After a summer spent in Jordan directing his first feature film, Rosewater, Jon Stewart made his triumphant return to The Daily Show. He was well-tanned, temporarily bearded, and grateful to be back.
"Boy, I'm Western, in all its glorious imperfections. I remembered thinking, 'Hello, dildo shop next to a school,'" he cracked when he reached his desk.
The evening began with John Oliver, the hit summer replacement host, summoning Stewart from his dressing room; bearded and dazed, Stewart spoke in a gibberish dialect — you know, foreign stuff — and it required an intervention. He went through a run of different personalities — Larry the Cable Guy, Miley Cyrus, Hitler — before Stephen Colbert brought him back to the cynical, good-natured Emmy winner of yore.
Oliver handed off the show formally with a quick rundown of the summer — Paula Deen, Anthony Weiner, the Royal Baby — then bam, things got serious with talk of Syria. Right on time, Jon.
As if he never left, Stewart got to work on the Syria issue, with a little segment called "Uncle Jonny Stew's Good Time Syria Jamboree."
"America taking action against a Middle East regime? It's like I never left," he teased, cutting to videos of both Presidents Bush — and then Independence Day (which featured the most justified of all wars, he noted).
After running through the similarities between the arguments made to justify striking in Syria and Iraq, Stewart compared our foreign policy to seventh-grade bullying; then he eviscerated cable networks for having "The Idiot Parade" — Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Kristol, and L. Paul Bremer — discussing the conflict on TV.
Oh, there were penis analogies too. Lots of penis analogies.