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Jon Stewart said goodbye – or, rather, “I’m going to go get a drink, and I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave” – to The Daily Show Thursday night. Instead of focusing too much on himself, Stewart nobly put the spotlight on everyone else involved in his nearly 17-year run on the show, paying tribute to his correspondents and the staff that remained anonymous behind camera the entire time. But when it came time for one final Moment of Zen, Stewart loosened up enough to indulge himself, revealing a surprise performance by Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band.
“This is by request from the man himself,” Springsteen said before launching into a rollicking version of “Land Of Hope And Dreams” followed by “Born To Run,” the latter of which saw Stewart, his family and a whole host of former/current correspondents and staffers flood the floor to dance and enjoy one last moment together in that studio. If Stephen Colbert’s impromptu tribute to Stewart didn’t bring you to tears, the sight of that mass emotional embrace should have done the trick.
It was fitting that the boy from Jersey who rose to be one of the most influential figures in entertainment history would enlist another of the exact same to play him off one last time. After the performance, Stewart thanked the band (getting Max Weinberg’s drumsticks as a memento) and took the mic one last time to say thank you.
No, Jon. Thank you.