Comedian Jon Stewart has made his final broadcast as the host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’, stepping down after 16 years, and he was joined by a clutch of big name stars including rock legend Bruce Springsteen.

The show has been responsible for launching the careers of some pretty big names down the years, and some of them returned to the show for an emotional group hug, including Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert – himself due to take over Letterman’s slot later this year. There were also video messages from a couple of former presidential candidates, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Republican Senator John McCain.

Jon StewartJon Stewart has quit 'The Daily Show' after 16 years as presenter

As many have commentators pointed out, Stewart picked a curiously appropriate date on which to end his long reign as the voice of liberal America. As his final show was taping in New York, the Republican presidential candidates were taking part in their first debate in Cleveland, with many qualities on display that Stewart so enjoyed mocking on ‘The Daily Show’.

On any other night, of course, Stewart would have devoted the entire time to marvelling at the fear mongers on Fox News. But except for a fleeting reference to the Fox News broadcast as “incredible”, he instead spent his final episode acknowledging the behind-the-scenes effort of his colleagues that have made ‘The Daily Show’ such a success down the year.

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This included every single cast member being lined up for a parody of the famous Goodfellas one-take tracking shot through the restaurant, including South African comedian Trevor Noah who has already been named as Stewart’s replacement. His first show is due to go out on September 28th.

At the end of the 50 minute special episode, after encouraging his audience to continue to be vigilant about “bulls**t” in politics and society, he said goodbye to his audience in typically low-key fashion. “This show isn’t ending, we’re merely taking a small pause in the conversation. Rather than say goodbye or goodnight, I’m going to get a drink and I’m sure I’ll see you again.”

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