Jon Stewart Pleads Pat Sajak to Rethink 'Wheel of Fortune' Retirement

Stewart critiques corporate gimmicks during Pride celebrations

by Zain ul Abedin
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Jon Stewart Pleads Pat Sajak to Rethink 'Wheel of Fortune' Retirement
© Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Jon Stewart recently returned to "The Daily Show" with a vibrant start to Pride Month, weaving together social commentary with his signature wit. During Monday's episode, Stewart didn't shy away from addressing the controversial practice of rainbow capitalism, while also paying homage to television icon Pat Sajak.

As the show opened, Stewart acknowledged the significant broadcasting milestone. "I would be remiss if I did not comment on the big news in broadcasting," he began. "Pat Sajak stepped down from 'Wheel of Fortune' after an impressive 41-year stint.

It was incredibly emotional. And to Pat, I just want to say - have you thought about just doing Mondays? Because you could phone that in." Sajak's emotional farewell aired on Friday, marking the end of an era that began in 1983.

The baton has since been passed to Ryan Seacrest, whose appointment was announced shortly after Sajak confirmed his retirement last year.

Corporate Pride Critique

Stewart then shifted gears to the current landscape of corporate engagement with Pride.

He criticized the performative nature of companies during Pride Month, highlighting products like Burger King's reimagined burger featuring "two bottom buns" and Skittles' decision to offer colorless candies to avoid "competing rainbows." He also touched on a peculiar Oreo commercial that likened its narrative to a "bizarre rollercoaster." Moreover, Stewart addressed the recent conservative backlash that led Target to scale back its Pride-themed products.

He also mentioned the Bud Light controversy involving transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, questioning the sincerity of corporate support for LGBTQ+ rights. "Why are we allowing ourselves to get worked up over whether giant multinational corporations are pro-gay or adhere to traditional American values?" Stewart asked his audience.

He argued that corporations are driven by one overarching goal: shareholder value. "Corporations have but one value: shareholder value. That’s all they have!" In a powerful conclusion to his segment, Stewart challenged the audience to rethink corporate identity.

"Let’s stop pretending that a corporation can be woke, unwoke, patriotic, or unpatriotic. Let's just allow corporations to live their truth... as the profit-seeking Patrick Bateman psychopaths they are. At the very least, we might finally get some honesty from them as well," he declared, calling for a more transparent dialogue about corporate motives during cultural celebrations like Pride Month.

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