“It’s never easy when your TV show gets canceled,” Wilmore began, “but for me, there has been a silver lining: all the free booze! Samantha Bee’s show sent over some cases of wine, [and] Stephen Colbert sent an amazing assortment of liquor.” (Let’s just say The Daily Show’s half-hearted pastries weren’t as well-received.)
Of course, no gift could possibly top Jon Stewart‘s; the former Daily Show host came bearing one of the most genuine, heartfelt speeches he’s given on live television — and oh, how I’ve missed those speeches:
I just decided to stop by and tell you I love you. And may I say something else: Thank you! … A very wise man once said to me, “Do not confuse cancelation with failure.” And I took that to heart. So I will say this: What you, my friend, were tasked to do, you have done — and done beautifully. You gave voice to underserved voices in the media arena. It was a show that was raw and poignant and funny and smart and all of those things. You did it from scratch. … You took something and got better every [bleepin’] day. … You started a conversation that was not on television when you began it. … What you don’t realize is that you walk out of this room, and that conversation doesn’t end.
Stewart assured Wilmore that the people on his team would go on to do great things, that they will “flourish,” and it will all be thanks to him. You can watch (rough) video of Stewart’s speech below:
Elsewhere in The Nightly Show‘s final half hour…
* Wilmore addressed the recent Ellen DeGeneres controversy — some have suggested that a tweet, in which the talk show host is riding Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt, had racist implications — by calling DeGeneres a “pure delight.”
* None of Wilmore’s contributors were available to assist him with the DeGeneres segment; Robin Thede was already on vacation, and Franchesca Ramsey was busy doing a Skype interview for her next job.
* Contributors Rory Albanese and Holly Walker — the show’s apparent will-they-won’t-they couple — finally went there.
* We learned that the show nearly did a story about a guy who “got caught jerking off a dolphin,” but it never quite made it to air. (“Maybe it could have saved us,” Ramsey quipped.)
* And Wilmore, one last time, kept it 100: “I’m not done yet.”
Was the Nightly Show‘s mid-sized send-off everything you thought it should have been? Grade it below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on Wilmore’s final bow (for now).