“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert’s big break came as part of the classic cast of “The Daily Show” in from 1997-2005, followed by his era-defining satirical series “The Colbert Report.” The former was hosted by Jon Stewart and the latter co-created with him, and so naturally on Wednesday night, Colbert had something to say about Stewart’s return to “The Daily Show.”
That surprise news was announced earlier Wednesday — Stewart is returning to the show he helped make a cultural touchstone and will serve as the permanent Monday night host through the 2024 election cycle.
Colbert noted this news early in his monologue after discussing Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary during his monologue.
“I’ll tell you what, let me just give you a little inside scoop on what it’s like to do one of these shows, because everybody in late night talks about what’s going on every day,” Colbert began.
“There is no time when there is more going on than a presidential election. This is, believe it or not, my seventh primary campaign and there’s nothing like this moment right now,” he continued. “We’re just coming out Iowa. Everyone’s scrambling to make the mark in New Hampshire. The American people are riveted by the suspense. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. The primary season is just starting.”
Then, pretending he was getting an update from someone talking into his earpiece, he continued, “and I’m being told it’s over and it’s Biden and Trump. Okay. That was fast. Usually takes takes longer than that. Yes. It’s Biden and Trump. Same two old men. This time even older.”
Which brought Colbert to Jon Stewart: “History is repeating itself and if you need any more proof, Jon Stewart is back hosting the Daily Show.”
Colbert saluted his former boss into the camera while the audience cheered for several seconds, then continued, saying, “Welcome back, John. Welcome back. Remember, this isn’t some apple tv project. This is the Daily Show. So you’re gonna want to wear your cleanest gray t-shirt.” This was of course a reference to Stewart’s apparel on his Apple TV+ show, “The Problem With John Stewart.”
From there, Colbert spent the bulk of his monologue talking about the current state of the GOP primary race, especially Nikki Haley and Donald Trump. And near the end he had an amusing series of jokes about the news, which broke Wednesday, about rampant, unethical distribution of prescription drugs at the White House when Trump was president.
Briefly, the Trump White House pharmacy very frequently handed out controlled prescription drugs to people without prescriptions with no oversight. THis included Provigil, a very powerful stimulent.
While talking about this, Colbert said:
“Now, if you’re not familiar with Provigil, I am. You see when we were filming in Russia, it was seven years ago, seven years ago. We went over there, shot for a week. We had to like fly overnight, get right off the plane and directly go into 14 hour shoot days for a week. So I got a prescription for Provigil for the jetlag.”
“And I guess you’re not supposed to take it every day, because when I got back stateside, I took a shower, put on my jammies, got into bed, pulled up the covers and sang Ray Charles’ “You Don’t Know Me” for five hours straight. True story, Evelyn [Colbert’s Wife] wasn’t around, she was in South Carolina. I don’t know why I kept singing that song for five hours straight, but I couldn’t stop. But three hours in, I got a little panicky and started crying eventually. Eventually, I went to sleep on the bathroom floor and when I woke up, I was fine,” he explained.
“The point is do you have any Provigil?”
Watch the full monologue above now.