83° Good Afternoon
83° Good Afternoon

'The Daily Show': Zadroga Act, Manspreading, more best NYC moments

Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" has been so many things: Biting political satire, goofy talk show and a show for New Yorkers. The show filmed for 16 years at 11th Avenue and West 52nd Street, and also had many, many segments over the years that proved Stewart was a real New Yorker.

Here are some of his best segments on the greatest city in the world.


Trevor Noah has taken the reins of
Photo Credit: The Daily Show via Twitter

Trevor Noah has taken the reins of "The Daily Show" but on Monday night, Jon Stewart returned to make an impassioned plea for the renewal of the Zadroga Act. The law helped pay for the health needs of 9/11 first responders and was passed in 2010 but has not been renewed.

Stewart went to Washington to talk with Senators about passing the bill, and had this to say last night:

"The only conclusion that I can draw is that the people of Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders."


Pizza with a fork

When billionaire Donald Trump and former Alaska governor,
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

When billionaire Donald Trump and former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, went to Famous Familigia's in Times Square in 2011, Stewart took offense to the choice of a chain restaurant -- especially when Palin declared it "real New York pizza." But he said he would "forgive them the selection" until he noticed Trump stacked his slices and then committed the ultimate sin: he ate the pizza with a fork and a knife."Donald Trump why don't you just take that fork and stick it in New York's eye?" Stewart said. "You're going to eat pizza with a [expletive] fork right in front of us? Who the [expletive] do you think you are? . . . Watch and learn! You fold it and you eat it!" Stewart said while eating pizza.

It was a rant every New Yorker understands. But not one important one: Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was caught eating pizza with a fork just two weeks after taking office, or "a la Trump" as Stewart said. "I know there is a learning curve to being mayor, but learn how to eat your city's signature dish!" Stewart didn't buy de Blasio's excuse about "his ancestral homeland." "Are you the mayor of Italy?" Stewart asked. When de Blasio was a guest on the show a few weeks later, Stewart schooled him on the correct way to eat pizza. In a later episode, Stewart called de Blasio's repeat offense of eating pizza with a fork "the greatest sin a New Yorker can commit next to doing carnal things with an onion bagel."


As a New Yorker, Stewart couldn't help but
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

As a New Yorker, Stewart couldn't help but notice manspreading. Although he called it a "courtesy issue," "women's correspondent" Kristen Schaal said he had been so "brainwashed by this feminized world" that he would defend it. "Do the math: Men make 30% more than women, they should have 30% more space on the way to work," Schaal said. "The subway is the only place men have left. We've literally driven you underground to find that last inch of ball space."

Big Gulp

Photo Credit: Comedy Central

"What are you doing?!" Stewart shouted at Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2012 when he proposed the ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. "We already let you make up a third term as mayor, cameras at every intersection and for some reason, picnic tables in the middle of Seventh Avenue. What the [expletive] was that? This is all we have left!"

Stewart frequently brought up the Big Gulp ban over the years, even saying that they could have helped scoop out water during superstorm Sandy.

Chuck Schumer in a diner

After the Iran deal was announced in July,
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

After the Iran deal was announced in July, Sen. Chuck Schumer appeared at MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki" in a diner. Stewart gasped in frustration and said "what have you done? You took an old, New York Jewish man to a diner? You realize what this means? You are never going to talk about the Iran deal. You're just going to end up talking about [expletive] diners!" Stewart then played what seemed like endless clips of Schumer discussing the diners and the food--including Schumer's propping up of Brooklyn's own Sweet N' Low. Schumer visited the next night saying "last night, you were so interested in my diner tips, I am going to share more of my breakfast wisdom with you." Schumer then introduced clips of some of Stewart's stereotypically Jewish mannerism.

Long Island secession

Samantha Bee did a segment on Long Island's
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Samantha Bee did a segment on Long Island's secession, with then-Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine advocating for secession. "The 51st state, Long Island," Romaine said. Bee joked about "it's all relative" about "the best and the brightest of Long Island." Bee took Yaeger shots with some young men at a bar, who said the "state bird should just mean flipping the bird." "First of all, they should call it Strong Island if they make it into its own state," one man told her. It's hard to argue with that logic, even though Bee joked "you know what? No."

Michael Grimm

Stewart first mentioned Michael Grimm after his infamous
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Stewart first mentioned Michael Grimm after his infamous threat to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto "off the [expletive] balcony." Although Stewart said "to be fair, I will throw you off this [expletive] balcony is a relatively standard and traditional Staten Island goodbye," Stewart then went on rant saying the worst part about congressional Republicans is that one of them "threatened a NY1 reporter," or the reason he hadn't canceled his Time Warner Cable subscription.

Stewart followed a few months later after Grimm was charged, saying that "no one does corruption better than the Northeast." In a sketch called "Grimm Shady," Stewart mocked "this is what northeastern corruption has come to, closing bridge lanes and skimming a little off the top of a broccoli and lentil joint?"

In January 2015, Stewart said "that's just Staten Island" when Jason Jones mocked the sleeveless shirts and how tan everyone appeared to be in the winter.

Anthony Weiner

Stewart and Anthony Weiner were friends and roommates
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Stewart and Anthony Weiner were friends and roommates in the 1980s. Weiner appeared on the show in 2010 (pre-scandal), where the two joked about their trips to the beach and how Stewart could destroy Weiner's career. Stewart said he thought Weiner could have beaten Michael Bloomberg in 2009 mayoral race and Weiner responded confidently "I would have beaten Bloomberg like a rented mule." Um, OK.

Oh how innocent we all were back then. There were only a few videos about Weiner pre-scandal, and a search now for videos on the "Daily Show" website that are tagged Anthony Weiner brings up more than 60 routines. After Weiner was first caught tweeting, Stewart initially mocked the media's response but eventually gave a mock news conference where he apologized for not writing enough jokes -- and also actually injured his own hand. To be fair to Stewart, he was on sabbatical during the summer of 2013, when Weiner joined the NYC mayoral race and we all learned about Weiner's alter ego, Carlos Danger. But John Oliver certainly filled in -- and taught us the Carlos Danger dance.

Outdoor smoking ban in parks

"Daily Show" correspondent Samantha Bee took to Union Square Park to discuss the outdoor smoking ban in parks. While in the park, she was asked for rolling papers, a man stood nearby with his pants down and a person washed themselves in the fountain. She described the people in the park "a giant, undulating pile of human sorrow . . . Are you [expletive] kidding me? Smoking?" she asked. Oh, so a regular day in NYC.

Superstorm Sandy

In the (literally) dark days following superstorm Sandy,

In the (literally) dark days following superstorm Sandy, Stewart luckily was not in SoPo (South of Power) and had the jokes ready. "You know when you have one of those days when everything you loved as a child is under water?" he said. Stewart highlighted the way the city had become two cities -- Al Madrigal and Jessica Williams fought rats with machetes downtown while John Oliver uptown had an obstructed view at "The Book of Mormon."

A few months later, Stewart highlighted how Congress had tied up funding for Sandy relief over partisan fighting. And then two years later, Stewart brought the issue back up in a segment with Jordan Klepper. Alana Tornello of the Staten Island Long-Term Recovery Organization told Klepper: "This is still a story."

Eric Garner decision

Like many New Yorkers, Stewart was deeply affected
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Like many New Yorkers, Stewart was deeply affected by Eric Garner's death and the grand jury decision. Stewart turned things serious to discuss the grand jury decision in December 2014. "If comedy equals tragedy plus time, I'm going to need a lot more [expletive] time," Stewart said. "Damn, we are definitely not living in a post-racial society, and I imagine a lot of people out there are wondering if we are not living in much of a society at all."

First episode after 9/11

Stewart returned from vacation on Sept. 10, 2001
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Stewart returned from vacation on Sept. 10, 2001 -- and then took another nine days off as the city recovered from the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Stewart gave a heartfelt monologue at the beginning of the show, saying "they said to get back to work and there were no jobs available for a man in the fetal position under his desk, crying. Which I gladly would have taken." Stewart became choked up several times during the monologue, saying it is a "privilege" to have the right to do the show. "Our show has changed," he said somberly. "I don't doubt that. What it's become, I don't know." Stewart, who was living in TriBeCa at the time, said "the view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. But they attacked it, and it's gone . . . but you know what my view is now? The Statue of Liberty." Stewart wrapped up the monologue by insisting "we're going to get back to this. And it's going to be fun, it's going to be funny."

Zadroga Bill

On Dec. 13, 2010, Stewart devoted his first
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

On Dec. 13, 2010, Stewart devoted his first segment to the Zadroga Bill, which that would set aside $7 billion in medical and financial benefits for Ground Zero workers who get sick, calling it "the least we can do / no-brainer act of 2010." Stewart called out the Republicans who didn't vote for the bill by juxtaposing their no votes with their Sept. 11th tributes.

On Dec. 16 that year, Stewart devoted almost his entire show to discussing the Senate's failure to pass the bill. "Just [expletive] do it!" Stewart shouted. Stewart called out all three major networks for not covering the story, as well as Fox News' refusal to blame the Republicans. The only network to cover it the bill was Al Jazeera, which Stewart called "insane."

Stewart then had a panel of Sept. 11th first responders, who said they were "disgusted" that the bill had not been passed. "We're patriots to this country, just like everybody here, we went down there for the love of our country, for the love our city. We didn't turn our back on anybody" said John Devlin, who was suffering from stage 4 throat cancer at the time.

After the show, ABC ran a story on "World News Tonight" and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced a revised version of the bill. It passed several days later.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Entertainment photos & videos