviously end days. Basically, tyranny.  Imagine what the world will be like in the future! (Good news, 2010 conservatives, future > pre-ACA. Wayyyyyy better.  Pretty nice to not be denied insurance for a pre-existing condition or hit a lifetime coverage limit after horrifying medical event).  Anyway, crazy time.

Once again, Jon Stewart provided some respite from the absurdity.   I remember October 2010, squeezing on to a packed car at New Carrollton, metro-ing over to the Mall for the Rally to Restore Sanity.  It was a gorgeous fall day.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert convened quite the lineup of musical guests, artists, and 215,000 citizens looking for comedic relief from a strange time.  I remember looking at David, listening to Jon Stewart’s speech and thinking, this is quite an event. Also, I was hungry.  After the event, I had the best Cosi sandwich of my life at the 14th and H store.

Sadly, sanity was not restored, and the 2010 election was an epic disaster. But the Daily Show was always there to keep things in perspective. During the three years we lived in our little basement apartment in Eastern Market, some of my happiest memories include coming home on a Friday evening, exhausted from the week and ordering Indian food.  It always arrived piping hot in a paper bag, even in the dead of winter cold. We’d lay out our dinner buffet, curl up on the couch, and settle in with backlogged Daily Show episodes.  After a little Jon Stewart and warm biryani, the world didn’t feel feel so overwhelming.

We don’t have cable in Oakland (we being David and I decided not to get cable, though, I suspect many of our Rockridge neighbors are also cable-free). Somehow without the DVR convenience, and likely, our disconnect from DC and political excitement, we stopped watching. 

Still, I’m pretty sad the snow is over. I’ll wait to watch the finale episode with David tomorrow, though I imagine if I’m this emotional thinking about the end of this era, it’ll be quite a show.  Maybe we’ll order some Indian food in honor of a years of Daily Show memories.

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