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If It Were Up To Jon Stewart, ‘Hamilton’ Never Would’ve Been Made

In 2009, comedian Jon Stewart mocked President Obama on “The Daily Show” for hosting an evening poetry jam at The White House. Near the end of his rant, he specifically ragged on one of the artists, a Broadway singer, for his performance as Vice President Aaron Burr singing about Alexander Hamilton.

“You’re rapping about Alexander Hamilton?!?” said Stewart. “This is kind of ridiculous. A black man in the White House, so you can stop now.”

That song would go on to be the opening number for “Hamilton” the musical, which earned a record-setting 16 Tony nominations, winning 11, including Best Musical, and was also the recipient of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The man performing at the White House in 2009 was, of course, now-celebrity Lin-Manuel Miranda. Michelle Obama would later say that “Hamilton” is the best work of art she had seen in her life.

“I’m actually working on a hip-hop album,” Miranda said that evening. “It’s a concept album about the life of someone I think embodies hip-hop: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.”