This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for November 28, 2016: Evening

Nov. 28, 2016: birthday: Jon Stewart

It’s the birthday of comedian Jon Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City (1962). For 16 years, he was the host of Comedy Central’s satiric news program The Daily Show — and was at one time considered by Americans as one of their most trusted journalists. He conducted dozens of interviews with current and former world leaders, including Britain’s Tony Blair, whom he confronted about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: “Nineteen people flew into the towers. It seems hard for me to imagine that we could go to war enough to make the world safe enough that 19 people wouldn’t want to do harm to us. So it seems like we have to rethink a strategy that is less military-based.”

Since his retirement, he’s enjoyed spending more time with his family and experiencing the mundane aspects of life. “I go to the carwash,” he said. “I get smoothies. I call [my wife] on the road and be like ‘I’m eatin’ a slice in the car,’ you know.” He and his wife, Tracey, have also opened an animal sanctuary on their farm in Middletown, New Jersey. In October, Stewart was honored for his efforts on behalf of the firefighters and other first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He repeatedly lobbied Congress to extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, which provided health care funding. “I cannot bring heroism or integrity to this process,” Stewart said in a press conference. “I can only bring cameras and hopefully a sense of public shame.”