Jon Stewart bid goodbye to “The Daily Show” for the summer last night, as he readied himself to head off to the Middle East to make his directorial debut “Rosewater,” based on the 2011 memoir by Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari. Gael García Bernal will be playing Bahari in the film, which Stewart wrote, and which tells the story of Bahari’s arrest and 118-day imprisonment when he left London to go to Tehran to cover the 2009 presidential election. (“Rosewater” is the nickname he gave to his brutal regular interrogator, based on the fragrance the man wore.)
Before passing the reigns to John Oliver, who’ll be filling in as host for eight weeks, Stewart replayed a 2009 field piece in which correspondent Jason Jones went to Iran and happened to interview Bahari as part of the report. Below, Stewart explains what happened next, and how Bahari’s story inspired him to make his first film.