“After 16 years of taking satirical aim at the hypocrisy of politics and the fatuousness of the news media, Jon Stewart said goodbye to The Daily Show on Thursday evening with a farewell broadcast that mixed wry parting shots with earnest displays of emotion and with a passionate speech urging his audience not to accept falsehoods and misinformation in their lives.” D. Itzkoff- NYT
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: Jon Stewart Signs Off From ‘Daily Show’ With Wit and Sincerity By Dave Itzkoff, New York Times
“Mr. Stewart, 52, who has presided over this Comedy Central news-parody show since 1999, concluded his final episode with a spirited sermon against what he euphemistically described as social-contract fertilizer. (He also used a familiar and much stronger epithet.)
Blatant mendacity, Mr. Stewart said, has become ubiquitous and pernicious. Whenever something’s been titled Freedom Family Fairness Health America, take a good long sniff…The broadcast began with what appeared to be a traditional opening act in which Mr. Stewart poked fun at a current event — in this case, the Republican presidential debates in Cleveland.
But this was simply a setup for the many on-air correspondents and contributors who have passed through “The Daily Show” during Mr. Stewart’s time on the show to pay their final tributes.
Among the celebrated alumni who gave their testimonials, Steve Carell, who went on to become the star of NBC’s The Office and films like Foxcatcher, joked that he had never really left The Daily Show.
There were further cameos from John Oliver, Kristen Schaal and Samantha Bee, as well as Mr. Stewart’s Daily Show successor, Trevor Noah, who wandered onto the set with a tape measure. (“Could you give me like 20 more minutes?” Mr. Stewart asked him.)
And of course there was a visit from Stephen Colbert, the former Daily Show correspondent and star of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, who is about to succeed David Letterman as the host of CBS’s Late Show.
You were infuriatingly good at your job, Mr. Colbert told Mr. Stewart. All of us who were lucky enough to work with you for 16 years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours.
“Nothing ends,” Mr. Stewart said. “It’s just a continuation. It’s a pause in the conversation. So rather than saying goodbye or good night, I’m just going to say: I’m going to go get a drink. And I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave.”
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming
Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about the topic. Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Discuss as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Mr. Stewart has presided over this Comedy Central news-parody show since 1999.
- Vigilance is the only way to combat the intrusions of dishonest people.
- Their work is easily detected.
- Many celebrated stars gave their testimonials.
- There were further cameos from previous guests.
- There was a taped montage, with several of Mr. Stewart’s past targets of ridicule.
- In his final weeks in the anchor chair, Mr. Stewart thanked everyone.
- Mr. Stewart resisted gauzy nostalgia.
- He played a few retrospective montages that emphasized his shortcomings.
- None of this discouraged some of Mr. Stewart’s final guests from pleading with him to stick around a little longer.
Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
None of this discouraged/dispirited some of Mr. Stewart’s final guests from pleasing/pleading with him to stick/stuck around a little longer. When President Obama appeared on The Daily Show in July, he jarringly/jokingly told Mr. Stewart: I’m issuing/issued a new executive order/ordering that Jon Stewart cannot leaf/leave the show. It’s being challenged in the courts.
While interviewing his friend and fallow/fellow comedian Denis Leary on Wednesday, Mr. Stewart said he was comfortable with his decision/decide to step down. When you do something that you know/no you will never be as goad/good at something as you were at this, you have to make peace/piece with it, Mr. Stewart said. And I’ve made peace with it.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Mr. Stewart have presided over this Comedy Central since 1999.
- Mr. Stewart poked fun at the Republican presidential debates.
- There was a visit from Stephen Colbert.
- You were infuriatingly good at your job.
- All of us was lucky to work with you.
- He played a few retrospective montages.
- None of this discouraged Mr. Stewart’s final guests.
- Mr. Stewart were comfortable with his decision to step down.
- Mr. Stewart thanked his wife.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics. See ESL Voices Modes of Writing
1. The following two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
“The only way to combat the relentless intrusions of dishonest people was through vigilance. Their work is easily detected, and looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time.”
“In a sincere and seemingly unscripted speech, Mr. Colbert told Mr. Stewart that, though Mr. Stewart had previously told his staff members never to thank you because we owe you nothing, this was one of the few times I have known you to be dead wrong.”
1-Minute Free Writing Exercise
Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.