Happy Birthday Jon Stewart

Happy Birthday Jon Stewart


This year Thanksgiving not only brings turkey and mashed potatoes—it also marks Jon Stewart’s 51st birthday. For the last 14 years he’s hosted The Daily Show and entertained Americans with his satirical commentary, unique humor, and political savvy. In honor of his birthday, Zola pulled from Stewart’s most literary moments to showcase 11 of his best author interviews.

I am Malala book cover

Malala Yousafzai
I am Malala

“Why shall I wait for someone else? Why shall I be looking to the government, to the army, that they would help us? Why don’t I raise my voice? Why don’t we speak for our rights? The girls of Swat, they spoke up for their rights. I started writing a diary. I spoke on every media channel that I could and I raised my voice on every platform that I could. I said I need to tell the world what is happening in Swat and I need to tell the world that Swat is suffering from terrorism and we need to fight against terrorism.”

The Casual Vacancy book cover

J.K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy

“It’s funny because a lot of people said to me this is very brave but I’m not sure it felt very brave. The brave thing, honestly, was working on something for seven years with no hope of getting it published. So I look back at those days and think I was brave then because I showed a lot of self-belief.”

Who I Am book cover

Pete Townshend
Who I Am

“I do remember and my memory is very good. Particularly when I used to drink a lot…My memory for incidents was good. You know, Keith Moon was very funny, he often did crazy things, and I wouldn’t write them down but I retold the stories so often that they became kind of little movies, and it was very easy to write the book.”

Killing Jesus book cover

Bill O’Reilly
Killing Jesus

JS: Is anyone going to buy it, it’s a relatively obscure figure?…The book is Killing Jesus. It’s actually a how-to, I think it’s very inappropriate.”

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls book cover

David Sedaris
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls

JS: At a book signing, someone will come up to you and you are asking them polling questions?
DS: Yeah like I had a theory when I started the tour that men with beards had guns. But you know what I’ve discovered, men with beards have fathers who have guns. I am 80% right on this.”

Hope for Animals book cover

Jane Goodall
Hope for Animals and their World

“I could be killing myself trying to save chimps and forest, and they are disappearing. We know about global warming and I do as much as I can, along with the other people who think like me. But if we are not raising new generations to do better than we’ve done in stewardship, we might as well give up.”

Gunn's Golden Rules book cover

Tim Gunn
Gunn’s Golden Rules

JS: There’s a thing in there, Anna Wintour was carried down steps?
TG: Five flights of stairs from a fashion show and I simply stated it as a matter of fact John. I didn’t go after her character. I didn’t say this horrible person. It was like sports reporting, just the facts m’am….That story would not be in the book were it not for her overreaction to the story and her demanding that I print a retraction. It’s true! I’m not printing a retraction.”

For the Next Generation book cover

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
For the Next Generation

“I hope when people read my book that they treat it as a roadmap for how they can get engaged. We need real people to sound an alarm bell….We need real people. We need moms to get involved whether it’s education, or healthcare, or immigration reform, or the economy. Choose the issue they care about the most and try to influence and get involved in that issue so that they can make a difference because if we let things go then our kids are really going to suffer.”


Eugene Jarecki
The American Way of War

“Our country changed. That’s why I called it The American Way of War. It’s really how the American way of war came to replace the American way. That essentially a lot of what happened is that we experienced a real imbalance in what was supposed to be the separation of powers between the executive, the legislative and judicial. Kind of after WWII things shifted”

The Obamas book cover

Jodi Kantor
The Obamas

“I entered into this book to basically ask two questions. What happens when you take these two pretty regular people and put them in the extremely abnormal situation of the White House? The reporting is filled with details of how life there is really kind of weird and hard. Also what is their adjustment like to being President and First Lady? Their rise was so fast.”

The Benefit and the Burden book cover

Bruce Bartlett
The Benefit and the Burden

JS: You cannot read this book without thinking almost at every page, ‘Oh that makes sense,’ and it doesn’t seem that complicated…You’ve got to get this. You’ll read it and get mad, which is good.”

This article originally appeared on Zola Books.