The truth about Jon Stewart's feud with Arby's

Fans of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart probably remember his ongoing feud with Arby's, where he would insert insults at the fast food chain in random stories.

Most viewers probably assumed the digs were a joke, and may have wondered if Jon Stewart ever even ate at an Arby's, which he apparently didn't. In an interview, he admitted his hate for Arby's is an invented conflict and that he's never tried their food. However, from the beginning, Arby's took the jabs in stride (via New York Post).

It began with the first jab at Arby's food in 2013, and the company was initially worried, but after a meeting decided that some publicity might be a good thing. They took the old attitude of 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' as they were in the midst of a rebranding (via The Washington Post).

Instead, Arby's decided to get in on the joke. In November 2013, the company sent sandwiches to the show, with an accompanying letter from the vice president of branding and communications, Christopher Brown, with what he described as, "Fun, playful language about the banter that Jon had put out there."

In response, Arby's received a thank-you note from The Daily Show producers, stating, according to Brown: "Usually when we make fun of people, they send us nasty letters. You sent us lunch. That's awesome." From then on, whenever Stewart made fun of Arby's, they would send lunch (via Vulture).

The relationship between Jon Stewart and Arby's

Through the years, Stewart has had some creative lines to describe Arby's:

"It's like shock and awe for your bowels."

"The meal that's a dare for your colon."

"...the only food classified as a war crime."

"You taste like if a stomach could get punched in the balls."

"...because your hunger is stronger than you memory."

"...the Hannity of roast beef sandwiches."

When Stewart announced he would be leaving the show in the summer of 2016, Arby's posted an offer on their Twitter account: "Jon, feel free to reach out to us at careers@arbys.com." Stewart responded with another joke: "I do not accept your peace offer. We shall always be enemies! For while you are a worthy adversary, you will be vanquished" (via Rolling Stone).

The company then sponsored the penultimate episode of The Daily Show, airing two custom commercials, as well as a commercial that aired during the finale and featured Paul Brown, the chief executive of the company, giving Stewart a send-off. In addition, Arby's added a secret menu item, a sandwich called the Daily Deli, a double corned beef on rye bread, apparently Stewarts favorite sandwich.

The decision to go along with the joke paid off for Arby's, with a rise in business and more younger customers, demonstrating that it might be true that there's no such thing as bad publicity after all.