On Thursday, the last episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will air on Comedy Central, marking the end of a monumental 16-year era. For Daily Show fans, this means no more of Stewart’s trademark snark, no biting wit, no hilariously scathing attacks on crazed politics, no “Moments of Zen” to soothe worn-out Americans at the end of a long day.
The most devastating loss of all, however, is the end of Stewart’s long-running beef with fast-food chain, Arby’s. Earlier today, the restaurant released a heartfelt ad “forgiving” the Daily Show host for the decades of televised abuse, and thanking him “for being a friend.” And oh, what a sweet, sweet friendship it’s been.
Over the years, Stewart has incessantly and unapologetically roasted the delicious, top-quality restaurant experience that is Arby’s. Nobody knows quite where Stewart’s fierce hatred of the sandwich chain came from – Arby’s is the culinary embodiment of Jon Stewart himself: equal parts self-deprecation and utter magnificence.
Alas, Stewart and Arby’s have never found common ground, and attacks on Arby’s have been one of the longest-running gags on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Among the declarations of Jon’s undying love over the years:
“Arby’s, you’re the only food classified as a war crime. You taste like if a stomach could get punched in the balls.” (Jon Stewart, June 26, 2015)
“Arby’s: you think pain and grief are hard to digest.” (December 3, 2014)
“Arby’s: For when you’re wondering what it tastes like when a cow dies.” (October 29, 2014)
“Arby’s: Isn’t there anywhere else we can eat?” (September 30, 2013)
The ad released by Arby’s earlier today highlights the company’s love-hate relationship with Jon, and sums up their feelings at the end of the minute-long clip: “Not sure why, but we’ll miss you.”
If Arby’s can forgive Stewart for the years of torment, perhaps Stewart can reciprocate and forgive Arby’s for their meat-like attempt at food.
Either way, Comedy Central won’t be the same without Jon, and Jon won’t be the same without Arby’s. Hopefully, after The Daily Show‘s summer hiatus, we’ll find out that Trevor Noah has a flaming vendetta against Taco Bell. Because without a food feud, The Daily Show may just crash and burn. And then, it might taste like an Arby’s sandwich. And nobody wants that.
Except Jon Stewart.