After years as the target of his mockery, Arby’s bids a fond farewell to its arch-enemy, Jon Stewart

Thanks for all the memories, Jon.
Thanks for all the memories, Jon.
Image: YouTube/Comedy Central/Arby's
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Jon Stewart poked fun at countless brands throughout his 16-year run as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show—but none more often or more enthusiastically than the American fast-food sandwich chain Arby’s. It was all clearly done in jest, and some have even accused Stewart and Arby’s of colluding on a long-running ad campaign, even though the insults were often hilariously vulgar in nature:

“Arby’s: For when you’re wondering what it tastes like when a cow dies.”

“Arby’s: Pig anus and cheese.”

“Arby’s, you’re the only food classified as a war crime. You taste like if a stomach could get punched in the balls.”

And still, Arby’s has taken it all in good humor. To mark the event of Stewart’s last night hosting the show (tonight, Aug. 6), the sandwich chain has released this ad thanking Stewart for being a “friend”:

The video is one of two ads Arby’s purchased to run during Stewart’s penultimate episode on Aug. 5.

Drawing attention to Stewart’s mockery of its food actually makes some sort of sense for Arby’s. Weirdly, Stewart’s tongue-in-cheek vendetta is probably the best thing to happen to Arby’s in recent memory. “Everyone knew what Arby’s was but nobody really talked about Arby’s,” the restaurant’s head of marketing, Rob Lynch, told the Wall Street Journal a few years ago. “We are back in the conversation.”

In February, right after Stewart announced he was leaving the show, Arby’s made sure he knew the sandwich chain was hiring:

Stewart showed less willingness to bury the hatchet in his response to the job offer: ”To work there would I have to handle, serve, touch, eat or even look at what you so generously describe as food?” he replied. “Arby’s, this motherfucking thing ain’t over. I do not accept your peace offering. We shall always be enemies.”