(NOTE: Look below for a video of the show-closing performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.)
12:03 a.m.: Song over. Stewart hugs Springsteen and band members. Show over.
Midnight: After “Land of Hope and Dreams,” Springsteen segues quickly into the last portion of “Born to Run.” Stage crowded with people dancing.
11:58 p.m.: Really good, energetic performance of “Land of Hope and Dreams.” Springsteen adds an excerpt from “People Get Ready,” as he often does in concert.
11:55 p.m.: Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band onstage to perform “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a song requested by Stewart, Springsteen says. “Thanks for everything, Jon,” he adds. “We wish you happy and safe travels.”
11:52 p.m.: Stewart says he can’t thank everyone, but does thanks Comedy Central, and the people who work there, and the audience. “It still feels like a dream, a little bit,” he says. Also thanks wife and kids. Mentions a Springsteen comment about an artist’s career being a long conversation with the artist’s audience, says he likes that thought because it takes away sense of finality. Says there will be more conversation to come even though show is closing.
11:50 p.m.: Another commercial break. Am assuming we’re going to get about 6-8 minutes of Springsteen and then end at midnight.
11:47 p.m.: Wraps “bullshit speech” up by saying, “The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell somethin’, say somethin’.”
11:43 p.m.: Long, blunt talk about bullshit in politics. With much use of the word “bullshit.”
11:38 p.m.: Okay, here’s some of that Stewart/Colbert exchange from a few minutes ago. Pretty funny stuff.
Colbert: “You can’t possibly leave without saying goodbye to your Sam.”
Stewart: “Wait, who’s Sam?”
Colbert: “I am, Jon.”
Stewart: “What am I, Diane? What is this, ‘Cheers’?”
Colbert: “No, Jon, don’t you see? You’re Frodo.”
Stewart: “Wait, you’re Sam, I’m Frodo? How am I Frodo? Why aren’t you Frodo?
Colbert: “Jon, one of us is adult size and does not have hairy toes.”
Stewart: “Point taken.”
Colbert: “But Jon, like Frodo, you are leaving us on a voyage to the undying lands.”
Stewart: “I’m just going to New Jersey, Stephen, come on.”
Colbert: “For 16 years, you and your basic cable Fellowship of Funny clutched that ring of power and trudged up the steep slopes of Mount Doom.”
Stewart: “We didn’t trudge so much. It’s just … what’s the ring in this metaphor?”
Colbert: “The ring of power in this metaphor is a metaphor for power. A power to be a player in the world of media and Washington politics.”
Stewart: “Dude, I don’t really want that. So … “
Colbert: “Jon, you know who else didn’t want that?
Stewart: (pauses) “… Frodo.”
Colbert: “Your words, Jon.
11:31 p.m.: Back from commercial. Stewart praises behind-scenes staff.
11:26 p.m.: Finally, a commercial break. Whew, that was a whirlwind of a segment. Am going to transcribe the Colbert/Stewart exchange and get that to you in a few minutes.
11:22 p.m.: Stephen Colbert appears in last cameo of this segment.
11:21 p.m.: Stewart earnestly thanks “everybody who leant their talents to this program.”
11:17 p.m.: Sen. John McCain and Bill O’Reilly call Stewart a “jackass” and a “quitter,” respectively. Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Sen. Chuck Schumer are among many others appearing in short taped bits.
11:14 p.m.: Future “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah is shown, surreptitiously taking measurements with a tape measure. Stewart asks for “like, 20 more minutes.”
11:12 p.m.: First portion of show has been heavy on the cameos: Josh Gad, Rob Corddry, Larry Wilmore, “senior evil correspondent” Darth Vader, many others.
11:06: Former “Daily Show” correspondent Steve Carell cameos, as part of a parade of former correspondents. Says he’s been waiting 12 years for his next assignment.
11:04 p.m.: First Gov. Christie joke.
11:02 p.m.: First Republican debate joke. Well, that didn’t take long.
11:01 p.m.: “I got big news! This is it! This is my final episode!”
This is the space where I will be writing a live blog on Jon Stewart’s last “Daily Show.” The show will begin at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, and is expected to last longer than its regular half hour.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform on the show, which was taped this afternoon. This will be their first performance together since May 2014.
Stewart, who grew up in Lawrenceville and now lives in Red Bank, took over the show in 1999. Trevor Noah will take over as host, beginning Sept. 28.
“The Daily Show” first aired in 1996, but underwent a remarkable change during Stewart’s years as host. “He created something that did not exist,” Jimmy Kimmel told USA Today. “He made the show from a funny show to an important show. No one expected that to happen. Instead of a parody of the news, it became a critique of the news.”
Please feel free to share your thoughts on the show in the comments section, below.