"I understand that you want to make finance entertaining, butit's not a ... game," Stewart told Cramer, adding in an expletiveduring the show's Thursday taping. The episode was scheduled to airat 11 p.m. EDT on Comedy Central.
It was perhaps the hardest lashing Stewart has given to a TVcommentator since 2004 when he called Tucker Carlson and his thenco-host Paul Begala "partisan hacks" on CNN's "Crossfire," thesince canceled political commentary program.
The program opened in mock hype of the confrontation, whichcaught headlines through the week as each snipped at the other overthe air. The show announced it as "the weeklong feud of thecentury."
In his opening, Stewart announced that it was "go time." Heplayed a video clip of Cramer's Thursday guest appearance on "TheMartha Stewart Show" in which Cramer beat a mound of dough,pretending it was Stewart.
Said Stewart: "Mr. Cramer, don't you destroy enough dough onyour own show?"
Once Cramer came out for the interview, Stewart wondered: "Howthe hell did we get here?"
Cramer, his sleeves characteristically rolled up, said he was a"fan of the show."
But the humorous tone -- at least for Stewart -- changed as theinterview continued.
Stewart repeatedly said Cramer wasn't his target, but aired clipafter clip of the CNBC pundit.
"Roll 210!" announced Stewart, like a prosecutor. "Roll212!"
Most were from a 2006 interview not meant for TV in which Cramerspoke openly about the duplicity of the market.
"I can't reconcile the brilliance and knowledge that you haveof the intricacies of the market with the crazy ... I see you doevery night," said the comedian.
Stewart said he and Cramer are both snake-oil salesman, only"The Daily Show" is labeled as such. He claimed CNBC shirked itsjournalistic duty by believing corporate lies, rather than being aninvestigative "powerful tool of illumination." And he allegedCNBC was ultimately in bed with the businesses it covered -- thatregular people's stocks and 401Ks were "capitalizing youradventure."
For his part, Cramer disagreed with Stewart on a few points, butmostly acknowledged that he could have done a better job foreseeingthe economic collapse: "We all should have seen it more."
Cramer said CNBC was "fair game" to the criticism andacknowledged the network was perhaps overeager to believe theinformation it was fed from corporations.
"I, too, like you, want to have a successful show," saidCramer, defending his methods on "Mad Money." He later added:"Should we have been constantly pointing out the mistakes thatwere made? Absolutely. I truly wish we had done more."
Cramer insisted he was devoted to revealing corporate"shenanigans," to which Stewart retorted: "It's easy to get onthis after the fact."
At one point, Cramer sounded the reformed sinner, responding toStewart's plea for more levelheaded, honest commentary: "How aboutI try that?" said Cramer. "I'll do that."
By the end, the two-segment interview went far beyond itsallotted time. Comedy Central said the on-air version would be cutby about eight minutes, though the entire interview would beavailable unedited on ComedyCentral.com on Friday.