Stewart Countdown

In less than a month. on August 6, Jon Stewart signs off from the Daily Show. You can binge on the last 16 years via the Web site “Your Month of Zen.”


Stewart is beloved in the book industry for the number of serious books he has featured and his ability to sell them to his audience.

In his early years, however, Stewart rarely featured authors and when he did, they were celebrities and/or comedians. The first was Joy Behar who stopped by as part of her book tour for Joy Shtick. That same year Stewart interviewed Donny Osmond for his memoir Life Is Just What You Make It.

It wasn’t until two years later that he featured his first political books, both of them satirical, P. J. O’Rourke‘s The CEO of the SOFA and Jeff Greenfield’s  Oh, Waiter, One Order of Crow!

As Stewart himself predicted at the time, 9/11 changed the course of the show, and that included his turning to authors on more serious political issues. His first guest after 9/11 was New York Times columnist, Frank Rich. In the next year, he began to hit his stride, starting with Sebastian Junger in January discussing his Vanity Fair article on Afghanistan (later expanded into the 2010 book War).

On a lighter note that year, Stewart interviewed author Elmore Leonard for his book Tishomingo Blues (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2002) and clearly had a grand time watching as Leonard stole the show.

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