Jon Stewart -- (born November 28, 1962, as Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, in New York City, NY) is a television host, actor, stand-up comedian, writer, and political satirist, best known as host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program that airs on Comedy Central.
Jon Stewart first branched into television by hosting Short Attention Span Theater for Comedy Central. After that program, he hosted another a failed show (this time on MTV) called You Wrote It, You Watch It featuring the cast of The State. During this time, Stewart raised his profile with several film roles and he was strongly considered to replace David Letterman on NBC's late night talk show (which instead ended up as Late Night with Conan O'Brien). Putting two and two together, MTV created The Jon Stewart Show, a 30-minute talk-show which became the second highest rated program on MTV (behind "Beavis & Butthead") in 1994. Stewart received tremendous support from MTV, and his first guest was the red-hot Howard Stern (promoting his autobiography Private Parts).
When The Arsenio Hall Show ended its production, The Jon Stewart Show moved to FOX to fill its void where it lasted a short while (mostly due to poor timeslots in syndication). Despite his network failure, Stewart made a fan of David Letterman and he was frequently a guest host in place of Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show, which followed Letterman's CBS program. In a strange twist of fate, Craig Kilborn left The Daily Show on Comedy Central in 1999 to replace a retiring Snyder, and Stewart replaced Kilborn.
Prior to Stewart's influence, The Daily Show was a mess of pop culture news, blending Weekend Update with "Talk Soup"-style clips, and its ads boasted the program as "the most important television show, ever!" Overall, it was a lame misfire attempt that was only successful because Comedy Central was new. However, Stewart hosting the show was the perfect fit and immediately transformed it to what the show wanted to be, which was a humorous alternative to talk news programs on CNN and CNBC. Nowadays, Stewart is viewed as a political force and the New York Times once suggested that he is "the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow."
On one of the most memorable episodes of The Daily Show in September 2001, Stewart returned to work after the 9/11 tragedy and the life-long New Yorker opened the show by addressing viewers in a somber fashion, stating "The view... from my apartment... was the World Trade Center... and now it's gone, and they attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity, and strength, and labor, and imagination and commerce, and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the South of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can't beat that!"