The hour-long finale started as expected with Stewart, 52, bringing his unique brand of sarcastic comedy. But tears eventually came after so many former correspondents he has helped along the way continued to thank the icon.
"I got big news -- this is it, this is the final episode," Stewart said, opening the show. "What a big, big night!"
"For me, it's very touching you would come back after 12 years," Stewart told Carell.
"I never left, Jon," Carell responded.
"You're finally getting cancelled, Jon," Kilborn said.
"So long jacka--," he joked.
But it was Stephen Colbert who gave the most passionate goodbye, compelling Stewart to break down into tears.
"We owe you because we learned from you,” Colbert said. “How to treat people with respect. You were infuriatingly god at your job … All of us who were lucky enough to work with you for 16 years were better because we got to watch you do your show."
After the collective appreciation for Stewart’s contribution to comedy, it was his turn to thank his staff and crew.
“The thing I’m gonna miss most about this place is the people I work with,” he said. “I’ve been in show business a long time … this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.”
He then introduced all the staff, giving the audience a look at what it’s like to work at “The Daily Show.”
The show closed with a monologue about “bulls---.”
“There is very little you will encounter in life that isn’t even a little infused with bulls----,” said Stewart.
He regaled the audience on certain policies he disagreed with and asked they take a longer look. Whether it be banking, streaming music or the government, Stewart went out raising awareness about the topics that he believes matter to America.
“I say to you tonight, friends, the best defense against bulls--- is vigilance,” he said.