- Jon Stewart returned to host
The Daily Show
, bringing his expertise and insight to cover the abysmal nightmare of the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Jordan Klepper will host for the rest of this week.
- Stewart highlights the failing memory of President Joe Biden and compares it to Donald Trump’s own mental vacuity, lamenting the lack of alternatives and the depressing bind the country finds itself in.
- Stewart emphasizes the importance of citizen engagement beyond elections, stating that real change and justice require small acts of passion and dedication every day. He will host the show every Monday night.
Jon Stewart was the political voice of a certain generation of disaffected young voters, but things certainly changed when he left The Daily Show in 2015. New host Trevor Noah garnered some new fans, but the series failed to continue its previous dizzying heights — during Stewart’s tenure, the series won 24 Primetime Emmy Awards, including its 10 consecutive years of winning the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series. The Daily Show finally won an Emmy again for Noah’s last year as host, but that almost seemed like a parting gift rather than something completely deserved.
And after his departure, Stewart himself never maintained the acclaim or popularity that he had received with The Daily Show, not that he particularly cared. He has helped produce different series, and hosted The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+, a genuinely insightful show that few people seemed to watch. His relationship with Apple soured when they disagreed with his coverage (China, AI, Israel), and they parted ways. Mere months later, here we are — Stewart is back hosting The Daily Show, albeit only once a week (Monday nights at 11 p.m.). You can watch his extended first segment above, which was posted to YouTube after airing and amassed more than 300 thousand views in two hours.
Related Why Jon Stewart’s Show Was Canceled, Explained The Problem with Jon Stewart has been canceled after two seasons due to fears of the subject matter being discussed for season three.
It’s a great time for his return, not only to help the floundering Daily Show (which has been cycling through different weekly hosts for more than a year), but to cover the abysmal nightmare that is the 2024 U.S. presidential election. It’s fitting to see Stewart return, noticeably grayer and thinner than when we last saw him take The Daily Show stage, considering the 2024 election all feels a bit like déjà vu itself. Two octogenarian men with diminished mental faculties repeating the same promises (and lies) we’ve heard from them for five years. We have been here before. But fortunately, so has Stewart, and his expertise was on full display in his return on Monday night, Feb. 12. (Jordan Klepper will host for the rest of the week.)
Jon Stewart Returns with an Opening Monologue
Release Date July 22, 1996
Creator Madeleine Smithberg and Lizz Winstead
Studio Comedy Central
Stewart opened the program with a bit of conversation about the Super Bowl before getting to the matter at hand. In what he calls ‘electile dysfunction,’ Stewart detailed the failing memory of President Joe Biden, comparing it with Donald Trump’s own gaffes and forgetfulness. In an honest moment that felt like a relieved sigh, he asked the audience, “What the f**k are we doing?” He lamented the lack of any alternatives and the depressing bind in which the country finds itself.
But he managed to discern a bit of hope, if you could call it that. Stewart emphasized that if the person you vote for isn’t elected President of the United States, it’s not the end of the world, and even if they are elected, that doesn’t mean the country is automatically safe. Stewart stated that while everyone waits for election day on Nov. 5th, we should all keep Nov. 6th in mind, too. Because ultimately, the hard work (done by millions of anonymous people fighting for incremental change and justice) isn’t solved and over with one election. The real work of being a citizen and a patriot happens every single day in small acts, locally, by passionate people playing the long game. Or, as Stewart put it:
“If I’ve learned one thing over these last nine years, and I was glib at best, and probably dismissive at worst about this — the work of making this world resemble one that you would prefer to live in is a lunchpail f*cking job, day in and day out, where thousands of committed and smart and dedicated people bang on closed doors and pick up those that are fallen and grind away on issues until they get a positive result. Even then, you have to stay on to make sure those results hold.”
“The good news is, I’m not saying you don’t have to worry about who wins the election,” continued Stewart. “I’m saying you have to worry about every day before it, and every day after it, forever. Although, on the plus side, I’m told the sun will run out of hydrogen.”
Welcome back, Jon. We missed you. The Daily Show airs on Comedy Central and streams with a live TV subscription through Hulu, Philo, FuboTV, or Sling TV, and can be streamed through Paramount+.
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