How Jewish is Jon Stewart?

September 19, 2008

Jon Stewart, the host of the US satirical "fake news" TV programme The Daily Show, has been attracting a huge amount of praise from the critics. There is no chance that he is Jewish, is there?

Against: His name, in case you haven't noticed, is very Celtic. So are the names of his parents - Marion and Donald. Jon, like most Scots, loved football, and played for his college team. When the time came for him to marry, he chose a woman with an equally Celtic moniker, Tracey McShane - we imagine they had quite a ceilidh at the wedding. The couple have a daughter called Maggie, and a couple of pit-bull terriers. However, the funny thing is, Stewart doesn't look Scottish.

For: That is because he is Jewish. Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City. He went to live in New Jersey as a child and was harassed by his classmates for being Jewish. However, he was voted to have the "best sense of humour" in his class - which sounds Jewish, all right. He changed his name to Stewart because, he joked, Leibowitz "sounded too Hollywood".

Verdict: His audiences are rising, but his Jewish rating has always been high.

So we say he is 87% Jewish.

Last updated: 4:07pm, September 23 2009