They say you can’t go home again… but Jon Stewart may prove to be the exception.
The 22-time Emmy winner began his second term as host of The Daily Show Monday, where he was quick to acknowledge how surreal it was to be back at Comedy Central’s World News Headquarters after forfeiting his seat to Trevor Noah in 2015.
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“My name is Jon Stewart,” he began. “Now, where was I?
“Why am I back?” he asked on behalf of the audience. And the answer? “I have committed a lot of crimes,” he deadpanned. “From what I understand, talk show hosts are granted immunity, so…. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but take it up with the founders.”
And that was just his first shot at former Apprentice host-turned-President of the United States Donald Trump.
He then dove headfirst into election coverage, which he’s already dubbed “Indecision 2024: American Demockcracy.”
“It’s nine months until the Election people! Woo woo!” he exclaimed. “And the exciting part is that we already know our candidates. It’s… drumroll, please: these f–king guys!”
What followed was a breakdown of the Special Counsel’s report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified information, complete with nine-year-old deposition footage of the other, supposedly “high-functioning candidate, unable to recall if he has a good memory.” That was followed by additional deposition footage of Trump’s children — Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric — who all seemed equally dumbfounded and unable to recall much of anything.
“It turns out the leading cause of early on-set dementia is being deposed,” Stewart surmised.
From there, Stewart delved further into the debate on whether Trump, at 77, or Biden, at 81, is fit to serve.
“It should be noted that while concerns over any president’s fitness and acuity are legitimate — especially those at an advanced age — Biden’s opponent also seems to live at the villages,” he said. “So, the question then becomes: What the f–k are we doing here, people?
“Let me tell you something: Biden has lost a step, but Trump regularly says things at rallies that would warrant a wellness check,” Stewart continued. “These two candidates… are both similarly challenged. And it is not crazy to think that the oldest people in the history of the country to ever run for president might have some of these challenges.”
But make no mistake: Stewart wasn’t here to say that Trump and Biden are equally bad choices.
“We’re not suggesting that neither man is vibrant, productive, or even capable. But they are both stretching the limits of being able to handle the toughest job in the world,” he declared. “What is crazy is thinking that we are the ones, as voters, who must silence concerns and criticisms. It is the candidates’ job to assuage concerns, not the voters’ job not to mention them.
“Joe Biden isn’t Donald Trump,” Stewart pointed out. “He hasn’t been indicted as many times, he hasn’t had as many fraudulent businesses, or been convicted in a civil trial for sexual assault, or been ordered to pay defamation and had his charities disbanded, or stiffed a s–t ton of blue collar tradesmen he hired. Should we even get to the ‘grab the p—y’ stuff? Probably not! But the stakes of this election don’t make Donald Trump’s opponent less subject to scrutiny. It actually makes him more subject to scrutiny. If the barbarians are at the gate, you want Conan standing on the ramparts, not chocolate chip cookie guy,” he said, referring to Biden’s recent introduction to TikTok.
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As previously reported, Stewart will host The Daily Show every Monday through the presidential election in November. Correspondents — including Jordan Klepper, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan and Ronny Chieng — will take turns hosting Tuesday through Thursday.
Stewart’s return to the Daily Show desk comes 14 months after his successor, Trevor Noah, walked away from the gig after a seven-year run. What followed was an exhaustive search for a new host that saw nearly two-dozen familiar faces try out for the gig — but in the end, Comedy Central went with… none of them.
In addition to hosting duties, Stewart will stay on as an executive producer through 2025 and help shape the “next chapter” of the show. His Daily Show encore comes four months after the cancellation of his Apple TV+ series, The Problem With Jon Stewart, which ran for two seasons.
What did you think of Jon Stewart’s first episode back on The Daily Show? Grade it via the following poll, then drop your full review in the comments.
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