Jon Stewart’s highly-anticipated return to “The Daily Show” sparked outrage from left-leaning viewers after the comedian spent much of the program questioning the mental fitness of President Joe Biden.
To kick off his return from a nine-year hiatus, Stewart on Monday took aim at 81-year-old Biden within three minutes of the Comedy Central show’s 11 p.m. start time.
The 61-year-old Stewart quipped that Biden should “fire everyone” following his recent debut on TikTok, saying the commander-in-chief “looks older” and dubbing him the “chocolate chip cookie guy” after his bizarre comments in his inaugural video.
Stewart also didn’t spare 77-year-old Donald Trump, airing clips of the ex-president at multiple events saying “I don’t remember,” and adding that “the leading cause of dementia is being deposed.”
Stewart — who is slated to be back on a part-time basis through the election season — called both presidential frontrunners “chronologically challenged” as he dubbed the upcoming season “Indecision 2024: Electile Dysfunction.”
“And it is not crazy to think that the oldest people in the history of the country to ever run for president might have some of these challenges,” Stewart added.
The comedian cited Biden’s disastrous press conference last week when he confused sitting French President Emmanuel Macron with former leader Francois Mitterand, who died nearly 30 years ago.
Viewers — who had celebrated Stewart’s comeback as the return of even-handed political commentary — weren’t impressed with the comic’s 20-minute, take-no-prisoners monologue.
“Looks like a large number of the people who were over the moon to see the return of Jon Stewart are now totally pissed off at him,” one user wrote to X.
“Jon Stewart complaining that 2024 is ‘two old guys’ again is like me complaining that it’s ‘two white guys’ again. It misses the point and minimizes the stakes,” another said.
“And the laziest of humor at best,” yet another chimed in.
Throughout Monday’s “Daily Show,” Stewart made it clear to his traditionally liberal audience that he didn’t see Biden and Trump as equally bad, though he equally bashed the rivals for their mental acuity.
“These two candidates, they are both similarly challenged,” Stewart said.
However, viewers still believed that Stewart portrayed the candidates as “equally bad.”
“Jon Stewart still has it in terms of being funny and entertaining but the political content of this monologue is basically the New York Times op-ed page in TV form,” independent political journalist Aaron Rupar wrote on X. “Both sides are not in fact equally bad!”
Stewart’s return to the Comedy Central program comes after Trevor Noah left in 2022 after hosting the news show for seven years, during which it struggled to be the ratings smash hit it was when Stewart was in the hosting chair between 1999 and 2015.
In the year since, the network hasn’t been able to find a new face of the topical satire news show, though rumors have suggested that actor and Barack Obama White House staffer Kal Penn, as well as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Chris Rock’s names, have all been floated.