There’s more than a month to go before Jon Stewart officially signs off for the last time as host of The Daily Show, so the homilies and encomiums are still a little ways off. But before the endless tributes to the man who revolutionized the late-night comedy format begin, perhaps it’s best to start with an overview of his 16 years as host. You know, something that just takes a fleeting glance at his long stint behind the desk, rather than get too in-depth on any one aspect.
That’s just what fan Billy Chasen had in mind, it seems, when he created this time-lapse video of Stewart, beginning with his first episode and continuing all the way through to the most recent installments. It’s a two-minute glimpse of Stewart, slowly transitioning from spritely young thing to elder statesman. It also packs a surprisingly nostalgic punch. “God, were we ever that young?” some of us may or may not be thinking, as we stare at the youthful Stewart’s smiling visage, and ponder the inevitability of death. Or, at the very least, the death of an incredibly significant era of political comedy on television.