Self-Deprecating Return to The Daily Show: Jon Stewart Beats Critics to Punch in TV Review
Jon Stewart returns to "The Daily Show" in a déjà vu moment, mocking the absurdity of the 2024 election and legacy systems.
Jon Stewart recently made a return to Comedy Central for a weekly appearance on Monday nights, starting with the season premiere of "The Daily Show." This return comes as the network has yet to decide on a new host for the show following the departure of Trevor Noah, despite months of public tryouts from guest hosts.
The similarities between the political landscape and the search for a new host for "The Daily Show" are hard to ignore. Both major American political parties have been unable to find new candidates to lead their presidential tickets, leading to a potential rematch in the 2024 election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Similarly, Comedy Central has brought back Stewart for a weekly appearance, with the network still searching for a new host for "The Daily Show."
Stewart's return to "The Daily Show" was not marked by any major changes to the format of the show. The run of show proceeded as usual, giving the feeling of déjà vu for many viewers. Stewart used his return to the show as an opportunity to comment on the absurdity of a potential rematch between two men who were already the oldest presidential candidates in American history. He also used himself as an example, humorously pointing out that politicians aren't the only ones who have problems passing the torch.
Despite the lack of major changes to the show, Stewart's return brings to light the fundamental tension underlying everything from the election to the state of the media industry. We are at a crossroads where systems are stuck in a loop, running their own expired playbooks to increasingly diminished returns. Bringing Stewart back is a momentary bright spot, but there are still questions about what the show will look like in the long term and if a longer-term solution will ever come along.
Stewart's return to "The Daily Show" is meaningful not just for the punchlines he delivers, but for the meta aspects of his return and how many times we've seen him before. His particular blend of cynicism and moral righteousness resonates with those who have living memories of the War on Terror. The lack of pomp and circumstance around his return highlights the absurdity of the current news cycle and the need for new perspectives and approaches.