Jon Stewart is returning right in the nick of time. The former Daily Show host will film two comedy specials to air on HBO, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Beyond a statement from Stewart himself, little else was revealed in terms of when we can expect to actually see the specials.
“I’m really thrilled to be able to return to stand-up on HBO. They’ve always set the standard for great stand-up specials,” Stewart said. “Plus, I can finally use up the last of the Saddam Hussein jokes left over from my first special.”
What we do know is this: The specials will mark the first time Stewart has performed traditional stand-up since his 1996 HBO special, Jon Stewart: Unleavened, and they will go heavy on Trump.
We know this because since taking over The Daily Show hosting duties from Craig Kilborn in 1999, Stewart became the most trusted liberal voice in America. He did so thanks to a prodigious ability to cut through all the bullshit with a nimble quip, a knowing wince and an eye roll. He was a voice of reason during the 2000 president election’s photo finish (and the folly that ensued), and an emotional pillar in the wake of 9/11. If there was a ever threat to reason or logic or sanity, Stewart was our bodyguard.
Now a new threat has emerged. And while Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers have done an exemplary job of handling the daily absurdities emerging from the White House, it’s Stewart’s turn to take aim at the President.
We’ve seen glimpses of what a fully unleashed Jon Stewart would look like in the age of Trump. In February, he appeared on Colbert’s The Late Show just 11 days after Trump came into office, dressed as the president.
“We have never faced this before. Purposeful, vindictive chaos,” Stewart said at the time. “No one action will be adequate. All actions will be necessary. And if we do not allow Donald Trump to exhaust our fight and somehow come through this presidency calamity-less and constitutionally partially intact, then I, Donald J. Trump, will have demonstrated the greatness of America. Just not the way I thought I was going to.”
And that was 11 days in. Eleven days. It’s difficult to process how much material Stewart has to work with now, and how much more will emerge from now until he walks out onto that stage. Hopefully we get that moment sooner rather than later.