Jon Stewart was running a tight ship on his final “Daily Show” episode on Thursday — until Stephen Colbert showed up.
Colbert, a “Daily Show” alum who’s moving on to host CBS’s “Late Show,” and Stewart, did what seemed to be a planned bit using “Lord of the Rings” metaphors about power. But just after Stewart introduced the commercial break, Colbert got real.
Stewart knew he was in for something and kept trying to wheel his chair away from Colbert.
But, Colbert moved ahead with what he wanted to say. “You can’t stop anyone, because they don’t work for you anymore,” Colbert told Stewart. “It will be quick if you just hold still.”
Colbert then launched into what seemed to be an off the cuff speech about Stewart’s professionalism and how honored he was to have worked with the outgoing host.
“We owe you because we learned from you, we learned from you, by example, how to have a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect,” Colbert said. “You are infuriatingly good at your job, and all of us who were lucky enough to work with you for 16 years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours, and we are better people for having known you.”
Stewart was overcome with tears.
Watch the whole emotional exchange below:
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