Jon Stewart Evaluates His 'Daily Show' Success: "World Is Demonstrably Worse Than When I Started"

Stewart is realizing that he hasn't wounded Fox News quite as much as he might have liked.
A still from Wednesday's 'The Daily Show'

Jon Stewart has orchestrated countless epic takedowns as host of The Daily Show, but was it all for naught?

During his penultimate episode, Stewart showed headlines from articles that had been written about his previous episodes that used words like "eviscerated" to describe the way he would present his views on a controversial topic.

"I feel like what we've built here is a monument to evisceration," reflected Stewart, whose final episode airs Thursday, Aug. 6. "By the way, it wasn't just eviscerating. We 'demolished,' 'crushed' — we 'annihilated' things. I remember one night, even the Hulk was like, 'Dude, slow down.' "

In a segment entitled "The Daily Show: Destroyer of Worlds," Stewart played clips of himself mocking some of his favorite targets, including ISIS, racial tension in the U.S. and, of course, Fox News.

In each of the instances, Stewart lauded himself for taking down the opponent — before then playing news footage that proclaimed each target still to be as strong as ever.

He declared that Fox News' power is now gone, only to then air a clip announcing that the network would moderate this week's Republican presidential-primary debate.

"Did I say Fox News' influence was gone?" asked Stewart. "What I meant was, it's gone all the way to the White House."

This led him to a grim assessment of his 16-year tenure as host of the show. "The world is demonstrably worse than when I started — have I caused this?" he pondered.

Finally, he aired clips of himself berating his beloved New York Mets over the years before a recent news clip declared the Mets in first place, causing Stewart to cheer raucously.

Stewart's guest was longtime friend Louis C.K., who praised Stewart for his time on the show but also for being willing to walk away on top.

"I'm really amazed by what you did here," said C.K. "It's really like one of the great comedy accomplishments of all time that you did."

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@THR.com
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski

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