Oliver, 46, who hosts Last Week Tonight, was on-air during an episode of NBC’s Today show when news that Stewart was reprising his role – with certain caveats – broke.
“I mean, that’s, that is a surprise,” Oliver reacted to the announcement. “That’s a show that needs a host. He certainly is a very, very good one. So yeah, it’ll be exciting to see what he does.”
Stewart, who hosted the Comedy Central show from 1996 until 2015, will make his comeback as the series’s regular Monday night host on 12 February, for the entire duration of the 2024 US Presidential election cycle.
The rest of the week will be hosted by Daily Show correspondents, such as Desi Lydic, Michael Kosta, Ronny Chieng and Jordan Klepper.
Oliver, Stewart’s friend and former colleague, added that “after 2025, they should appoint a permanent host”, naming another correspondent Roy Wood Jr and former Peacock host Amber Ruffin as suitable replacements.
“But it’s going to be very exciting to see Jon again in an election year, as well. That is watchable,” he quipped.
“Jon Stewart is the voice of our generation, and we are honoured to have him return to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to help us all make sense of the insanity and division roiling the country as we enter the election season,” Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a statement.
McCarthy continued: “In our age of staggering hypocrisy and performative politics, Jon is the perfect person to puncture the empty rhetoric and provide much-needed clarity with his brilliant wit.”
Oliver joined the satirical news program in 2006 as its senior British correspondent, winning three Emmy awards for his writing. He also stood in for Stewart for two months in 2013, before Oliver quit The Daily Show at the end of the year.
He left Stewart’s show to front his own HBO series Last Week Tonight, which is currently in its 11th season.
When Stewart exited The Daily Show in 2015, from original host Craig, he was replaced by South African comedian Trevor Noah.
Noah helmed the show from 2015 until 2022, when he bid an emotional goodbye to the show on 8 December.