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9 things Jon Stewart taught the world about South Africa

Jon Stewart taught the world a great deal. After more than 15 years as host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Stewart announced he’ll step down later this year, and with it will come a drop the global average IQ.

Stewart’s “fake news” taught Americans more about the world that their own news channels did, including the ever valuable lesson that Africa is in fact not a country.

In fact, Stewart taught the world so much about Africa, and South Africa specifically, that we’ve decided to compile a video (below) of some of our most favourite things The Daily Show has taught the world about the Rainbow Nation.

1. South Africa challenges convention

In a report from South Africa from 1999, Stewart introduced viewers to an all-male brothel in Johannesburg.

2. The South African accent is amazing

Americans love to make fun of our accents, especially while interviewing Charlize Theron. Also seen in this clip: Stewart confusing Australians for South Africans.

3. Thabo Mbeki was the president after Mandela

Remember the time when America struggled to pronounce our president’s name? Stephen Colbert (then still a Daily Show correspondent) “travelled” with George W. Bush to Africa meeting a bunch of African leaders whose names he couldn’t quite distinguish from each other. Making fun of this, Colbert confidently told Stewart that Mbeki is in fact Senegal’s president.

4. Desmond Tutu is a hoot

Perhaps one of the best interviews with Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu ever conducted, Stewart invited the Arch to talk about the world’s perception of America.

5. We’re more progressive than the US

“South Africa is now more progressive than America.” Especially because of Apartheid, you’d never think anybody would make such a statement about South Africa. But thanks to legislation passed in 2005 extending marriage rights to gay couples Stewart did.

6. The Vuvuzela is the greatest South African invention

Perhaps the most memorable part of the 2010 Soccer World Cup was the vuvuzelas. Watch how John Oliver (another Daily Show alum who like Colbert later got his own show) used it during interviews in South Africa.

7. Unfortunately there’s still some self-important racists living among us

Again Oliver, making sure the world knows the name of the world’s “finest” racist.

8. Apartheid should never be forgotten

Because the world should never forget, and because America’s obsession with labelling any government policy they don’t like with this name, Stewart would regularly set the record straight and remind the world the injustices of Apartheid cannot be equated to government welfare.

9. Trevor Noah might just be the next Jon Stewart

Following in the footsteps of great Comedy Central comedians, South Africa’s very own Trevor Noah joined The Daily Show as correspondent earlier this year. Noah will be sure to, after Stewart’s departure, continue educating the world about Africa.

Image: Cliff via Flickr.

Author | André-Pierre du Plessis

André-Pierre du Plessis
From a very young age, AP du Plessis has had an unhealthy obsession with Lego. Trumping Mattel to become the world's top toy maker, Lego has made it particularly difficult for him to quit bricks. AP worked at Bloomberg, Media24 and eNCA before joining Memeburn as managing editor. More