Matt Wilson/Comedy Central
After watching Jon Stewart’s triumphant return to The Day by day Present final night time, I had two ideas.
The GOAT of late night time satire is again. And even among the present’s greatest followers might not be all that comfortable to see him return.
That is as a result of, in his first episode returning as host — almost 9 years after he initially left — Stewart took on a topic that even his most liberal followers may discover sensitive: the concept issues about how age might have affected President Joe Biden aren’t essentially overblown.
He did not mince phrases in regards to the erratic habits of Biden’s possible opponent for the presidency, Donald Trump, both — displaying how the previous president could not keep in mind staple items throughout court docket depositions like how lengthy he was married to Marla Maples or whether or not he had bragged about how nice his reminiscence was (“It seems, the main reason behind early onset dementia is being deposed,” Stewart cracked, after displaying a montage of Trump’s grown kids having related recall points).
However despite the fact that some liberals could also be delicate to the concept evaluating Biden’s gaffes with Trump’s habits is an unfair “either side” balancing act, Stewart insisted supporters ought to do a greater job displaying the present president is significant and efficient as they are saying he’s.
“It is the candidate’s job to assuage issues,” Stewart mentioned in a 20-minute section that kicked off final night time’s program. “Not the voter’s job to not point out them.”
Simply slipping again into the host chair
From the present’s opening moments, Stewart eased again into the host’s chair with out lacking a beat, firing off jokes with a well-known fashion that felt like he had left just some weeks in the past, reasonably than in 2015. He introduced a confidence this system sorely wants; it has been looking for a everlasting host for greater than a yr because the departure of Trevor Noah, who succeeded Stewart as host.
Stewart returns in a singular association, internet hosting The Day by day Present on Monday nights and serving as an govt producer for all evenings – just like an association crafted by one other cable TV star, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. The brand new setup permits him to keep away from the grind of every day internet hosting, ceding the remainder of the week to the present’s correspondents, beginning with Jordan Klepper, who hosts Tuesday by way of Thursday.
At the same time as he eased into acquainted rhythms final night time — poking enjoyable at concept that he is an previous man returning to his previous job, highlighting issues about two different previous guys competing to get their previous job again — Stewart confronted a brand new problem: Reminding everybody why he was such a commemorated host within the first place.
In his first 16 years internet hosting The Day by day Present, Stewart elevated this system into an incisive have a look at the hypocrisies of media, politics and society. Alongside the way in which, he helped beginning a mode of fact-based satire that has exploded throughout tv, from the work by Day by day Present alums John Oliver on HBO’s Final Week Tonight and Stephen Colbert on CBS’ The Late Present to the sharper political tone of Late Night time with Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel Dwell.
However the media atmosphere Stewart has returned to is kind of totally different. Rankings in late night time have declined and the younger audiences which as soon as fueled the style have moved on to TikTok and YouTube. With luck, Stewart’s attraction to The Day by day Present‘s old-fashioned followers will deliver higher rankings on the cable channel, however it’s nonetheless more likely to be a smaller crowd than he as soon as commanded.
Regardless, final night time’s program exhibits Stewart’s nonetheless acquired the comedy chops and incisive concepts to energy the present no less than by way of the presidential election in November. He has said in interviews that a part of the attraction in returning was to have a spot to “unload ideas” because the election season progresses.
Final night time’s debut proved Stewart will deliver that and extra, shopping for time for an influential present at a crossroads to determine a brand new future for itself no less than yet another time.