The Daily Show's John Stewart talks celiac disease with Jennifer Esposito June 24, 2014

The Daily Show’s John Stewart talks celiac disease with Jennifer Esposito June 24, 2014

The Daily Show on Comedy Central is a funny and pointed take on the serious subjects covered by daily news.  If you have haven’t ever seen it, you should.  

Tuesday night, not only did The Daily Show devote 5 minutes and 50 seconds (an eternity for a 30 minute news program — and without commercials probably 22 minutes of actual content time) on the topic, but it was an adult conversation about it!  There was no wrong information.  No major questions about losing weight on the diet and why it’s unhealthy for you.

The show’s host, Jon Stewart, interviewed actress and gluten-free baker Jennifer Esposito.  The subject was celiac and her new book, Jennifer’s Way (which I reviewed last month) and her bakery, also named Jennifer’s Way.    

Erin Smith of confirmed last October that Stewart announced his son and wife were diagnosed with celiac disease when he spoke at a fundraiser for Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center.   Smith said he mentioned Dr. Peter Green diagnosed his son.

But last night he offered a bit of a glimpse into his son’s symptoms and diagnosis.  “My son has [celiac]. He has a very bad case of it.  It’s very painful and sometimes you have to convince people that it’s a real thing,” Stewart said to Esposito during the Tuesday night interview.  

He said his son’s symptoms were terrible episodes of vomiting before he got anemic.  “We were absolutely devastated and frightened that he was dying and we couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Stewart said.  That is the part that got me the most, as mom of a celiac daughter.

I think Stewart spoke for many parents of celiac kids last night when he said those words.  The symptoms might be a little different for each family but the story is so very familiar.

Esposito can relate.  It took her decades to get a diagnosis.  I felt like I was in the middle of  a conversation over a cup of coffee with those two and I could have listened for hours (<– sound weird?).  

He and Esposito also covered what celiac is, how you get diagnosed and that the gluten-free diet works, “If you can stay away from [gluten], you really do start to heal,” Stewart said. 

They addressed the poking fun and fad briefly as well. Stewart has not bashed or joked about gluten free diets like other comedians have. In the end it ended on a high and funny note when he clearly was showing he was happy his son felt good enough to wrestle with him again, “Now I don’t feel guilty at all punishing him with wrestling moves.  I will take this boy down!”  And everyone laughs! 

Thank you to The Daily Show, Jon Stewart and Jennifer Esposito for bringing the national spotlight on an important subject in a smart and lighthearted way. 



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3 Responses to “Jon Stewart Talks Publicly About Son’s Celiac Disease”

  1. Joan-Marie Lartin
    June 25th, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    What a shame that Stewart dismissed gluten sensitivity as a fad. Nope, it’s. Real
    As celac if not as serious. You blew it Jon.

  2. Jon Stewart is a champion for giving this important issue the air time it deserves.

  3. Very interesting. Thank you Savvy Celiac, for bring this to our attention.

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