How the Stewart/Cramer Smackdown Started

Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer, the Ali/Frazier of basic cable feuds, ended with a knockout blow from Stewart last week. Here’s a look back at the tirades, attacks, and retorts that led to the climactic confrontation.

03.15.09 7:52 PM ET

Round One: Rick Santelli Stirs Things Up

On February 19, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli earns a Drudge siren after inciting a mini revolt on the trading floor in Chicago protesting Obama’s housing bailout plan. The writers at The Daily Show take note.

Round Two: Daily Show Mocks CNBC

On the March 4th Daily Show, Jon Stewart reacts to Santelli by offering an eight-minute thrashing of CNBC. One of his main targets: Mad Money’s Jim Cramer.

Round Three: Stewart Rips CNBC—Again

March 5th. Amid the media frenzy over his attack on CNBC, Stewart sits down with David Letterman to pour salt on the network’s wounds.

See the Feud Get Personal on Next Page...

Round Four: It Gets Personal

On March 9, after Cramer accuses The Daily Show of using video clips out of context, Stewart proves him wrong.

Round Five: Cramer Rallies, Disses Stewart on Today

Down but not out… On March 10, Cramer brings in backup on the Today show, as CNBC’s Erin Burnett pulls out the "everyone was wrong" defense, and he reminds viewers that Stewart is just a comedian.

Round Six: Stewart Gets Really Personal

Later that night, Stewart responded to Cramer, saying, “You don’t have to make comedian sound like a venereal disease!” He also objected to the term “variety show” because it makes him sound like a buffoon who uses a ton of useless props and sound effects to ill effect. You know, like on Mad Money.

See Stewart's Takedown on Next Page...

Round Seven: Down Goes Cramer! Down Goes Cramer!

March 12. Cramer appears on The Daily Show, where millions of basic cable subscribers behold his evisceration at the hands of a man whose career began at MTV.

Post-Mortem: Government Official Can’t Hide His Glee

The next day, Stewart sympathizers can’t help but ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for his reaction. "I enjoyed it thoroughly,” Gibbs said. “Even as Mr. Stewart said, that it may have been uncomfortable to conduct and uncomfortable to watch."

Post-Mortem, Part Two: Cramer Goes Away Quietly

Later that day, Cramer, on Mad Money, simply avoids the subject, save the odd joke in the clip below.