Jon Stewart

Active - 1994 - 2020  |   Born - Nov 28, 1962 in New Jersey, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Steve Kurutz

The career of comedian/talk show host Jon Stewart (born on November 28th, 1963 as Jon Stewart Leibowitz) has been filled with critical praise but is absent of the kind of widespread success that his talents suggest. A graduate of College of William and Mary, Stewart held several mundane jobs until a stint as a puppeteer performing for children convinced him to go into standup comedy. Moving to New York, the comedian spent several years on the comedy circuit before landing a job as the host of Comedy Central's Short Attention Span Theatre. After leaving the cable network, Stewart spent a brief stint hosting MTV's ill-fated You Wrote It, You Watch It series before landing a job as the network's first talk show host. Premiering in 1993, The Jon Stewart Show became a hit with the college crowd, due mainly to Stewart's self-effacing humor, quick wit, and ridiculous antics, such as sitting on William Shatner's lap and playing ping-pong with Gabriella Sabatini. The show became syndicated in 1994, and although it garnered critical praise in publications such as the Village Voice and New York Magazine, Stewart's off-beat brand of humor and penchant for the obscure didn't catch on with middle-American viewers, and the show was eventually canceled. The comedian has since found success and added critical acclaim as host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. His combination of biting critical humor and giggly self effacement made him an icon, and he was well received as host of the Academy Awards in 2006 and 2007. In 2009 he was named "Entertainer of the Decade" by the magazine Entertainment Weekly.

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  • Played collegiate soccer while at the College of William & Mary; the team gives out an annual Liebo Award in his honor.
  • Big break came when he landed a gig opening for singer Sheena Easton in Las Vegas.
  • Launched Busboy Productions in the mid-1990s.
  • Authored his first book, Naked Pictures of Famous People in 1998.
  • Proposed to his wife with a personalized crossword puzzle designed by Will Shortz (the crossword editor of The New York Times).
  • Was named an Entertainer of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly in 2009.
  • The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (which Stewart produced) each won two Peabody Awards while Stewart was part of them.