Last night was Jon Stewart’s final episode of The Daily Show, and it marked the end of an era. People use that term too often, but it’s true with the The Daily Show. The opening segment of the program featured past correspondents who’d worked with Stewart, and it was a veritable who’s who of contemporary comedy actors and writers.
At one point of the night, The Daily Show also gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their offices. They did this as a simulated long-take, paying homage to the Coacabana steadicam shot from Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas. Here it is in all its glory (see if you can spot the masked cuts).
One of the people responsible for the homage above is Daily Show cinematographer Dave Caroll, who directed the strongman documentary Bending Steel, one of my favorite movies from the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Bending Steel was just released on VOD this week, and I urge everyone to check it out.
Here’s the original steadicam shot from Goodfellas for comparison:
It’s a bit weird thinking about Stewart’s departure. I’d grown up watching him since middle school on MTV, going all the way back to the short-lived You Wrote It, You Watch It in 1992. But it’s on The Daily Show that Stewart found his voice and calling as a comedian, and in the process he changed the face of late night comedy, media critique, and political satire for a generation. Stewart was an undeniable part of my maturation. As I wrote elsewhere, a lot of my understanding of the adult world is linked to watching late night comedy, and I can credit Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, like David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, with making me the person I’ve become.
In his closing address to the camera, Stewart said he considered his career a kind of long conversation with his audience. Leaving The Daily Show wasn’t the end to the conversation, but rather a break in the conversation, like he was just stepping away to grab a beer and would be back to pick up where we’ve left off. Putting it that way, Stewart’s been talking to me since I was 11 or 12 years old.
Enjoy your beer, Jon–you’ve earned it.[via Vulture]