February 26, 2024

Jon Stewart has returned to “The Daily Show” as a part-time host, and fans have mixed reactions. On Monday night he delivered a twenty-minute monologue that left no doubt he still has his comedic voice. Addressing the age and apparent infirmity of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Stewart called for intellectual honesty over knee-jerk partisanship, and cautioned against nihilistic indifference and false equivalencies. He even admitted to changing some of his own stances. However, his post-“Daily Show” ventures, such as the 2020 election comedy “Irresistible” and Apple TV+ series “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” were met with criticism and poor ratings. With his direct commentary and bold critique of mainstream media, Stewart transformed late-night television and made a major impact. His successor will have to navigate a new landscape, with the late-night genre moving away from white male everyman hosts.