by John Ostrander
It was a good show.
Jon Stewart ended his run on The Daily Show last week with an hour-plus long installment. It was a good episode and a good final episode. I’ve seen a few of these things – where a long time reporter or entertainer walks away, of their own volition, from their show. I saw Jack Paar (you kiddies go ahead and Google him or look him up on the Wikipedia) leave his weekly show, walking out through a series of spotlights cast on the floor. I saw beloved newscaster Walter Cronkite sign-off for the last time, telling us, “I’ll be away on assignment, and Dan Rather will be sitting in here for the next few years. Good night.” I saw Johnny Carson, the King of Late Night Television, leave The Tonight Show with his “very heartfelt good night.”
These kind of shows can be difficult to pull off. The episode can be too much, it can be too little, it can be awkward – as parodied brilliantly by Gary Shandling on The Larry Sanders Show. I thought Letterman’s exit from The Late Show was a little flat and Stephen Colbert’s exit from The Colbert Report somewhat over the top, even for him.