WASHINGTON – Jon Stewart paced the stage as if it had been 1987 and he was again within the late-night slot on the Comedy Cellar in New York’s West Village.
“There’s a variety of speak about what’s going to occur to comedy – you understand, ‘the Slap’ – and can comedy survive on this new second? Comedy survives in each second,” Stewart stated, referencing the latest Chris Rock/Will Smith brouhaha. He gestured on the bronze bust of Mark Twain set on a podium beside him. “This man’s decapitated visage is a reminder that what we’ve is fragile and treasured.”
Stewart, 59, was standing middle stage on the Kennedy Heart live performance corridor, the place he turned the twenty third recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a prestigious honor that started with Richard Pryor in 1998. The present airs at 9 EDT/PDT Tuesday (examine native listings) on PBS and pbs.org.
Images: Jimmy Kimmel, Dave Chappelle and different comics fete Jon Stewart
The April 24 gathering of comedy luminaries together with Jimmy Kimmel, Dave Chappelle, Pete Davidson and lots of from the crew of Stewart’s groundbreaking “The Each day Present” – Steve Carell, Samantha Bee, Olivia Munn, Ed Helms and, by way of video, John Oliver and a COVID-sidelined Stephen Colbert – signaled the return of the occasion, suspended since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Stewart’s ardour for music additionally obtained a notable highlight with Gary Clark Jr. and his four-piece band serving as the home band. However the loudest cheers had been reserved for “Bruuuuuuuuce” as Stewart’s brother in New Jersey-dom, Bruce Springsteen, sauntered out to storm by way of a potent “Come Collectively” with Clark and later returned for an affecting acoustic learn of “Born to Run.”
Just a few well-known faces sat quietly with their important others within the performers’ field, together with Kim Kardashian with boyfriend Davidson and comic John Mulaney with associate Munn.
However for greater than two hours, Stewart’s almost 30-year-career and expressive eyebrows had been celebrated, from his boyish antics on MTV’s “The Jon Stewart Present” to the politics-skewering intellectualism and foolish sight gags of Comedy Central’s “The Each day Present” to his present stance as a grizzled elder statesman centered on change in Apple TV+’s “The Downside with Jon Stewart.”
At occasions, the jokes bordered on a mild roast. Stewart, stated Munn, left “The Each day Present,” “to pursue his dream of dressing like a upkeep employee for the remainder of his life.” Colbert, beamed in reside from his residence library, joked that “Years earlier than anybody had heard of COVID, Jon wore nothing however stained sweatpants and averted human contact.”
Even some compliments had been couched in thorns.
“Essentially the most controversial factor he’s executed is be mates with me,” Davidson stated. “Friendship isn’t one thing he half(does) … like performing. Or provides up on … like directing.”
However amid the velvet-coated barbs resided real appreciation for Stewart’s kindness in addition to his outreach to army veterans and 9/11 first responders. Air Power Grasp Sgt. Israel Del Toro and John Feal, who has labored with Stewart as an advocate for 9/11 first responders, had been the shock presenters of the Twain Prize, transferring Stewart to tears as he tightly hugged the 2 males.
And Chappelle, the latest recipient of the award in 2019, teased Stewart in his unscripted remarks that the shindig was “like getting a preview to your funeral,” earlier than lauding his longtime good friend for his reliability and humanity.
“It’s a miracle to look at you’re employed,” Chappelle stated, as he turned and confronted Stewart off to the facet of the stage. “You’re a remedy to what ails our tradition.”
Listed below are just a few different highlights from the ceremony:
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Jimmy Kimmel tweaks Invoice Cosby
Within the historical past of the Mark Twain Prize, just one award has been revoked. In 2018, the Kennedy Heart rescinded Invoice Cosby’s 2009 Twain statue, in addition to his 1998 Kennedy Heart Honors after Cosby was discovered responsible of indecent aggravated assault.
Kimmel stated to Stewart, “They didn’t make you a brand new trophy. We’re simply providing you with Invoice Cosby’s previous one.”
The late-night host additionally reminisced about assembly Stewart in 1995, “when Jon would put on a leather-based jacket. He seemed like a extra Jewish Fonzie (or) Sylvester Shalom.”
Steve Carell remembers the ache
A deadpan Carell began his homage by stating, “A humorist is a comic who has been useless for over 100 years. We’re making an exception for Jon.”
The onetime “Each day Present” correspondent recalled among the ridiculous stunts Stewart engineered for the TV present, together with sending Carell to a doubtlessly lethal snake farm, making him eat Crisco on digicam and ingesting six Lengthy Island Iced Teas to review the results of consuming on cognitive talents.
However Carell ended with a candy sentiment: “Jon strives to make sense of the insane and discover pleasure within the darkness.”
Samantha Bee shares her gratitude
As the primary lady employed on “The Each day Present” in 2003 – not coincidentally, she stated, the primary yr the workforce gained an Emmy Award for finest comedy present – Bee continues to be appreciative of her former boss, whom she known as, “the godfather of righteous outrage.”
If Stewart hadn’t employed her, Bee stated, “I’d be a kind of Disney princesses who goes to youngsters’s birthday events and teaches them the onerous fact about getting older.”
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Jon Stewart: PBS airs Mark Twain Prize particular with Chappelle, Kimmel