Jon Stewart made his return to The Daily Show last night following a three-month break in which he went to the Middle East to film a movie and left John Oliver in charge. Oliver earned positive reviews during his substitution—Vulture named him the show's "heir apparent"—but Stewart's impending return has loomed large over the summer, as the show's other correspondents take every opportunity to facetiously complain about how poorly Oliver was doing.
Following a pre-taped bit in which John Oliver and Jessica Williams attempted to get Stewart back in gear again by defibrillating him with Big Macs and amusingly cycling through Stewart as too Southern, too Jewish, too Nazi, and too VMA Miley Cyrus, the show went with the old standby of calling in Stephen Colbert to bring out the standard Stewart persona.
The show then spent its first segment passing (back) the torch as Oliver filled Stewart in on all of the fun, slightly serious, slightly silly things that happened over the summer from the Royal Baby to Paula Deen to Anthony Weiner and his new nom de guerre ("Mr. Mayor?").
By then, Stewart was back in form, launching into a segment called 'Uncle Jonny Stew's Good time Syria Jamboree.' And though Stewart took a lengthy hiatus, it seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. "Wow, America taking military action against a Middle East regime. It's like I never left," he quipped. Stewart proceeded to tell some talking heads to "Shut the f*** up!" and the re-assimilation was complete.
The show's interview segment was with Andrew Harper, head of the UN Refugee Agency in Jordan dealing with Syrian refugees, who is dealing with a ballooning refugee population, and the Moment of Zen was a clip of the recently deceased David Frost.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.