Jon Stewart’s Return to ‘The Daily Show’ Sparks Political Controversy

“Objectively old”: Jon Stewart returns to “The Daily Show” and doesn’t spare Joe Biden

Jon Stewart has returned to the anchor’s chair at “The Daily Show,” sparking controversy among viewers from both ends of the political spectrum.

In the season premiere on Monday, Stewart delved into a variety of contentious topics, addressing conservative conspiracy theories surrounding the Super Bowl, Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and his concerns about the ages of potential 2024 election contenders, President Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

His reappearance after a nine-year hiatus was met with online pushback, particularly regarding his critiques of the Democratic establishment and President Biden himself.

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart (Credits: KSNV)

Stewart kicked off the show with a characteristic quip, exclaiming, “Nine months to the election, people! Woot! Woot! And the exciting part is we already know our candidates.” A juxtaposition of Trump and Biden followed, accompanied by Stewart’s blunt assessment: “It’s . . . drumroll please . . . these f*****g guys!”

In the show’s opening 20 minutes, Stewart introduced a new segment titled “Indecision 2024 American Demockracy,” which he promptly renamed to “Indecision 2024 Electile Dysfunction.” He wasted no time diving into his critiques of both candidates, highlighting their public gaffes, including a recent special counsel report questioning Biden’s memory and judgment.

Stewart humorously pointed out Trump’s forgetfulness in legal proceedings and Biden’s missteps during a press conference where he mistakenly referred to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as Mexico’s president instead of Egypt’s, while addressing questions about the Gaza crisis.

The host underscored that concerns about the “president’s fitness and acuity are legitimate, especially given their advanced age,” noting the irony that both candidates are among the oldest to ever run for president.

He didn’t spare criticism for Democrats who view critiques of Biden’s age as unfair, emphasizing, “They are objectively old, breaking by only four years the record they set the last time they ran.”

Turning the age lens on himself, Stewart jokingly instructed the camera to zoom in on his face, remarking, “Look at me. Look at what time hath wrought.”

However, Stewart’s sharp comments about the candidates’ ages seemed to alienate some viewers. Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann expressed his disappointment, while Tennessee state election commissioner Chris D. Jackson criticized Stewart’s comparison of Biden and Trump.

Journalist Aaron Rupar labeled the political content of Stewart’s monologue as reminiscent of the New York Times op-ed page, and journalist Stephen Robinson argued that Stewart’s focus on the candidates’ ages missed the point and minimized the gravity of the situation.

Despite the controversy, “The Daily Show” continues to air weeknights at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.

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