Everyone’s favorite silver fox with the rapier wit and passion for political puns turns 50 today. Happy birthday, Jon Stewart! The Daily Show satirist has brilliantly conquered “bullsh*t mountain” with his insightful and hilarious commentary on the media, American pop culture, politicians, and more. The boy from New Jersey — who later studied chemistry and psychology at William & Mary, rose through the ranks in New York City’s comedy clubs, and found a home as a writer and host for Comedy Central — has delivered some of the best, no-holds-barred commentary of our generation. We’ve gathered 50 of his greatest quotes after the break. Feel free to celebrate along with us by adding your favorites, below.
“I have not found this generation to be cynical or apathetic or selfish. They are as strong and as decent as any people that I have met. And I will say this, on my way down here I stopped at Bethesda Naval, and when you talk to the young kids that are there that have just been back from Iraq and Afghanistan, you don’t have the worry about the future that you hear from so many that are not a part of this generation, but judging it from above.”
“Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.”
“Everybody talks about the entitlement generation. There is no time I would rather live in than now… There’s a tendency to live in a nostalgic state in this country, and think that other generations possessed an integrity and a tenacity better than the generation that is now. I wholeheartedly disagree with that, and I believe this is a group that will rise up to any challenge that comes before them, as well as any other generation in America would have done. My advice to them would be to please don’t think of me as an entitled moocher when I’m collecting my government benefits.”
“Insomnia is my greatest inspiration.”
“You can use your idealism to further your aims, if you realize that nothing is Nirvana, nothing is perfect.”