By Brian Ives
Last night, Jon Stewart ended his 16 year career as the host on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, with an extended episode featuring a segment with all of his famous former correspondents including Samantha Bee, Ed Helms, Steve Carell, Michael Che and new Late Show host Stephen Colbert; a very Scoresese-ian film montage paying tribute to his crew; and Stewart’s final monologue, imploring Americans to be vigilant for bulls***.
And then Stewart introduced “an artist who I admire, who referred to his career as a long conversation with his audience.” Of course, it was Stewart’s fellow New Jersey resident, Bruce Springsteen. Stewart has paid tribute to Springsteen in the past, notably at the Kennedy Center Honors and the MusicCares Person of the Year Awards.
And then, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage. “Thanks for everything Jon, we wish you happy and safe travels,” Springsteen said, before launching into “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a song which Springsteen has been performing live since 1999, and which finally got a studio version on 2012’s Wrecking Ball; that was followed by a bit of “Born To Run.” It was a stripped down version of the E Street Band compared to the recent lineup: gone are the backing singers, percussionist, horn section (only saxophonist Jake Clemons was with the band) and no more Tom Morello. Whether this is the lineup that Springsteen will use in the future remains to be seen.