On June 21, 2019, the Newseum will unveil a new exhibit, “Seriously Funny: From the Desk of ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.’” The exhibit will explore the impact Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” had on American politics and the press through four presidential campaigns, two wars and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More than 50 artifacts will be on display, from “The Daily Show” and the satirical news shows it inspired, as well as print publications that reported on the show’s influence. The exhibit also features an original Newseum-produced film that goes behind the scenes at “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”
The centerpiece of the exhibit will be Stewart’s desk from “The Daily Show,” donated to the Newseum after Stewart’s final appearance on the late-night series after 16 years hosting the popular program. “Seriously Funny” will also explore humor as a protected form of free speech under the First Amendment and Stewart’s lasting influence on political satire through the comedians he mentored, including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Hasan Minhaj and Trevor Noah, current host of “The Daily Show.”
Among the artifacts the exhibit will display are: Gitmo, a puppet Stewart dubbed “senior imprisoned correspondent” who voiced the controversies that arose surrounding accused terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; a script from Stewart’s farewell show; a script from Stephen Colbert’s late-night series “The Colbert Report;” a framed tweet from “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library;” and the suit Noah wore on his first show as host in 2015.
“Jon Stewart challenged politicians, as well as the press, to do a better job of serving the public,” said Patty Rhule, vice president of exhibit development and content at the Newseum. “He used the tools of TV news to explore serious topics in humorous ways and inspired his fans to be savvier consumers of news. We are thrilled to explore his impact, along with that of Trevor Noah, the South African comedian who has brought a global perspective to the show.”
“Seriously Funny” is made possible with support from Comedy Central. The exhibit will be displayed at the Newseum through Dec. 31, 2019.