Jon Stewart returned on Monday night time as host of “The Every day Present,” the Comedy Central information satire he changed into a cultural pressure earlier than leaving in August 2015. It was the start of a plan, introduced in January, that may convey Stewart again to the present on Mondays by means of the presidential election. He will even function an government producer.
“Why am I again?” he stated. “I’ve dedicated quite a lot of crimes. From what I perceive, speak present hosts are granted immunity — it doesn’t make quite a lot of sense, however take it up with the founders.”
Stewart’s first night time again discovered him grayer — at one level he used his personal wizened face as a prop in a joke concerning the presidential candidates’ ages. However he was in any other case in traditional kind.
Opening with “Now the place was I,” Stewart blended silliness and absurd, usually self-deprecating, jokes with righteous indignation as he kicked off the 2024 version of one of many present’s signature franchises, its “Indecision” election protection. Proposed titles, he stated, included “Indecision 2024: American Demockracy”; “Indecision 2024: Electile Dysfunction”; and “Indecision 2024: Antiques Roadshow.” He riffed, from his acquainted left-leaning perspective, on the Tremendous Bowl and the Taylor Swift conspiracy theories that surrounded it.
“It’s virtually like the appropriate’s ridiculous obsession with politicizing each side of American life ruins every part,” he stated.
Later he anchored a bit that discovered the present’s correspondents Ronny Chieng, Desi Lydic, Michael Kosta and Dulce Sloan reporting from the identical diner, a goof on the marketing campaign protection trope. They and Jordan Klepper, who did a desk bit, will take turns internet hosting the present Tuesdays by means of Thursdays. The visitor was Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor in chief of The Economist.
“The Every day Present” posted his opening segment on its YouTube feed simply earlier than it aired on Comedy Central.
In a single sense, Stewart is the most recent in a line of celeb fill-ins who’ve hosted “The Every day Present” since Trevor Noah left in December 2022. After all, Stewart is the one that, over 16 years as host, remodeled “The Every day Present” into late-night’s most significant and influential program.
A popular culture snark-fest below its unique host, Craig Kilborn, “The Every day Present” developed right into a topical satire after Stewart took over in 1999, and it turned a news source for parts of its viewers, whilst Stewart maintained that his main purpose was to entertain, not inform. It was additionally a prolific expertise incubator: Alumni together with Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Samantha Bee and Hasan Minhaj went on to host their very own exhibits. Others, like Steve Carell, Ed Helms and Jessica Williams, discovered success in Hollywood.
It was one other former “Every day Present” correspondent, Noah, who succeeded Stewart as host. However the present’s scores and profile declined, a part of a common downturn within the cultural relevance of late-night exhibits within the streaming age. On the similar time, Stewart’s personal post-“Every day Present” skilled efforts have been lackluster. A deal to develop a topical animated present for HBO went nowhere, and his speak present for Apple TV+, “The Drawback With Jon Stewart,” ended final yr after 20 episodes when Stewart and Apple executives disagreed over the present’s artistic route.
There was maybe a refined reference to Stewart’s earlier job on “The Every day Present” on Monday night time. “We’re going to have a lot to speak about this yr,” he stated. “The elections, perhaps we’ll speak about China, A.I., one thing just a little lighter, Israel-Palestine.” Synthetic intelligence and China had been two of the topics that created friction at “The Drawback.”
“The Drawback” by no means bought a lot traction, except for producing a number of viral interview clips and receiving an Emmy nomination final yr for excellent selection speak sequence. In a twist, that award went as an alternative to “The Every day Present,” the one time the Noah model received. Stewart’s “Every day Present” received the award for excellent selection sequence award 10 instances in a row, from 2003 to 2012.
In an interview on “CBS Mornings” on Monday, Stewart stated he’s returning to “The Every day Present” as a result of he desires a platform throughout the election.
“I very a lot wished to have some form of place to unload ideas as we get into this election season, and I believed I used to be going to do it over at, they name it, Apple TV+,” he stated. Nonetheless, he added, “they felt that they didn’t need me to say issues which may get me in bother.”
He went on: “I simply thought, who higher to touch upon this election than somebody who really understands two growing old males previous their prime?”