The Daily Show host Trevor Noah had a surprise in store for viewers Monday night. Just as he began a new segment, a bearded Jon Stewart appeared behind him.
"I'm sorry sir, are you lost?" Noah asked the show's former host. "Oh, wait, wait, wait, shit. Are you here to take the show back?" Noah said. "I heard about this in American TV," referring to Jay Leno's take back of the Tonight Show.
After reassuring Noah that he has no intentions to reclaim his role as the show's host, Stewart said he was there to continue his crusade for support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010 to provide healthcare funding for first responders who became ill after working at ground zero. Government officials had said at the time that the air was safe to breathe.
The act was only approved for five years to both ensure that people wouldn't try to cheat the program and to scientifically prove a link between the diseases and the toxic air at ground zero, Stewart said.
The Act expired in September and will soon be out of money. Stewart said several first responders, many sick with cancer and pulmonary disease, have traveled at their own expense to Washington D.C. to plead for the government "to do the right thing."
Congress still has not passed a long-term extension of the Act.
“The only conclusion I can draw is that the people of Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders,” Stewart said.
Stewart accompanied first responders to D.C. to “see if shame works.” They first stopped by Sen. Rand Paul's office, who was not available.
Paul's press secretary told the crew they could not record in the office, and guided them out. "You don't want it in the shame chamber," Stewart said. "You want it in the shame hallway."
Up next, Stewart visited Sen. Ron Johnson’s office, who was also not in.
"Very rarely did the people appear," Stewart said. "They're like in many ways meerkats or praire dogs. They lift their heads up but if they sense danger, something coming with information they don't like, boom, right back in the hole."
"If we need to wait here until he’s ready I’m happy to do that,” he said. "I don’t really have a life anymore, I’m around. I’m unemployed now so I’m really available all day."
Watch the full clip here:
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.