Bye, Jon Stewart!

By Shlomo Maital    


    Jon Stewart announced this week that he is retiring from The Daily Show on Comedy Central, after 16 years.  His motive?   “I heard from multiple sources that my family is …really nice people”….  And indeed, that may well be the reason. 

     I personally learned a powerful lesson from Jon Stewart,  born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on Nov. 28, 1962.    To make a point, you can yell, scream, protest.  You can write articles and blogs, with massive data, tables and numbers. 

    Or, you can use humor, satire, a sardonic smile, and make a point to get a laugh.

    Which is most effective?  Humor, by far.  Why?    Because, people are never more serious than when they are joking.  I learn far more about what people are thinking from their jokes than from what they say.  Why?  Because some things are hard to say, and if you couch them in humor, satire or a joke,  somehow it’s easier to be frank. 

     Listen carefully to how people kid you. You will learn a great deal about yourself, and about what others think of you.  Even your spouse or significant other.

      Jon Stewart tore strips off Israel, off Israel, off Obama.  He especially loved to expose hypocrisy, which alone can account for the 98 per cent of missing ‘dark matter’ in the universe.  He especially spoke to young people, who hate conventional news but loved the way he presented it. 

     He was great at discovering talent.  And above all, as Senator Tim Kaine (Virginia) says, “even as he cracked jokes, ultimately he was making a serious point.”  Like when he had the Secretary of Health Kathleen Sibelius on his program, and tried to see which was longer, downloading every movie ever made onto his laptop or signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

      Bye, Jon Stewart. Enjoy your family.  Rest well.   We’ll miss you.