7 Things You Didn’t Know About Jon Stewart

With his exit from late-night TV, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart will surely leave a void in the comedy-sphere. Many would rather he not leave, but we’ve put our trust with him for so many years: If he believes it’s his time to go, then we should trust him on that as well.

Author Lisa Rogak’s incredibly in-depth biography on Stewart, Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart, reveals a plethora of information that few would know about the comedian. Stewart is not a very public guy. According to those who worked alongside him, despite his charming onscreen persona, he doesn’t tend to open up to coworkers easily. He’s a tough nut to crack.

But here are a few things about Jon Stewart that you likely didn’t know. 

  • Bruno Morandi via Getty Images

    Jon Stewart’s grandfather Nathan Laskin was born in Mongolia in 1906 and was later raised in Tientstin, China, which was home to a well-developed, albeit small, Jewish community.

  • YouTube

    Stewart was 9 years old when he and his school band had a guest spot on a popular children’s TV show “Captain Noah and His Magical Ark.” (He played trumpet.)

  • Wikipedia

    Around 1990, Stewart was hired to write for a show called “The Sweet Life,” which ran on HBO’s Comedy Channel. That cable channel would later transform into what is now Comedy Central.

  • Ethan Miller via Getty Images

    One of Tracey’s friends fixed her and Stewart up and the two met at a Mexican restaurant. Tracey was so over the dating scene at this point that she almost didn’t go.


    Stewart enlisted the help of New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz to add marriage proposal clues to the paper’s infamously difficult crossword. Many of the puzzle’s clues had special meaning specifically for Tracey. 

  • Paul Morigi via Getty Images

    “I didn’t enjoy political humor until I started working with Jon,” says Stephen Colbert. “And then I found I had a stronger [political point of view] than I imagined.”

  • Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

    When asked about his successor, Trevor Noah, Stewart said, “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” Stewart then added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!” 


Angry Optimist is out now in hardcover and paperback through St. Martin’s Press.


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