Aired: 1996-

It was funny enough with Craig Kilborn, but once Jon Stewart took over as anchor of this satirical news show in 1999, it hit a whole other level. Hoisting news shows and politicans alike by their own petard with a crack team of correspondents and keen-eyed video research, the critical darling also birthed the careers of little-known hacks Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

During the WGA writers' strike in 2007-08, the show ran for a month as A Daily Show With Jon Stewart, relying on ad-libs for material. And they say freestlye is dead...