How Jon Stewart transformed 'The Daily Show'

How Jon Stewart Changed 'The Daily Show'
After 16 years and nearly 2,600 episodes of the award-winning satirical news show, Jon Stewart will sign off of "The Daily Show" for the final time August 6.

It's hard to imagine "The Daily Show" without the famed funnyman -- but many people forget he wasn't the long-running show's original host. Craig Kilborn led the "fake news" program from 1996 to the end of 1998. Kilborn's "Daily Show" had a very different tone, with more games and wacky clips.

When Stewart took over he hired new writers and gave the show his own signature style. He didn't shy away from cozying up to celebrities while skewering politicians and newscasters alike.

See photos of Jon Stewart through the years:
Jon Stewart through the years
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How Jon Stewart transformed 'The Daily Show'
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0166 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jon Stewart during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on November 19, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 28: Host Jon Stewart at 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' covers the Midterm elections in Austin with 'Democalypse 2014: South By South Mess' at ZACH Theatre on October 28, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Comedy Central)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Actor Gael Garcia Bernal (L) and director/writer/producer Jon Stewart attend 'Rosewater' New York Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on November 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Jon Stewart performs onstage at The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation present the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes Event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 7: Stewart is seen at the Royal York Hotel. Jon Stewart (of the Daily Show fame) directed and wrote a film called Rosewater about a journalist who was detained and tortured in Iran after an interview on American television. The film was shown at TIFF. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TELLURIDE, CO - AUGUST 29: Director Jon Stewart and journalist Maziar Bahari speak at a Q&A for 'Rosewater' at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival - Day 1 on August 29, 2014 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images For Telluride Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Martin Scorsese, Don Rickles, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Johnny Depp attend Spike TV's 'Don Rickles: One Night Only' on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Spike TV)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Jon Stewart speaks onstage at Spike TV's 'Don Rickles: One Night Only' on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Spike TV)

His coverage of the 2000 Bush v. Gore election, aptly deemed "Indecision 2000," quickly garnered critical acclaim and would lead to the show's first Peabody Award. The New York Times soon hailed Stewart as "the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow," while Rolling Stone called him "the most trusted man in news." Despite the praise, Stewart always insisted he was just a comedian.

Some of Stewart's most memorable moments came when he took on the media. His 2004 appearance on "Crossfire" brought the 22-year-old CNN show to an end, and is often referred to as his finest hour. His scathing criticism of Fox News also became one of his signature bits.

While Stewart made his name with his biting criticism of the major 24-hour news networks, he also had the uncanny ability to connect with his viewers at times when it truly mattered most. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, a visibly emotional Stewart simply asked the audience, "Are you okay?" He would again serve as a source of comfort following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Eric Garner ruling and the recent Charleston murders.

One thing is for certain -- Trevor Noah has big shoes to fill. "The Daily Show" will never be the same without Jon Stewart.

See a timeline of some of Stewart's biggest "Daily Show" moments:

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