Jon Stewart has no regrets about leaving The Daily Show, but he looked right at home when he came back to his old late-night stomping grounds on Thursday night. Promoting HBO’s Night of Too Many Stars and the Omaze charity campaign, Stewart made a prank call to host Trevor Noah’s cell phone as “Bernie Bernstein,” the name posing as a reporter for The Washington Post and claiming to want dirt on Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
During his segment on Moore and this effort to spread “fake news,” Noah got an unexpected call at his desk. “Hello, Trevor,” Stewart said in what Noah described as “a New York Jewish voice based on hearing a friend describe a Woody Allen movie.”
“How can you say that Bernie Bernstein isn’t real? It’s me!” Stewart continued. “It’s Washington Post reporter Bernie Bernstein, who else should it be?” he added before Noah walked backstage and caught him redhanded. “I’m a real person. I’m a very Jewish person.”
Residents in Alabama received phone calls and voice messages from someone claiming to be Bernie Bernstein. According to one of these messages played for local CBS affiliate WKRG, the voice states, “I’m a reporter for The Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5,000 and $7,000.”
The calls started occurring after The Post published an exposé about four women claiming the Senate candidate sexually pursued them as teenagers when he was in his 30s. Since then, two other women have come forward with harassment allegations. Moore called the claims as “lies and smears.”
The Post stated no reporter by that name works for the news outlet, and recipients of the call have also said the voice sometimes goes by “Al Bernstein.” Noah called the situation “another trick from the Trump playbook” perpetrated by Moore’s campaign to spread fake news.
Watch Stewart’s bit on The Daily Show in the clip above.