I just finished watching John Stewart bust out the most metaphysically earth-shattering can of nuclear-weapons-grade whoop-ass on CNBC’s Jim Cramer imaginable.

I really don’t think I could have wished for a more satisfying 30 minutes — Cramer looked like an assassin who failed in his objective cowering before Dr. Evil.

The government needs to legally mandate that this episode be played in every business school finance class and before the daily opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

I need a cigarette.

One of my favorite salvos from John Stewart’s overflowing arsenal of pain:

I understand you want to make finance entertaining — but it’s not a fucking game.

Go here to watch the video.

Update: Here’s the AP’s take:

Jon Stewart hammered Jim Cramer and his network, CNBC, in their anticipated face-off on “The Daily Show,” repeatedly chastising the “Mad Money” host for putting entertainment above journalism.

It was perhaps the hardest lashing Stewart has given to a TV commentator since 2004 when he called Tucker Carlson and his then co-host Paul Begala “partisan hacks” on CNN’s “Crossfire,” the since canceled political commentary program.

Update 2: Here’s another blogger’s reaction:

Jim Cramer is close to tears, and there are a few minutes left. It’s an absolute breathtaking interview, and deserves to earn the show a Pulitzer, another Peabody, another Emmy, and maybe a Polk for good measure.

I am utterly in awe. This is a magnificent display, a late-night funnyman systematically and devastatingly taking apart one of the biggest faces of CNBC, and in doing so undermining everything about economic reporting and the market as a whole.

Update 3: And for the last word for tonight, Balloon Juice sums up the interview thusly:

Jon Stewart in brief: people like Jim Cramer sell stock trading as a clever game, knowing full well that small investors like his viewers will get creamed if they follow his manic trade-every-day advice. His network works like a cheap PR firm for the major criminals of the mortgage investment bubble and bears all the more guilt because most people in it saw through the happy bullshit they sold to the rubes.

Cramer responds: Every time I met one of my good friend CEOs he told me everything was fine! Now that a truck-squashed rattlesnake can tell who the criminals are I make useless noises of disapproval on my show. What else could I do?

Earlier: CNBC: The High Priests of the Cult of The Market; John Stewart Demolishes Santelli and CNBC

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