With the announcement that Stewart will leave his post of 16 years, let's roll the highlight reel

By Amanda Michelle Steiner
Updated February 12, 2015 10:30 AM
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Credit: Comedy Central

It is truly the end of an era.

During Tuesday’s taping of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart announced that this will be his last year – of 16 – at the anchor desk.

While a statement from Comedy Central implied that the end is not necessarily nigh for The Daily Show, it is not yet clear whether the show will be canceled entirely or whether someone else will take up Stewart’s post.

In any case, let’s take a look back at some of Stewart’s greatest takedowns both at and away from the Daily Show desk.

While no doubt fun to watch, the below are, most importantly, indicative of Stewart’s well-honed ability to use satire as a legitimate, meaningful critique.

1. Jon Stewart vs. Glenn Beck

So utterly over Glenn Beck’s schtick circa 2011, Stewart broke from his usual mold (present a story, make a joke, make a face) and spent nearly an entire episode lambasting the former Fox News host.

2. Jon Stewart vs. Bill O’Reilly

Fox News has always been a fertile ground for Stewart, and no host more so than Bill O’Reilly. The two share a bizarre sort of camaraderie, the kind you might witness between two Mean Girl characters sitting across a high school cafeteria table rather than a news anchor desk. This was one of O’Reilly’s many appearances on the show, though it would be hard to truly pick a favorite.

3. Jon Stewart vs. Mike Huckabee

Following the 2008 presidential election, Mike Huckabee tried to defend his opposition of gay marriage to Stewart, who then told the onetime presidential nominee that his views were akin to segregation. Huckabee insisted that the definition of marriage is thousands of years old, but as Stewart said in response: “It feels like semantics is cold comfort when it comes to humanity.”

4. Jon Stewart vs. Mike Huckabee, Again

Once again, Stewart took on Huckabee when the conservative politican stopped by The Daily Show in January and used Beyoncé and Jay Z as examples of a “culture of crude,” likening Queen Bey to a “stripper,” to which Stewart countered that Huckabee was “diminishing Beyoncé in a way that’s truly outrageous.” Quoting some questionable Ted Nugent lyrics, Stewart accused Huckabee of “excus[ing] that type of crudeness because you agree with his stance on firearms. You don’t approve of Beyoncé because she seems alien to you.”

5. Jon Stewart vs. Chicago Pizza

Finally, Stewart’s most polarizing takedown – Chicago vs. New York pizza. “Deep-dish pizza is not only better than New York pizza, it’s not pizza. It’s a casserole. It’s a cornbread biscuit which you’ve melted cheese on and then – in defiance of God and man and all things holy – you poured uncooked marinara sauce atop! This is not pizza! This is tomato soup in a bread bowl!” Shots fired!

BONUS: Crossfire

Finally, who can forget Stewart’s epic takedown of Crossfire hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson on their own show? Hearing Stewart command the hosts to “Stop hurting America” is thrilling every time.