“Get a defibrillator and two Big Macs. Let’s do this!”
Jon Stewart came back in style last night, after a summer-long hiatus from his Daily Show hosting gig. After “the Middle East changed him,” John Oliver and Jessica Williams helped Stewart parade through a cavalcade of characters searching for the American host within him. Stewart morphed from a redneck conservative, to Moses, to Freddie Mercury, to a smurf, to a VMA-style Miley Cyrus, and finally to Adolf Hitler. Stephen Colbert and his epic American-ness made a cameo and “changed” Stewart back into the host we were all waiting for.
And all that happened in the first three minutes.
Then Stewart kissed the desk and whispered to the camera. “I’ve missed you so much ... You don’t know what it’s like in the real world. Nobody applauds every stupid f***ing thing you do.”
Stewart joked with John Oliver about a summer full of crazy media circus stories, such as the Royal Baby, Paula Deen’s run-in with racism, and of course, Carlos Danger, and then he took the helm at a crucial moment with the U.S. on the verge of attacking Syria.
Inside Jonny Stew’s Syria Good Time Jamboree, Stewart cracked jokes while still highlighting American hypocrisy, what weakness really means, and calling out the parade of pundits on cable television who are calling for action against Syria.
Stewart, in fine form, then brought on Andrew Harper from the United Nations, who spoke about not just the politics of Syria but also the people. “The human spirit that has created some sense of normalcy and commerce within this really difficult condition,” Stewart said. Leave it to Stewart to always find humanity in the chaos.
As much as I love John Oliver, and apparently so does everyone else, we need Jon Stewart at a time like this, where comedy and sobering reality meet face to face. Now that we know The Daily Show won’t fall apart if Stewart leaves for a day, or a week, we can get back to truly appreciating having him on television, digesting the news and spitting out a slurry of sobering realizations and silly rhetoric in order to shape the national conversation from the comfort of his studio.
He might claim to be “just” a comedian, but fans know he is much more than that.
“The Return of the King.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.