Jon Stewart prepares to say goodbye to ‘The Daily Show’

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MIDTOWN, Manhattan -- He was the man who put politicians and pundits in check and he did it with an over the top delivery that stuck to the facts and made us laugh.

Now after 16 years Jon Stewart is walking away from the Daily Show -- a show that thrived on exposing the hogwash served up by both the media and government on a daily basis.

"He's put together something that's not simply making jokes and ridiculing politicians but actually fact checking what they've done, pointing out the hypocrisy," Chris Smith, a writer for New York Magazine told PIX11 News.

Smith has followed Stewart's career for over two decades and says the 2000 Presidential election served as a game changer for the fresh faced Stewart who was barely two years on the job.

"That crystallized something for them, it got them recognition," he said. "It was a really successful example of where Stewart wanted to take the show and then the fact that the 2000 election went into that crazy recount in Florida just made their point for them."

In the time Stewart has been at the helm of the Daily Show he's been able to not only expose the pols but push for change. His relentless advocacy for a bill to provide aid to 9/11 responders is widely credited for it's passing in 2010.

"He's the voice of reason in what's become a much crazier climate in just the news and just people overall," fan Pete Zitelli, who landed tickets for Stewart's last show, said.

Chris Reilly, who traveled from Connecticut to see the final taping, admitted it will be hard to get through the day knowing Stewart will not be on her television telling it how it is after tonight.

"He would call out both sides of the aisle and that's really needed and we need more of that," she said.

Stewart's sign-off Thursday coincidentally falls on the same night as the much anticipated GOP debate where headline maker Donald Trump leads the pack of several presidential hopefuls.

It's more than likely, most of us will be thinking "what would Jon say?" come Friday morning.

"It's dumb luck," Smith said. "You know it's ironic. It's silly."