In June 2015, with just two months left before he would depart his hosting chair at The Daily Show, comedian Jon Stewart was hit with a delicious bit of news: Donald Trump was running for president. In covering the announcement on his show, Stewart—like the rest of us—found it very funny, alluding to the fact that it almost made him want to stick around on The Daily Show to see this through. Obviously things worked out very differently in the end. Stewart disappeared from the airwaves, and Trump rose to prominence, surpassing any and all expectations we had for his presidential run.
Stewart has been mighty quiet since leaving his Comedy Central series. While he’s developing a new show at HBO that apparently involves animation, that series obviously didn’t make it to air in time for the 2016 election. And save for a couple of appearances on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Stewart hasn’t weighed in publicly that much on the Emperor’s Trump’s win.
But last night Stewart returned to Late Show with a new bit and some candid thoughts on Trump’s first week as presidency. As was often the case on The Daily Show, the bit runs a little long and isn’t quite as funny as Stewart thinks it is. He appears in character as Donald Trump—complete with a dead animal on his head and overlong tie—to issue silly new Executive Orders. But at the end of the bit, Stewart gets serious for a minute about the power of the people that’s been reflected in the protests the last two weekends. It’s heartening, but also makes me curious about what kind of discourse Stewart may have brought to the table had he had a regular platform during last year’s insane election cycle.
Take a look at the video below, if only to see Stewart and Colbert quickly realize their bit wasn’t too well thought out.