Jon Stewart started his first time hosting “The Daily Show” after nine years with a splash on Monday, debuting election coverage and diving into the recent gaffes of both Biden and Trump.
“Tonight we’re debuting our election coverage in Indecision 2024: American DeMockracy,” Stewart said in his return to the Comedy Central gig. The host tried out another title, “Electile Dysfunction,” asking the audience, “Are you disappointed yet.”
Stewart then dove into the upcoming presidential election, “So, Joe Biden and Donald Trump. And by the way, this weekend, the big news was the Special Counsel report on Joe Biden’s handling of classified information. The Special Counsel’s Report offers scathing details of what it calls his diminished faculties and faulty memory.”
“The footage of the president unable to recall simple facts must have been brutal to watch,” the host said, then played a clip of former president Donald Trump being questioned instead, followed by clips of his children being deposed — all of whom were shown repeatedly saying they “don’t remember” things they obviously should have.
“Yes, it turns out that the leading cause of early onset dementia is being deposed,” Stewart quipped. “But back to President Biden. Biden was not about to take the Special Counsel’s characterizations lying down. Although chances are he was lying down.”
“These two candidates, they are both similarly challenged,” the returning Daily Show host said. “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 … We’re not suggesting neither man is vibrant, productive or even capable. But they’re both stretching the limits of being able to handle the toughest job in the world.”
“What’s crazy is thinking that we’re the ones as voters who must silence concerns and criticisms. It is the candidates’ job to assuage concerns,” Stewart continued.
Most recently, Stewart was the host of Apple TV+’s “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” however, the series was canceled in Oct. over creative differences.
On Monday morning, Stewart joined CBS Mornings to discuss his return to late-night saying that he felt his speech was limited at Apple, which he referred to as “a television enclave,” and “like living in Malibu.”
“They decided that they felt that they didn’t want me to say things,” Stewart told CBS.
The late-night host also noted that his comeback was influenced by his desire to “unload thoughts” about the 2024 election cycle. “I just thought who better to comment on this election than someone who truly understands two aging men past their prime,” Stewart, 61, said.
The late-night host will be holding down the fort on Monday nights throughout the 2024 election cycle. Stewart will also executive produce all “Daily Show” episodes in 2025 and is expected to EP beyond that, TheWrap reported in January.
Mondays are the historically the most-watched day of the series and the rest of the week will be hosted by a rotating lineup of “Daily Show” news team members.
“The Daily Show” airs at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central and will be available to stream the following day on Paramount+.
The change comes as the show has continued to search for a permanent replacement host for Trevor Noah, who departed from the show abruptly in 2022.
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