On the final (like, ever) episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, our old pal Jon Stewart stopped by to wish Wilmore well and tell him what a great job he’s done, like good dads do.
After an opening bit about getting a pastry package from The Daily Show as a gift and Champagne from John Oliver, the show’s contributors had one last hoorah together. And then came an alarmingly handsome Jon Stewart, attempting to snatch the bottle of Champagne before being scurried over to the desk. “What, did you piss off Peter Thiel?” Stewart jokes, referencing the show’s cancellation. (Who? Unfortunately, I have no contextual understanding of the joke.) “I just decided to stop by and tell you I love you.”
Stewart gave Wilmore and viewers the feels, with a subsequent speech about the Nightly Show’s fresh point-of-view and its undeniable blackening of late night talk.
“I have been in situations, in what we call television, where my name has been on the show and they have locked the door and told me, ‘Get your shit and get out,’” Stewart told Wilmore. “And a very wise man said to me, ‘Do not confuse cancellation with failure.’ And I took that to heart.” (He’s talking about David Letterman.) “So I will say this. What you, my friend, were tasked to do, you have done, and done beautifully. You gave voice to under-served voices in the media arena. It was a show that was raw and poignant and funny and smart, and all those things. And you did it from scratch.”
What the nation needs now is this type of pep talk from Jon Stewart. “You started a conversation that was not on television when you began,” he went on. “And you worked with a group of people who you invited to that conversation to collaborate with you, to sharpen that conversation. And what you don’t realize is that you walk out of this room, and that conversation doesn’t end...And that’s a beautiful thing.”
The final nail came as a callback to Wilmore’s speech to Obama at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. “And so, in closing, I want to say to you, this,” said Stewart. “You did it my…my mishpocheh.” Hey. Dads? I love you.