The host of The Daily Show, Stewart is America's most popular fake news anchor on the left.
Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz grew up in New Jersey and attended college in Virginia, before taking a series of crummy jobs while trying to catch a break on the New York comedy circuit. After brief stints writing on Caroline's Comedy Hour and hosting Short Attention Span Theatre You Wrote It, You Watch It, Stewart signed on to host The Jon Stewart Show in 1993. The show started out on MTV and quickly went into syndication a year later. The quirky show connected with the college crowd and earned praise from critics, but it never generated a broader following and was cancelled a year later. He occupied the next few years with stand-up appearances and parts in a handful of crappy movies like the 1998 romantic comedy Playing By Heart and the 1999 Adam Sandler vehicle Big Daddy.
Stewart's big break came later in 1999, when he was tapped to replace Craig Kilborn on
The Daily Show. Approximately a zillion Emmys later, Stewart has become a household name, a thorn in the side of politicians, and a hero to stoned college students everywhere. Stewart's perch at Comedy Central has turned him into a cultural phenomenon and media darling: Journalists, bloggers and left-leaning politicos discuss and debate his every move and despite his relatively small audience. His disproportionate influence on the New York-Hollywood-Washington axis makes an invite to appear on the show one the most coveted tickets for pundits, politicians and authors. In addition to publishing a few books, including America (which earned Stewart the rare distinction of having a book banned from the shelves of Wal-Mart), Stewart is also an awards show fave. He hosted the Grammys in 2001 and 2002 and the Academy Awards in 2006 and 2008.
Stewart married longtime girlfriend Tracey McShane, a former veterinary technician, in
November 2000. They have two kids, Nathan and Maggie. [Image via Getty]