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In his first show back after 9/11, Jon Stewart showed us why he was the greatest anchorman on any news station during this extreme media era. During that episode, he showed, more than ever, how he has the unmatched ability to speak what the general population of America feels, and do so in ways that they would never be able to synthesize themselves. He is legendary, because he was not simply a news anchor, or a satirist, or a comedian or an entertainer. He was all of those wrapped into a once-in-a-generation mind, and a whole lot more.
During that episode (provided below the article), Stewart choked back tears as he spoke of the view outside of his apartment window, and how that view used to be of the World Trade Towers. With his great oratory, he elaborated on what it meant that those great features were blasted away by the terrorist. He began by echoing what many in the news had already said, that the terrorists tore down the symbol of our strength, our ingenuity, and so on. Then, he went a step further, as he so often did, by pointing out that the new view that was visible from his apartment window, and the rest of the south side of Manhattan for that matter, became the Statue of Liberty.
Think about what those words meant. At that time, with dust literally still settling from the tragedy, Stewart provide us with the bright optimism that we all needed at that time. What’s more, he did it in a way that no one else was able to by allowing us to experience our overwhelming emotions while, at the same time, soothing them with a genuine pride that went far beyond the inevitable jingoism of the aftermath. Not even President Bush, I think, was able to unite Americans as much as Stewart did with those words.
At that time, Jon Stewart said that his job was to “sit at the back of the country and throw spit balls.” Yes, it was. But, those spit balls were thrown in such poetic and brilliantly funny ways that they made us all feel alright about whatever absurdity was in the news at that time, even on the worst of all news days. His satirical nature is truly brilliant.
When Stewart leaves the Daily Show later this year, he will take with him a hall of fame legacy. Because of this, the outrage against his selected replacement has begun with a firestorm of resistance. Because I am typically out of the pop culture loop, I first heard of Trevor Noah just the other day. Plus, I do not have cable, so I have been out of touch with the Daily Show for a few years now. I heard some quotes that people read on the radio, and I heard that people were claiming he is too unprofessional for the job; that he has provided material that is too offensive for what the job description of Daily Show host is. Maybe that is true. Maybe you feel that way, and that is why you are here to vote. Indeed, that is why we have this poll, so that we can find out how the population feels about Noah. Regardless, I urge you to watch him on the Daily Show in the clip below, and make up your own mind. Do not form your opinions from people like Roseanne Barre, or any other influential person who is attempting to have their agenda heard at the expense of Noah’s career. If, however, you simply think he is not funny, then that is another issue altogether.
I personally feel Noah is a perfect replacement for Stewart. I think he has the right camera presence for the show, and I think his humor is intelligent in the same way that Stewart’s is. I believe he will bring years of useful satire to the show, and that the transition will be relatively seamless when it happens.
No doubt, Jon Stewart will be missed. He meant more to this country over the last 16 years than a few verbal spit balls and some mindless chuckles. Every day, he had his finger on the pulse of America, and he was able to make us feel okay about life here. Just because Trevor Noah comes from a different country, has a different skin color, and speaks with an accent, is no reason to believe he cannot do the same thing for us.
Stewart said in the post-9/11 video that the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. had come true, because we no longer judge people by the color of their skin in this country, but by the content of their character. All we ask you for this vote is that you honor that progress. We ask that you judge Trevor Noah by his comedic character, and not the “color of his skin”.
Please view the videos below for your own entertainment. Then, vote about your feelings on Trevor Noah as the next anchor of the Daily Show. He has some mammoth size shoes to fill.
Watch this whole clip. It is a must if you have never seen it!
Below is my evidence that Trevor Noah will be great on the Daily Show. Make up your own mind.
Okay, now is your chance to cast a vote on the newest of our fun polls.