Jon Stewart returns to Colbert to talk coronavirus, Trump, and Joe Biden
If you're missing Jon Stewart's political musings on The Daily Show and what he thinks now about the coronavirus situation, President Donald Trump, and presidential hopeful Joe Biden, he made a comeback on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show to talk about all of this. In short, he's got some thoughts on a few things.
First, coronavirus. Stewart, who came on in promotion of his new film Irresistible, which he wrote and directed, said he's most surprised about "the politicization of just basic hygiene."
"The mask is now the 'Don't Tread on Me' thing," he said in reference to the phrase on the Gadsden flag. "It's a symbol of tyranny." And yet, doctors "wear that in operating rooms, right?" he added. "They do that not because they're listening to NPR."
Colbert asked Stewart about the U.S. government's response to the pandemic, and Stewart believed they are "doing the best they can." But he's still boggled by Trump. "I didn't expect him to be moral," he said. "I think what caught me off guard is the utter incompetence... You were sort of saving this idea that he's a disrupter and that the chaos was strategic, and now you know, no, I think your pants are on fire, just running around a room. He really is just mainly concerned with credit and praise."
Going into the 2020 election, the race has changed for Stewart. He admitted that Biden "was not my guy, not even in the top four." Stewart was leaning more towards Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. He's also not crazy about the "schtick" of Biden's "'Uncle Joe' character." But, he added, "I feel like that's not the core of who that guy really is."
"We are a country in terrible anguish right now," Stewart said. "We are in pain... The blindfold is off and we're seeing ourselves for who we really are, that American exceptionalism is not a title that you wear like you won Miss America in 1937 and you'll always be Miss America. It takes effort and work to maintain."
"When I see Biden past this schtick," he later remarked, "I see a guy who knows what loss is, he knows grief, and I think that kind of grief humbles him." In 1972 when Biden was Senator-elect, his first wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed in a crash. In 2015, as Vice President, his son Beau died of brain cancer. "There's a humility to the randomness of tragedy that brings about a caring that can't be faked and it can't be contrived," Stewart continued. "And what I think in this moment this country needs is a leader of humility that understands that he doesn't understand and understands the humanity of this experiment and the difficulty that it is maintaining it and that we have to connect with each other on a much different level without the bull—."
At the same time, Stewart thought Trump was finished when he compared Mexican immigrants to rapists and killers, and again when his infamous "grab 'em by the p—y" remark made national headlines. When Colbert mentioned a poll that reported 14 percent of voters are still unsure who to pick, Stewart buried his head in his arms.
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