Jon Stewart on ‘Daily Show’ return: ‘I’m hoping to have a catharsis’

Jon Stewart on ‘Daily Show’ return: ‘I’m hoping to have a catharsis’

Jon Stewart says he’s returning to “The Daily Show” so he has an outlet to “unload thoughts” ahead of the 2024 White House race.

“I just thought who better to comment on this election than someone who truly understands two aging men past their prime?” Stewart quipped in a reference to President Biden and former President Trump, in a Monday interview on “CBS Mornings.”

“I mean, look at me, baby,” the 61-year-old comedian, who often makes self-deprecating digs about his age, said with a grin.

Comedy Central announced last month that Stewart would return to “The Daily Show” desk on Monday nights, with a rotating lineup of other hosts culled from the program’s news correspondents on other weekdays.

Stewart — who hosted “The Daily Show” for 16 years before stepping down in 2015 — will make his return Monday night.

“I’m hoping to have a catharsis, and a way to comment on things and a way to express them that hopefully people will enjoy,” Stewart said, when asked by “CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil whether he was aiming to “have an influence on politics.”

“As far as influence … I mean, just about everything that I wanted to happen over the 16 years that I was at ‘The Daily Show’ did not happen,” Stewart said.

“If you were hoping for influence — and I think I’ve learned that post-‘Daily Show,’ being lucky enough to watch activists as they move to the PACT Act and the toxic exposure — but being able to observe that, that’s having influence,” the comic, who championed legislation expanding health care for 3.5 million American military veterans who were exposed to chemicals and toxic burn pits.

“I like in television, you can occasionally provide air support to those on the ground who are actually doing the work. And so I don’t view it as, ‘I really want to have an influence on this issue, election, things like that.’”

Stewart said he likes to utilize satire to lay bare “corruption and integrity,” rather than calling out “right and left or Democratic and Republican.”

“If you focus on integrity, and trying to expose what you think is absurd or corrupt, it’ll find its way to wherever it finds but those are the parameters that you’re trying to use.”

Asked why he’ll only be hosting “The Daily Show” one night a week, Stewart replied, “I just felt like just doing Mondays.”

“I was very much enjoying my life,” Stewart said.

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