Stephen Colbert brought Jon Stewart to tears with this incredible "Daily Show" tribute

Colbert owes much to Stewart, the host who gave him his first big break back in 1999

Published August 7, 2015 5:16AM (EDT)

  (Comedy Central)
(Comedy Central)

Jon Stewart's final "Daily Show" episode wasn't all giggles.

In one surprisingly tender moment, Stephen Colbert -- former "Daily Show" correspondent,  soon-to-be "Late Show" host and Known King of Irony --  sat Stewart down for a heart-to-heart.

It must have caught Stewart by surprise, too; As Colbert delivered his sincerest thanks to the departing host of 16 years for believing in him enough to bring him on the show, Stewart was reduced to tears.

“You can’t stop anyone because they don’t work for you anymore,” Colbert told Stewart. “It will be quick if you just hold still.”

Colbert continued:

“Here’s the thing, Jon. You said to me and many other people to never thank you because we owe you nothing. It is one of the few times I’ve known you to be dead wrong. We owe you — and not just what you did for our careers by employing us to come on this tremendous show that you made — we owe you because we learned from you. We learned from you by example how to do a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect. You were infuriatingly good at your job. On behalf of so many people whose lives you changed over the past 16 years, thank you."

Watch the clip courtesy of Uproxx below:

By Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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