It’s a shame Jon Stewart isn’t behind his old Daily Show desk during this insane summer political circus that some people are calling “election season.” But maybe it was for the best because I genuinely think Stewart would have ripped his hair out covering Donald Trump even more so than when he was mocking George W. And I think he knew it too. He knew that spending some time rubbing pig bellies on an animal sanctuary in New Jersey with his family was a better fate than enduring months and months of trying to wade through the xenophobic, bigoted grime that Trump has so eloquently stoked to the surface of American discourse.
But he couldn’t stay away for long.
On Monday night, Stewart, who recently signed a deal with HBO, played up his bearded, life-in-the-woods life schtick during a stacked Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Here a clip from a fantastic skit, in which Colbert and Stewart try to make sense of how a man who said “I have black guys counting my money, I hate it, the only guys I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes all day,” could ever be so close to becoming leader of the U.S.A.
Later, guest Zoe Saldana came on the program to promote the new Star Trek movie, and Colbert asked her about co-star Anton Yelchin, the 27-year-old son of Russian immigrants who died in a freak car accident one month ago in Los Angeles. This week, Yelchin’s parents took out an ad in The Hollywood Reporter to express their gratefulness for the support they’ve received since losing their son.
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.