By Ken Tucker
Updated April 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM EDT

Last night, Jon Stewart used The Daily Show to come to the defense of “our good friends and colleagues Matt and Trey” and the “veiled death threats” that Matt Stone and Trey Parker received in the wake of the past two weeks’ episodes about, in part, the prophet Muhammad.

Stewart bowed a bit to his employers, Comedy Central, for censoring the episode — “It’s their right, we all serve at their pleasure” — but deplored what has befallen “our great and hilarious and intelligent and sweet comedy brethren Matt and Trey.”

The host took great umbrage at the fact that “the threats that they received came from Revolution Muslim, located in New York City,” where, Stewart said, members of that group could partake of a freedom of speech they would deny Parker and Stone, as well as “the best Jewish deli you’ll find.”

Stewart brought out the gospel choir he’d used recently to help him castigate Fox News for another rousing rendition of “Go F— Yourself,” this time directed at South Park‘s most vehement critics.

It’s always interesting to me that Stewart can flip back and forth between two modes: careful, reasoned critiques, and all-out ballistic. I’m inclined to think the former is more effective over the long haul, but given the verbal mine-fields involved in this particular topic, all-out gospel-profane ballistic was probably the safest yet more cathartic way to go.

What do you think of Stewart’s defense?

For more: South Park recap: Episode 201 is CENSORED