NEW YORK, NY – The fate of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” was up in the air, but a Hail Mary decision brought Jon Stewart back as the Monday night-only host through the 2024 presidential election.
The show had just won its first Emmy Award since Trevor Noah took over from Stewart in 2015, but it was still without a permanent replacement for more than a year after his departure. The network delayed the show’s return and announced essentially the end of its year-long search for a host, leading to speculation about the show’s future.
Stewart returned to the desk as host for the first time in nearly a decade to rapturous applause from the studio audience. He teased that in the coming weeks and months he would likely be using his platform to talk about China, artificial intelligence, and lighter topics like Israel and Palestine.
During the show, Stewart laid out the battle between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, mocking both candidates for their age-related gaffes and questioning the suitability of both for the presidency. He pushed back on the notion that voters “must silence concerns and criticisms,” making the case that that’s the job of the candidates themselves and emphasizing the stakes of the election.
Roy Wood Jr.—the only current correspondent who started out under Stewart—jokingly called out his boss’ “snark and both sides-ism,” highlighting the show’s approach to political humor. Stewart has said that he wanted to return this year to have some sway over the 2024 discourse, and so far, it seems that sway includes using his platform to tell Americans that their two choices for president are both not that different and equally terrible.