When Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn, no one could have predicted how much the green host would change late night and political television. It all started on Jan. 11, 1999, and that night, Jon Stewart's first Daily Show guest Michael J. Fox sat down for an interview. In the segment, you see a different side to the late-night host we’ve all come to know, love, and trust for information.
Instead of seeing a seasoned host with the know-how of a veteran news-anchor, this first episode shows a nervous Stewart, who is shaky with questions and short on answers, but in the most endearing way possible. Though this first entertainment interview is quite different from some of the game changers that followed, like Malala Yousafzai's incredible appearance, it’s amazing to see Stewart at the beginning of his significant career. The interview itself is also a reflection of how much has changed in the nearly two decades since Stewart began hosting The Daily Show.
With his last episode airing on Aug. 6, let’s take a look back at Stewart's inaugural interview that started it all. Here are seven moments from that sit-down with Fox that reveal how much has changed over nearly 17 years of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
1. Stewart Looks So Different
I mean, look at his hair!
2. There Are Some Awkward Moments
Stewart's chair is too high, and he has no idea how to fix it. Now, as a seasoned interviewer, he probably knows how to fix those smaller logistical issues.
3. Stewart's Not As Confident As We're Used To Seeing
He compares his first day of work to his Bar Mitzvah, admitting that he has a rash and spent a half hour figuring out how to button his jacket.
4. When Michael J. Fox Asks If The Show Is Live...
Stewart doesn't know the answer.
5. The Focus Of The Interview Is A Little Surprising
A chunk of the interview goes to discussing the looks of female co-stars, with jokes about interviewing women for make-out scenes. This is a sign of the times and interview style Stewart has made a point to change. He has since developed a legacy of interviewing smart women, asking them smart questions, and shedding light on feminist issues.
6. How Had Fox Not Seen Titanic?
I mean, I know it was 1999, but seriously? The movie essentially became a classic the moment it was released. I’m sure with its ubiquitous TV airings, he must have seen it by now...
7. Stewart Tried Craig Kilborn’s 5 Questions Bit
Which proved not to be his style.
Watch the full interview below, and prepare to be overwhelmed by how much has changed (for the better), as well as the realization that Stewart had us hooked from day one.
Images: Comedy Central (3), Giphy (4)