Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
Jon Stewart at the premiere of his film ‘Rosewater’ in London, England, October 12, 2014. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
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Jon Stewart’s Jewnacular

Chuck Schumer: ‘It’s a miracle: You took one day’s worth of schtick and kept it going for 16 years. Mazel tov!’

by
Jonathan Zalman
July 27, 2015
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
Jon Stewart at the premiere of his film 'Rosewater' in London, England, October 12, 2014. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will soon become The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In preparation for Stewart’s exit on August 6, I imagine his editorial staff is working on flashback segment after flashback segment. And they should, because Stewart, once dubbed a “liberal lion” by Stephen Colbert, generally rocks. Part of said rockness is Stewart’s unabashed references to his (Jersey-bred) Jewish roots, which were finally broadcast in mash-up form during the July 23 program. Stewart brought on Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who introduced the segment wearing reading glasses. “Tonight, I’d actually like to celebrate your membership in the tribe,” he said.

Here’s a basic rundown of the gems, which—and let’s give credit where credit’s due here—Stewart likely didn’t all write:

Said Stewart, “I’m Jewish… so I think a lot about illness.”
“I’m a Jew… I can’t dunk.”
“Let me explain something about the Hebrew people, uhh… we are a people, of hair.”
“Happy Yom Kippur!”
“Basket filled with and jelly beans, or horse radish still in root form?!”

And in a segment with Tyrese Gibson (wearing a Red Sox shirt (Go Sox)), he says, “Don’t make me break out the Yiddush,” which he does (along with Hebrew) thus**:
“Kvetch”
“Schmutz is dirt.” (to Christina Aguilera)
“Schpilkas is the Jewish phlegm.”
“Pupik”
“Pipik”
“Mensch”
“Mashuguna”
“Bupkis”
“Shalom”
“Mazel Tov”
“Ma Nishtana?”
“Minion”
“Mishpucha”
“Yentl”
“Schmuck”
“Shvitz”
“Bubbe”
“Dayenu”
“Schmata”

And in the end, it’s all about circumcision (you’ll see):

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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