As longtime Daily Show viewers know, Jon Stewart is a man of many talents. He can engage in deep debates with politicans, yuk it up with celebrities, and lead the national conversation on hot-button issues. But there’s another skill he has we didn’t know about: saving Bill Clinton from awkwardness, as he did backstage during the ex-president’s 2006 visit to the show.
Former Daily Show correspondent (and current Mindy Project and Veep actor) Dan Bakkedahl remembers the story well, and he told EW all about it.
“Probably my very favorite moment that ever happened on the show was when Bill Clinton came to be a guest,” Bakkedahl recalls. “He walked around the entire office shaking hands, introducing himself to every single person there. While Clinton was making the rounds, one of the executive assistants was standing there. She’s a young, attractive girl, and she had a bare midriff with a big belt buckle on. Clinton just stopped when he got to her and went, ‘I like your belt buckle,’ in front of 20 people. And we all went, ‘Uh, yeeeeeah.’”
“Jon was there too,” Bakkedahl adds. “And I mean, this is the mastery of Jon: He was able to like, ‘Hi, Bill, so let’s …’ as in, let’s move on, let’s not talk to the girl anymore in front of everybody.”
So now you can add “Clinton Whisperer” to Jon Stewart’s already impressive résumé.
A version of this story appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1375, available for immediate purchase here. For much, much more from Stewart’s former correspondents on his legacy, see below.
•20 Daily Show correspondents past and present get candid about Jon Stewart
•Josh Gad on the ‘soul-crushing’ moment that followed his successful Daily Show audition
•Olivia Munn on how Jon Stewart ‘personalized’ the news for the younger generation
•Rob Corddry reveals ‘the only crazy thing’ about Jon Stewart
•Stephen Colbert remembers the first time he met Jon Stewart
•Ed Helms on Jon Stewart’s legacy and why The Daily Show doesn’t have a ‘political agenda’
•Rob Riggle: Jon Stewart is ‘everything you’d want in a boss’
•Lewis Black calls Jon Stewart the ‘Walter Cronkite of his generation’
•Jessica Williams reflects on Jon Stewart’s legacy as he prepares to leave The Daily Show behind
•John Oliver says ‘it’s hard to overstate’ Jon Stewart’s influence on his post-Daily Show career
•What should Jon Stewart do next? Former Daily Show correspondents offer advice