Jon Stewart’s appearance on The Late Show on Monday was fun, but all too short and it ultimately left us wanting more. Last night, he delivered, taking over Colbert’s desk and giving one of his signature Daily Show rants. He feigned feeling a little rusty, and he was just wearing a t-shirt with a suit jacket and a clip-on tie, but this was Jon Stewart at his peak Daily Show strength. His takedown of “angry groundhog” Donald Trump and Fox News’ “Lumpy” (Sean Hannity) was executed with precision. In the end, what was most affecting was his sincere rage at the hypocrisy of those who claimed to care about cops’ lives but failed to support the 9/11 First Responder’s Bill reauthorization, culminating in an expletive not quite fit for live network television.
We respect Jon’s decision to retire, but man, the hole that his absence has left has never been more evident. People like John Oliver and Samantha Bee are doing great work, but Jon Stewart remains a singular voice that is missing from this election season. We wonder if this little taste will be enough to convince Jon to come back for more. Perhaps he can do a regular segment on The Late Show throughout the election (we can pretty much guarantee high ratings). We briefly wondered how Trevor Noah must feel watching his predecessor completely dominate on national television while his version of the Daily Show fails to gain any traction, but that’s not really Jon Stewart’s problem. If Jon Stewart wants a platform, we know that there will be plenty of people willing to give one to him. After last night, it’s clear he’s still got a lot to say.