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Entertainment

Jon Stewart Roasts Biden and Trump Back as Host of ‘The Daily Show’

Jon Stewart returned to his old seat behind the desk of “The Daily Show” Monday night after a nearly nine-year hiatus, resuming his role as host of the late-night show just in time for the presidential election in 2024.

Stewart didn’t spare President Biden or former President Donald Trump any pointed jokes — pointing out that the front-runners in both parties are 81 and 77, respectively. And that 2024 promises to be very similar to 2020.

He proposed a slogan for coverage of the 2024 elections: “What the f#@k are we doing?” » Alternatively, he proposed: “Indecision 2024: Antiques Roadshow.”

Jon Stewart returned as host of “The Daily Show” on Feb. 12, nearly nine years after leaving that role, with a candid monologue about politics and elections. (Video: Naomi Schanen/The Washington Post)

“We are not saying that either man is dynamic, productive or even capable. But they are both pushing the limits of their ability to do the hardest job in the world,” Stewart said. “It’s not crazy to think that the oldest people in the history of the country to ever run for president might face some of these challenges. »

While Biden and Trump would each be the oldest president at the end of their terms if elected, previous elections have also seen older candidates, such as former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), both 78 years old. during its run in 2020.

Greeting an enthusiastic studio audience, Stewart promised he would use his return as host to delve into politics, technology and “maybe something a little lighter: Israel-Palestine.”

“The next nine months or so — and maybe more than that depending on the timing of the coup — are going to suck,” Stewart said, in an offhand reference to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “On the positive side, I’m told that at some point the sun will run out of hydrogen,” Stewart said at one point.

In particular, the late-night host focused on a line from last week’s report from special counsel Robert K. Hur that described the president as “an elderly man with a poor memory,” also mocking efforts from the White House to then reassure voters about Biden’s decision. office skills.

“My memory is good,” Biden said Thursday, angrily responding to questions about his mental health. “I am the most qualified person in this country to be president of the United States and finish the job I started,” he said. At the same press conference, Biden mistakenly referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as the president of Mexico during a discussion about facilitating aid to Gaza. “Geography buffs may have noticed that Gaza and Mexico do not share a border,” Stewart joked.

Stewart defended his jabs at Biden — which were numerous and rapid — as an exercise of his democratic duty. “The stakes in this election do not make Donald Trump’s opponent any less subject to scrutiny,” he said. “That actually makes it more subject to scrutiny.”

Special counsel’s report paints scathing picture of Biden’s memory

Stewart also criticized Biden’s foreign policy, challenging the president over the language he used to characterize Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. Last week, Biden said Israel’s military offensive was “overblown,” in his strongest rebuke yet of Israel.

“I like how Biden describes Israel’s relentless bombing of civilians the same way my mother describes the Super Bowl halftime show: ‘It was a little too much,’” Stewart said in response . Gaza’s health ministry reports that more than 28,000 people have been killed in the enclave. Israel started the war after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed about 1,200 people.

After Biden’s campaign announced over the weekend that it was joining TikTok in an effort to attract young voters, Stewart said the president’s first clip seemed to have the opposite effect.

In a series of quick answers to questions On the subject of the Super Bowl, Biden refused to “choose” between football siblings Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce, who are playing in the Super Bowl. respectively the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. He said his favorite Kelce was more like “Momma Kelce.” “I understand she makes great chocolate chip cookies,” Biden said in the video posted online.

“How do you go on TikTok and end up looking older? » Stewart wondered aloud in response.

Stewart will headline the popular Monday night show throughout the 2024 election cycle, with rotating hosts throughout the rest of the week. He previously hosted the show from 1999 to 2015. During that time, the show transformed the late-night comedy landscape, won 24 Emmy Awards, and frequently went viral on social media. Last year, Comedy Central said the show’s next permanent host would be announced in 2024, filling a seat vacated by Trevor Noah since December 2022.

Stewart pointed out that it’s not just presidential candidates who have gotten older. “Look at me,” he said. “Look at the time that has passed. Give the kids a glimpse of the lunar surface here,” he said, gesturing for the camera to zoom in on his face.

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