The Daily Show

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The Daily Show (titled The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since 1999 to 2015) is an American late-night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central and, in Canada, The Comedy Network. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998. Jon Stewart took over as host in January 11, 1999 to August 6, 2015, making the show more strongly focused on politics and the national media, in contrast with the pop culture focus during Kilborn's tenure. It is currently the longest-running program on Comedy Central, and has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards.

When news breaks, we fix it. taglines.



All quotes by Jon Stewart, except as noted


  • The Jews celebrate Passover by eating unpalatable food to remind them what will happen to their people if they ever leave New York City. The traditional meal often includes gefilte fish. For those of you who don't know what gefilte fish is, it strongly resembles a ball of tuna fish that has been passed nasally. It's not good. During Passover, the angel of death passed over the Jews—an event that, up until the late 1950s, was re-enacted every year by Ivy League colleges and suburban country clubs.
  • Big election tomorrow! But y'know, I was thinking this weekend, as I was running the New York Marathon, um, how much like an election it is. This 22.6 mile, grueling race through all five boroughs—many, many cultures—and, uh, much like our own elections, always won by either a Kenyan or a Moroccan.
    • Intro—Marathon. The Daily Show official website. (2000-11-06). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.


I do think that the message of this country has been over the past ten years—not just Play, but Buy. And Consume.
  • What we've been telling [young people] for the last ten years, I think, is: "Buy Coke." [...] But I do think that the message of this country has been over the past ten years, it's been—not just Play, but Buy. And Consume. And it has been Consume, and I think in the corporate oligarchy that we've established that is—that was what we were dealing with. We were dealing with trying to raise a generation of people who would like to buy our products. [...] Can I tell you something though? Spending time at colleges and spending time with these people—I never thought that this was an apathetic generation, and I never thought that this was a group of people that would not answer a call to arms. And I personally feel extremely hopeful about that because of the experiences I've had with them. They're a smart group and there's a hell of a lot of 'em.
  • I keep seeing, over these past couple of weeks, people trying to make cultural pronouncements about what these terrible events will mean for our culture. The one I keep seeing is that Irony has passed. That it is The Death of Irony. Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair—one of the foremost, by the way, magazine authorities on irony. I don't know if you've seen their Young Hollywood issue, but they don't mean it. Uh, but I was thinking... maybe we should wait to make pronouncements about what will happen to us culturally until the fire [at Ground Zero] is completely put out—don't you think? I mean, it's still smoking down there. Maybe we shouldn't necessarily decide what's the rest of History of Man going to be. No? And why did Irony have to die? Why couldn't puns have died? Or would that have been too devastating for Mr. Al Yankovic? No, no... apparently, only the kind of humor I'm fond of is dead. Thanks, Graydon.
    • Irony is Dead. The Daily Show official website. (2001-09-27). Retrieved on 2009-04-04.
  • If, god forbid, some coordinated terrorist attack leads to the deaths of the first seven people in line to succeed the President—the Vice President, Speaker of the House, the President pro tem of the Senate, the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense, and the Attorney General—if, god forbid, that were to happen, would you really want the guy who took over to be the one who was in charge of their security? And that's tonight's "Nnnggehhh...!"
    • On a motion to move the Secretary of Homeland Security to eighth on the presidential line of succession (July 15, 2003)
  • Yes, Yes. All rise for the honorable Justice Chick with Dick!
    • In response to Dennis Kucinich's statement that he would consider nominating a trans person to the Supreme Court. (July 22, 2003) [1]
  • So to all those naked prisoners out there: Unpile!
    • Reaction to Bush's claim that he has never ordered torture.
    • Finding Memo. The Comedy Central official website. (2004-06-23). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  • So, to sum up, it'll take two thirds of both houses and three quarters of the states to approve an amendment saying that two straight parents are better than one straight parent, which is still better than two gay parents, which is equal to a guy screwing a turtle.
  • On a personal note, I'm a comedian who makes fun of what I believe to be the absurdities of our government. Tomorrow when you go to the polls, make my life difficult. Make the next four years really hard, so that every morning all we can do is come in and go, "Madonna is doing some Kaballah thing, you wanna do that?" I'd like that. I'm tired.
    • Speaking to his audience the night before the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

Monologue on September 20, 2001


At the beginning of the first episode of The Daily Show to air after September 11th, 2001, Stewart gave a personal monologue about the impact of the attacks on himself and the show.
View video of the monologue at The Daily Show's official website (requires Marcromedia Flash). Read a fan's transcript.

But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that's extraordinary.
It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and... burdened.
The aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.
  • The show in general we feel like is a privilege. Even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wise cracks... which is really what we do. We sit in the back and throw spitballs—but never forgetting that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. That is, a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds like it goes without saying. But that’s really what this whole situation is about. It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and... burdened. And we don’t take that for granted here, by any stretch of the imagination.
  • And our show has changed. I don’t doubt that. And what it has become I don’t know.
  • I just wanted to tell you why I grieve—but why I don’t despair.
  • One of my first memories was of Martin Luther King being shot. I was five and if you wonder if this feeling will pass... [choked up]... When I was five and he was shot, here's what I remember about it: I was in school in Trenton and they turned the lights off and we got to sit under our desks... and we thought that was really cool. And they gave us cottage cheese, which was a cold lunch because there were riots, but we didn’t know that. We just thought, "My God! We get to sit under our desks and eat cottage cheese!" And that’s what I remember about it. And that was a tremendous test of this country's fabric and this country has had many tests before that and after that.
  • The reason I don’t despair is that... this attack happened. It's not a dream. But the aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.
  • Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They've gotten together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill..." It's, it's—it's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won... they can't... it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.


  • Please stop calling people "Hitler" when you disagree with them. It demeans you, it demeans your opponent, and, to be honest, it demeans Hitler. That guy worked too many years, too hard, to be that evil, to have any Tom, Dick, and Harry come along and say, "hey, you're bein' Hitler." No, you know who was Hitler? Hitler!
    • Regarding countless comparisons to Hitler from the left and the right (June 16, 2005)
  • By the way, if that baby in there turns out to be Jesus... somebody owes somebody an apology.
    • Referring to Samantha Bee's then-unborn child after she appeared, eight months pregnant, on the show to illustrate how much time had elapsed since she'd performed a year-old joke cited by Bill O'Reilly as evidence of the show's anti-Christian agenda (December 7, 2005)
  • But apparently, we liberal, secular fags here at Comedy Central have fired a devastating year-old, six-second-long joke that doesn't barely even make any sense to us anymore across the bow of Christianity. When you think of liberals, your thoughts naturally turn to others who are fighting against Christmas, like the Puritans, the first white Americans, who banned Christmas celebrations for twenty-two years in Boston because they deemed all of them unseemly. Godless pricks. Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "happy holidays" as anti-Christian -- although for some people, there is also a celebration of the New Year, so Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter S. Now I suppose you could say, "Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, but YOU PROBABLY HAVE SHIT TO DO! You shorten it to "happy holidays"! Not everyone who says that is anti-Christian! But -- for those of you who don't feel like you want to be idiots walking around starting on November 27th saying "Merry Christmas" to people -- ehhh, knock yourself out. But you know what, it's okay. If Bill O'Reilly needs to have an enemy, needs to feel persecuted, you know what? Here's my Kwanzaa gift to him. You ready? All right. [a festive Christmas border appears around the frame] I'm your enemy. Make me your enemy. I, Jon Stewart, hate Christmas. Christians. Jews. Morality! And I will not rest until every year, families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's Homobortionpot'n'commiejizzporium. [border disappears] You're welcome.
    • Response to O'Reilly's accusation (December 7, 2005)
  • Now, this situation certainly has its humorous aspects... very easy to make fun of an incident such as this, very easy... unbelievably easy... the kind of easy that makes you want to return your check...
    • On covering the story of Dick Cheney's hunting accident (February 13, 2006)
  • Mr. Whittington is doing fine, but based on this development, we're gonna downgrade the condition of the story from "Incredibly hilarious" to "Still funny, but, mmm, a little sad."
  • Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking.
    • About Glenn Beck, on The Daily Show (16 November 2006)
It's the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life, the two Bushes dueling and making the jokes like, "I'm stupid!" "No, you're stupid!"
  • So this weekend, I'm home, it's Saturday night, I'm spending my Saturday night as I spend all my Saturday nights — I'm just flipping through the C-SPANs. C-SPAN 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 'cause I'm trying to find this show on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that I wanted to watch. Did you know that it was almost called the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? It's really quite an interesting story. Anyway, I come across this horribly frightening image. [picture of President Bush standing next to impersonator Steve Bridges] The President of the United States of America, who is now apparently reproducing asexually. He is somehow cloning himself via spores in an effort to create a mammoth, 10,000-strong Bush army, and, uh, I was scared to death. Turns out it's a bit at what's called the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's the dinner where the White House press corps and the government consummate their loveless marriage. So anyway, it's the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life, the two Bushes dueling and making the jokes like, "I'm stupid!" "No, you're stupid!" — very very amusing... but then I see this young fella on the screen. [picture of Stephen Colbert, greeted with huge applause] Captivating. Captivating. Delivered a twenty-minute keynote address that I can only describe as "ballsalicious." Uh... it really was something to behold. Apparently he was under the impression that they'd hired him to do the thing he does on television every night! Anyway, I'm sure he'll be talking about it at 11:30, but boy, we've never been prouder of our Mr. Colbert, and, uh... holy shit.
    • Reaction to Stephen Colbert's address at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association dinner, May 1, 2006
  • Six, six, oh six... Day of the devil? Or regular numerical sequence?! [thunder claps and lightning flashes ominously]
    Here's the thing about all the hype on the news and the marketing tie-ins, etc.: it's not 6/6/6, it's 6/6/06. It's not even 6/6/06, it's 6/06/2006. You think god's gonna send the Four Horsemen based on a typo?! It's not happening. Forty years ago was 6/6/66, then you might have had something right there. That would've been the time. The only it was really 6/6/6 was June 6 in the year 6, which, at the time, wasn't even called 6. All I'm saying is if you think we're all going to Hell today, I can't even imagine where you think we're going on July 11th. Yes, yes, it is prophesied in the Book of Leviticus that the beefs shall be jerkied and the gulps shall be big.
    • (June 6, 2006)
  • In their bathrobes! Gambling in their bathrobes! Yes, because casinos have such high standards. Ever been to a casino? You can play naked if you want. You can masturbate at the roulette table. Just keep giving them money.
    • In response to a senator's criticism that people can gamble online in their bathrobes (July 12, 2006)
  • Well, I don't like this bad blood between us, Robert. If you're watching -- and I know you're not -- I think it's time we buried the hatchet. We need to get together and talk. We'll meet on neutral ground. You're on Fox, I'm on Comedy Central; how 'bout the Food Network? This Rachael Ray seems like a peacemaker. We can work this out, because I know that you're a good person, deep down in your... [gestures wordlessly at his chest] the thing that they replaced your heart with that pumps the... I know you have redeeming qualities! I see your redeeming qualities. For example, when you're on television, you let others shine while you generously absorb all light and oxygen. When you leave an area, it stops raining. And I know that in the past I've referred to you as a douchebag. But that's not an "air of grandeur," that's just mean! And sophomoric! [earnestly] And I only said those things to you because I sincerely believe... you are a terrible person.
    • Reaction to Robert Novak publicly stating that he'd never seen any of Stewert's criticisms of him on The Daily Show, that he intended never to watch the show, and that Stewart was a "self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur"
  • Jon Stewart: I'm joined now by Senior Comparative Presidential Historian, John Oliver. Uh, Bush and Lincoln? Clearly the pundits are trying to make that comparison. Is this a fair comparison?
    John Oliver: It's not a comparison at all, Jon. It's an opening bid. The first salvo by the President in the negotiation over where he'll rank among his predecessors. Obviously, he's starting high. He knows he's not going to GET Lincoln; it's just part of the game. Bush opens with Lincoln; America comes back with "Harding." Bush says, "Harding? You're killing me here! I'm at least Eisenhower!" America says, "I'm sorry, we can't go any higher than Hoover." And so on and so forth, until we all settle on something in the low "Van Buren" range.
    Jon Stewart: Are there any similarities, historically, between Bush and Lincoln?
    John Oliver: There are some, Jon. Both men presided over civil wars. One ours and historically inevitable; one someone else's and ridiculously evitable. Both men suspended the writ of habeas corpus, although Lincoln did mention it publicly. And, of course, both weren't afraid of the grand gesture: we all remember Lincoln on the deck of the USS Monitor hailing the end of Civil War combat operations three years before the South actually surrendered.
    • About the media coverage surrounding President Bush's plan to send 20,000 more troops into Iraq (January 10, 2007)
  • Jon Stewart: But John, pardon me but that sounds like Bullshit!
    John Oliver: Bullshit? Or is it Bull-fact?
    • April 2007
  • Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you: this is not writing. I have absolutely no idea how this sentence I'm currently saying is going to finish. When and if it does, I can only hope it makes some kind of coherent ceramic pineapple.
  • These guys are the '27 Yankees of dodging questions. The '55 Dodgers of yanking Congress' chain. [...] Jon, this is once in a generation bullshit.
    • John Oliver, on government response at Congressional Hearings (July 22, 2008)
  • [ Michelle Obama ]'s a Democrat. She must prove she loves America. As opposed to Republicans, who everyone knows love America—they just hate half the people living in it! [audience applauds] Apparently they're all here tonight.
It seems hard for me to imagine that we could go to war enough to make the world safe enough that nineteen people wouldn't want to do harm to us.
  • I think that's our biggest problem right there.
  • See, all of this "real America" and "fake America" can get a little hard to figure out. For instance, you may live in a small town, where they make good people, but you live in a gay state, like Massachusetts—are you real or are you fake? Or you may live in a big city, but still have a healthy mistrust of Muslims. So for those of you who are confused as to whether or not you're a real American, it's actually quite simple. Let me see if I can help you out here. [pulls out a dry-erase board and writes the following equation] Just multiply your town's population (P) by the average price of a local cup of coffee (picture of coffee cup), plus its number of art-house movie theaters (house), times the number of streets named for Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK); then divide by the number of pieces of identification you need to buy a Sudafed in your town (pill), times the number of people who wear trucker hats in your town minus the actual number of truckers (trucker hat), multiply that by 1 over the houses of worship—not counting synagogues, of course (cross)—minus the number of bars in your town. That's supposed to be a bottle. If the answer equals less than 10, congratulations, odds are very good that you're a real American.
    • Reaction to Sarah Palin's comments on how small towns are "real America" (October 20, 2008)
  • I kinda had just read the statement that Sarah Palin had made about the Pro-America parts of the country and I think I might have said, in response to that, I think I might have said, uhh, FUCK YOU and uhh that's just my way of saying it's a profanity to say and I was answering with a profanity. But it's not really fair, and it makes it seem like I'm just addressing Governor Palin about this and I'm not. It's really this whole theme, that there is more American areas or some people love the country and some people don't. So I guess what I meant to say was Fuck all y'all!
  • [in response to John McCain's use of air quotes with regards to women's health in the third presidential debate] Thank you, John McCain, for finally exposing the seedy underbelly of the women’s "health" scam… Let’s face it: women loooove abortions, and will do anything to get one – the later the better. "Hemorrhages," "severe uterine infections," "dying," blah blah blah blah. And while we’re at it, enough with the whining about “rape,” “incest,” and "incest rape." We’re on to you, ladies. Those aren’t the golden ticket to the Abortion Factory, okay? Listen, John McCain has finally put the concerns of women where they belong: in derisive air quotes! And this transcends politics, Jon. Reasonable people can disagree about abortion, but still agree on the unimportance of women's health. It's about equality. And I'm sure if John McCain was raped, and has a baby growing in his penis, he would want it publicly discussed in the same level of abstraction without concern for his specific "life." Or..."penis."
  • I have great fondness and affection for John McCain, I would have voted for him, if he had made it, against Gore, quite frankly, in 2000. The guy that I see now, putting air quotes around women's health, and doing all the things that he does, I don't know what that is. And if that's a strategy that's disingenuous from how he really thinks, then my opinion of him is even lower.
    • Interview with Bill Kristol, October 30, 2008 [2]
One of the genius moves of The Founders was not writing The Bill of Rights on the back window of a dusty van.
  • If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values—they're hobbies. You know, one of the genius moves of The Founders was not writing The Bill of Rights on the back window of a dusty van.
No matter what we do, there is no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society.
  • Jon Stewart: It's a new era, Gitmo. We, in America, are done sacrificing civil liberties to fight the War on Terror. President Obama said so.
    Gitmo: Yay! Gitmo love President Obama! Gitmo finally see Promise of America! It's a new beginning for all of us! Yay! [...] You know Gitmo and all of Gitmo's friends still want to kill you—you know that, right? We want to destroy your way of life.
    Jon Stewart: Yeah, we get it, Gitmo. But with these abuses we're doing that for you.
    Gitmo: You're not safe. Don't you want to be safe?
    Jon Stewart: Gitmo, there is no safe! No matter what we do, there is no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society. So—finally—we're going to do what's right.
    Gitmo: I'm very scary.
    Jon Stewart: Gitmo, this has nothing to do with you! You can't define us. It's about not letting fear do that. [...] We can safeguard ourselves well using smart and legal tactics.
  • It's nice to see that even in retirement Dick Cheney is still making the time to scare the shit out of people. So many people retire and just stop doing the thing they love. But not him. Yes, apparently less than two weeks after riding off into the sunset—which he has to do, because he's allergic to sun—Dick Cheney wanted to make clear that if anything happens now, it's the new guy's fault. [...]
    Ooh, I have a question. What if we're hit again by a guy who's really sad because his whole family was killed in Iraq—who's responsible for that? Or what if someone got pissed off at us because his brother was potato sacked and bound and kept in a cage without a lawyer for seven years on an island in the Caribbean—who's responsible for that? Or! If Al-Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border had time to reconstitute and devise another attack because we pulled all our resources into invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11—who's responsible for that? I'm gonna go with, hold on... who's responsible for that? I'm gonna have to go with... Obama.
    Y'know, over the years we have tried very hard to make Dick Cheney look evil, but in kind of a cute way. Y'know, kinda funny, cartoonish, lot of Darth Vader jokes, funny pictures, man-sized safe, then we did that funny wheelchair mock-up. It was all really funny and we called the segment You Don't Know Dick; it was kinda light-hearted and all that, but you know what? Fuck it. He no longer deserves any satirical protection, any glib patina of sugar-coating. We are now officially changing the name of his segment. [New animated titles for Why Are You Such a Dick? play.]
You go through the tunnel and you take a chance, and you can work to get away from your circumstance.
  • People always talk to me about, "Who are your influences? What makes you do what you do?" I can say, I draw a line—I do what I do because of Bruce Springsteen, and I'll tell you why: You introduced me to the concept of The Other Side. You introduced me to the concept of: you go through the tunnel and you take a chance, and you can work to get away from your circumstance. And by working to get away from your circumstance you can make something better of yourself, but there's no guarantee. [...] But you know what? The joy of it is chasing that dream, and that was my inspiration for leaving New Jersey and goin' to New York. And bless you, my friend. You're the Man. So I just wanted to thank you personally from the bottom of my heart for giving me something to put into the dashboard as I drove a U-Haul van through the Holland Tunnel.
  • [quietly] I guess there's one more thing I want to say to him... uh, if you're heading out from uptown, take 42nd Street west to 9th Avenue, make a left, go down four blocks, Lincoln Tunnel's on your right, and you know what? [taking E-ZPass out of his pocket] Here's my E-ZPass, get the fuck out of here.
    • Conclusion to a segment about Rush Limbaugh's announcement that he was moving himself and his show out of New York City to escape its high taxes, April 1, 2009
  • IOWA?! Iowa says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional? This was last year's Iowa Gay Pride parade. [Shows clip from "The Straight Story", with Alvin Straight riding a lawn mower on a country road] They are the aortic valve of the heartland of America. They are now officially more progressive than California.
  • Michelle Bachmann (clip): We're gonna fight for our freedom.
    Sean Hannity (clip): Absolutely. Against tyranny.
    Jon Stewart: Yes, "tyranny". A/k/a our democratically elected President. You know what guys, meet me at camera 3 for a second — I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing. And I feel for you because ah... I've been there. A few times. In fact, one of them was a bit of a nailbiter. But see, when the guy that you disagree with gets elected, he's probably going to do things you disagree with. He could cut taxes on the wealthy, remove government's oversight capability, invade a country that you thought should not be invaded, but that's not tyranny. That's democracy. See, now you're in the minority. It's supposed to taste like a shit taco. And by the way, if I remember correctly when disagreement was expressed about that president's actions when y'all were in power I believe the response was "why do you hate America?", "watch what you say", "love it or leave it", "suck on my truck nuts".
  • To say that comedians have to decide whether they're comedians or social commentators, uh… comedians do social commentary, through comedy. That’s how it’s worked for thousands of years. I have not moved out of the comedians box, into the news box. The news box is moving towards me.
  • Sarcasm - I get it now! See at the time I thought your jokey manner was just the way you were sublimating your shame over the discomfort you feel deep in your soul after extinguishing the last smoldering embers of any of your program’s journalistic bona fides!
  • However you felt about the man, whatever your opinions are, I believe we—as a people—should make a rule that once you die … whatever derisive nickname that we used for you, it dies with you. So can we stop calling him 'Jacko' now? … After you die, can a brother get a 'Mr. Jackson'?
Interview with Mike Huckabee (December 9, 2008)

Stewart and Huckabee discussed fiscal and social conservatism; the second part of the interview focused on their differing views on same-sex marriage.
Mike Huckabee, Part 2. The Daily Show official website (2008-12-09). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.

At what age did you decide not to be gay?
Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality.
  • This gets to the crux of it. I think it's the difference between what you think gay people are and what I do. And I live in New York City, so I'm going to make a supposition that I have more experience being around them. And I'll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. [...] We protect religion and talk about a lifestyle choice. That is absolutely a lifestyle choice. Gay people do not choose to be gay. At what age did you decide not to be gay?
  • You talk about the Pro-Life movement being one of the great shames of our nation. I think, if you want number two, I think—I think it's that. I think it's absolute—it's a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights.
  • You keep talking about it would be redefining a word. And it feels like semantics is cold comfort when it comes to humanity.
  • I think you are looking at sexuality and not attributes, and I think it's odd because the conservative mantra is a meritocracy. And I think what you're suggesting is the fact that being gay parents makes you not as good as others. And I would suggest that a loving, gay family with a financially secure background beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day of the week.

CNBC Criticism and Jim Cramer Interview (March 2009)


On March 12, 2009, television personality Jim Cramer appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The host of CNBC's Mad Money, Cramer appeared in response to host Jon Stewart's highly-publicized week-long criticism of CNBC.

That is amazing! I mean these CEOs saying their own businesses are doing OK!
A real-time cause-and-effect precision barometer of how the President is doing.
You make me sound like some kind of buffoon, just flapping my arms to crazy sound effects.
  • If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars today. Provided I’d started with a hundred million dollars.... That is amazing! I mean these CEOs saying their own businesses are doing OK! I mean, it makes sense to take these CEOs word for it. For instance, I know O.J. Simpson. He told me he didn't kill anyone and he should know, he was there!
  • Between the two of them, I can't decide which one I'd rather see in jail.
    • Reaction to clip of a CNBC reporter asking Allen Stanford if it's "fun being a billionaire?" After the CNBC clip aired, the SEC said Stanford and his accomplices were running a massive Ponzi scheme.
    • CNBC Financial Advice. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-04). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  • Isn’t the Dow Jones Industrial Average just a short twitch numerical representation of a bunch of guesses about other people’s assumptions about the financial well-being of an arbitrarily chosen group of 30 out of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POSSIBLE COMPANIES? NO! YOU’RE WRONG! It is a real-time cause-and-effect precision barometer of how the President is doing! It’s been that way for years!
    • The Dow Knows All. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-04). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  • You don't have to make comedian sound like a venereal disease. He's a comedian. He's gonorrhea. [...] And variety show? You make me sound like some kind of buffoon, just flapping my arms to crazy sound effects. [Montage of sound effects from Mad Money plays.] Yeah! Like that guy! Whoever he is.
    • Reaction to clip of Jim Cramer's appearance on The Today Show discussing Stewart's criticism.
  • I don't know about the markets. That's why I don't make the claim to any authority. That's why my network doesn't have the slogan "In Stewart We Trust." They don't want people to think I'm God. Now of course, I probably wouldn't have a problem if Cramer's slogan was Cramer: He's right sometimes or He's like a dartboard that talks or You feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?
  • Although to be fair, cherry picking isn't quite what we do. Cherries are sweet and delicious. What we do is more turd mining. And I'll thank you to give our work the respect it deserves!
  • Dora: Doesn't Jim Cramer understand that it's not about individual mistakes he's made, it's about him creating a false sense of urgency that helped hyperinflate the bubble!
    Stewart: I mean, that was kinda the point.
    Boots: Do you want me to throw feces on him?
    Stewart: No, Boots. That's OK. [...]
    Dora: And Joe Scarborough is accusing you of being a cherry-picking ideologue? [...] Why is everyone being such a pendejo? [...] It means jackass in Spanish. [...]
    Stewart: Hooray for the pendejos!
  • It's the inevitable consummation of this largely manufactured battle between a man who makes people laugh for a living and whatever people think I do. In a televised, two-part hatefuck that is, by all measure, bound to disappoint anyone that's been following it. Catch the fever!
    • On his scheduled interview with Jim Cramer.
    • Jim Cramer Battle. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-11). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
It is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn't happening.
  • Mr. Cramer, don't you destroy enough dough on your own show? Boom goes the dynamite! [Laughs.] How weird is our world when Jim Cramer's on TV baking pie and Martha Stewart is the one who went to jail for Securities fraud? That's weird.
    • Reaction to clip of Jim Cramer on The Martha Stewart Show earlier that day beating cold pie dough with a rolling pin after being asked by Martha Stewart to "pretend it's Jon Stewart."
    • Bern After Pleading. The Daily Show official website. (2009-03-12). Retrieved on 2009-04-12.
  • CNBC sells itself as financial experts. And they have the access to the CEOs. And yet, they didn't catch any of this. And here they are blaming people who don't have the financial expertise and saying that they're part of the problem. [...] It seems like the banks and those that cheerlead them turned an arithmetic problem into a geometric one. They took a linear debt issue and by turning it into derivatives and securities and all that, now it's a gigantic problem. So, shouldn't we yell at them?
  • So, let me tell you why I think this thing has caught some attention. It's the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as and what it is. And the help that people need to discern this.
  • Look, we're both snake oil salesman to a certain extent, but we do label the show as snake oil here. Isn't there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic?
  • I want the Jim Cramer on CNBC to protect me from that Jim Cramer.
  • When you talk about the regulators [going after market manipulation], why not the financial news networks? That's the whole point of this. CNBC could be an incredibly powerful tool of illumination for people that believe that there are two markets. One that has been sold to us as long-term: Put your money in 401Ks, put your money in pensions and just leave it there, don't worry about it, it's all doing fine. And then there's this other market, this real market that's occurring in a back room where giant piles of money are going in and out, and people are trading them, and it's transactional, and it's fast but it's dangerous, it's ethically dubious and it's hurting that long-term market. And so what it feels like—and I'm speaking purely as a layman—it feels like we are capitalizing your adventure by our pension, and our hard-earned—and that it is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn't happening.
  • I can't rationalize the brilliance and knowledge that you have about the intricacies of the market with the crazy bullshit I see you do each night.
I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a fucking game.
  • I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a fucking game. And I, I—when I watch that, I get—I can't tell you how angry it makes me. 'Cause what it says to me is: You all know. You all know what's going on and you can draw a straight line from those shenanigans to the all that stuff that was being pulled at Bear, and at AIG. And all of this derivative market stuff that is this weird Wall Street side bet. [...] You knew what the banks were doing and yet were touting it for months and months. The entire network was. So now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that no one could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst.
  • The CEO of a company lied to you. But isn't that financial reporting?
These guys were on a Sherman's March through their companies, financed by our 401Ks.
  • It's very easy to get on this after the fact. The measure of the network and the measure of the man is—CNBC could act as [...] nobody's asking for them to be a regulatory agency. But whose side are they on? It feels like they have to reconcile: is their audience the Wall Street traders that are doing this for constant profit on a day-to-day, short-term—these guys at these companies were on a Sherman's March through their companies, financed by our 401Ks, and all the incentives of their companies were for short-term profit. And they burned the fucking house down with our money and they walked away rich as hell. And you guys knew that that was going on.
  • Honest or not, in what world is a 35:1 leveraged position sane?
  • When are we going to realize in this country that our wealth is work? That we're workers, and by selling this idea of, "Hey man, I'll teach you how to be rich"—how is that any different than an infomercial?
  • There's a market for cocaine and hookers!
    • Responding to Jim Cramer saying there's a market for CNBC's shows.
  • What is the responsibility of the people who cover Wall Street? Who are you responsible to? The people with the 401Ks and the pensions and the general public or the Wall Street traders—and by the way, this casts aspersion on all of Wall Street when that's unfair, as well! The majority of those guys are good guys. They're working their asses off, they're really bright guys. I know a lot of 'em, they're just trying to do the right thing and they're gettin' fucked in this thing, too!
  • I'm under the assumption, and maybe this is purely ridiculous, but I'm under the assumption that you don't just take their word at face value. That you actually then go around and try to figure it out. So, I again—you now become the face of this and that is incredibly unfortunate. Because you are not the face of it, you shouldn't be the face of it. You are the person that was I-don't-know-what enough to stand up and go, "Hey, that's wasn't fair!" Which, it's not because this show isn't fair. And you can tell Doucheborough that it's not supposed to be fair. [...] That's not our job.
  • Stewart: As is very clear from the tape that you have on the internet, there is the letter of the law and the intent of the law. And I think, clearly, that it would be a great service to the American public if there was an organization out there—not just the SEC, but a news organization that was trying to maintain the intent of this and force companies to still have growth and profit, but not in a way that burns down the entire field. Y'know, my mother is 75. And she bought into the idea that long-term investing was the way to go. And guess what?
    Cramer: It didn't work.
    Stewart: [nods] So maybe we could remove the "financial expert" and In Cramer We Trust and get back to the fundamentals in reporting, as well, and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.
    Cramer: I think we make that deal right here. [Stewart and Cramer shake hands.]
  • That was our show! [...] I hope that was as uncomfortable to watch as it was to do.
    • Closing of the March 12, 2009 show before the Moment of Zen.


  • Jessica: What does the word "tyrant" mean to you as opposed to what it means to everybody else?
    Larry Kilgore: "Tyrant" means to me somebody like Hitler or Lincoln who comes in and murders the people for their own political gain.
    Jessica: You think Lincoln's a tyrant?
    Larry: Yes, ma'am.
    Jessica: That's not something you normally hear.
    Larry: No it is not, but Lincoln and Hitler are very similar, but most Americans aren't aware of it.
    Jessica: I'm sorry, I'm confused.
    Larry: Hitler was the one that killed six million Jews. Lincoln was the one that killed six hundred thousand Americans.
    Jessica: Was Lincoln the one that gave a lot of liberties to people as well?
    Larry: [long pause] Not that I know of.
    Jessica: "[who is African American]" No liberties that you can think of?
    Larry: No, ma'am.
  • So now, instead of being spied on by the Executive Branch, it turns out we're being spied on by all the branches. I think— I think you're misunderstanding the perceived problem here, Mr. President. No one is saying that you broke any laws. We're just saying, it's a little bit weird that you didn't have to.
    • John Oliver, responding to clips of the Executive Branch's PRISM surveillance program, the Judicial Branch's FISA court's 100% approval of NSA's 1,789 surveillance requests in 2012, and President Obama's assertion that Congress has been "continually briefed about these are conducted", end of first segment, 0:09:50 ff (June 10, 2013)
  • You shouldn't have talking points about a person before that person can talk!
  • So what I'm getting from Fox is this: Exploiting government largess, while reprehensive and morally corrupting for an individual, is A-OK for corporations. So, maybe this'll help: Don't think about food stamps, and Head Start, and programs like that as feeding and helping a small child. Think about it as investing in a promising start-up with a liquidity problem.
    • End of 1st segment (March 13, 2014)
  • I think we drum good people out of politics who are defined by the single worst thing they've ever done, as opposed to the context of their public lives, and I think we make it much, much easier for people who have no business holding office to enter the process, because when you're not talking about ideas and world views and agendas, when you're talking about character and personality, it makes it very easy for someone to float through the process without ever having to explain themselves or demonstrate what they know.
    • Matt Bai, October 13 2014, end of third segment; discussing his book All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid
  • Maybe a more nuanced alert system could allow for more productive intervention beyond “You have ten seconds to disperse”. Or we can agree to keep ignoring the roots of how systemically, historically disenfranchised many African American communities still are, only paying attention to them when we fear their periodic, fiery ball of anger threatens to enter our airspace, and once again breathing a blissful sigh of forgetful relief when it’s another near miss.
  • What blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves. If this had been what we thought was Islamic terrorism, it would fit into our… We invaded two countries, and spent trillions of dollars and thousand of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over, like, five or six different countries, all to keep Americans safe. We got to do whatever we can, we’ll torture people. We got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe. Nine people, shot in a church, what about that? “Hey what are you gonna do? Crazy is crazy, right?” That’s the part that I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around.
  • I heard someone on the news say, well, "tragedy has visited this church”. This wasn’t a tornado. This was a racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater. You know, I hate to even use this pun, but this one is black and white. There’s no nuance here. And we’re gonna keep pretending like “I don’t get it, what happened, there’s one guy who lost his mind”, but we are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it.
  • The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate generals, and the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing, Al-Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.


  • The stakes of this election don't make Donald Trump's opponent less subject to less scrutiny; it actually makes him more subject to scrutiny. If the barbarians are at the gate, you want Conan standing on the ramparts, not chocolate chip cookie guy.
  • I've learned one thing over these last nine years, and I was glib at best and probably dismissive at worst about this -- the work of making this world resemble one that you would prefer to live in is a lunch pail fucking job, day in and day out, where thousands of committed, anonymous, smart, and dedicated people bang on closed doors and pick up those that are fallen and grind away on issues 'til they get a positive result, and even then, have to stay on to make sure that result holds. So the good news is, I'm not saying you don't have worry about who wins the election. I'm saying you have to worry about every day before it, and every day after it, forever. Although... on the plus side, I am told that, at some point, the sun will run out of hydrogen.
  • Jon: Professor! Tell me, what is step one in delivering world-class fealty to power?
    Tucker Carlson: [recording] Here's why we're doing it: First, because it's our job. We're in journalism.
    Jon: "Lie about what your job is."
    Tucker Carlson: [recording] Our duty is to inform people.
    Jon: "Lie about what your duty is."
    Tucker Carlson: [recording] Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they're implicated in; freedom of speech is our birthright -- we were born with the right to say what we believe.
    Jon: Oh, shit... Kudos, sensei! That was deep -- I have much to learn. "Disguise your deception and capitulation to power as noble and moral and based in freedom." Yes, master...
    • Stewart commenting on Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin (February 19, 2024)
  • Your plan to eliminate Hamas by destroying all of Gaza... Uh... doesn’t that just make more Hamases? Is that the plural of Hamas? Hamassi? I mean, Palestinian liberation is an idea, unless you have a bomb that kills ideas — do you have a bomb that kills ideas? I mean, how long would it even take to bomb the shit out of an idea?
  • Yes, it turns out in the age-old battle between values and fear, values never had a fucking chance!
  • So this is the terrible cycle America is caught in: Democrats whose high-minded principles and values did not survive a contact-high with reality, and Republicans whose desire to solve the problem isn't nearly as strong as their desire to exploit it. And no one wins.
  • Look, if you wanna love Trump, love him. Go to the rallies, buy the sneakers. You want to give him absolute power? You want him to be the leader über alles? You want him to have the right of kings? You do you. But stop framing it as patriotism.
  • The fuck are we doing here? The subtext of all this is, America knows this is wrong. But it apparently doesn't have the courage to say it in a straightforward manner. America and Israel both know that you cannot bomb your way into safety. We learned that lesson in Iraq and Afghanistan. They learned it in Southern Lebanon. They laid seige there, occupied the southern area for 20 years, all it did was birth and strengthen Hezbollah. And they're about to do it all over again, and we are letting them. Real friends take the fucking keys, because friends don't let friends... bomb that much.
  • Whether it's globalization or industrialization or now Artificial Intelligence, the way of life that you are accustomed to is no match for the promise of more profits and new markets, which sounds brutal! ...if you're a human.
  • Kudos to the United States and to Israel! It shows just how effective a military defense system can be when you funnel American dollars away from healthcare and education.
  • Listen, I hope this doesn't sound patronizing, but when we in the West drew your region's borders and set you up with perfectly functioning dictatorships, um... we expected a little better.
  • Look, at some point in this trial, something important and revelatory is going to happen. But none of us are going to notice, because [of] the hours spent on his speculative facial tics -- if the media tries to make us feel like the most mundane bullshit is earth-shattering, we won't believe you when it's really interesting!


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About The Daily Show

  • Judging solely by the amount of media attention it got, you'd think The Daily Show, when the vaunted Jon Stewart was host, was the most-watched show of the 21st Century. You'd be wrong. It rarely made the top 100 rated shows of the week. Yes, you heard that right. The Daily Show, even with Jon Stewart as host, routinely garnered fewer viewers than reruns of Family Guy on the Cartoon Network. Yet when Stuart spoke, the media listened, even though the people didn't.
    • Derek Hunter, Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood (2018, Harper Collins)
  • I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark… I find nothing incisive in his work. As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarisation of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he’s partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States.

See also

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