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Jon Stewart Kicked Off His ‘Daily Show’ Return By Slamming The ‘Antiques Roadshow’ That Is The Likely Biden-Trump Rematch

In 2024 everything old is new again. The presidential election will probably, barring some big developments like prison (though even that might not work), be just like the one four years back. And who’s hosting The Daily Show, at least on Mondays, and at least until November? Jon Stewart, who after nine years returned, semi-reluctantly, to the job that made him and that changed political comedy in America. On Monday, he was back at the famous desk, and he had a message: This year is going to suck big ones.

After a little thing about the Super Bowl, Stewart quickly moved to the main reason why he returned to his old post: the likely rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. And so he bid the start of “Indecision 2024,” whose subtitle he eventually decided should be “Antiques Roadshow.”

Throughout the opening segment, which ran some 20 minutes, Stewart had plenty of jabs at Trump, like his bizarre remarks about renaming Pennsylvania and about how magnets work. But he gave as much to Biden as well, if not moreso.

Both men’s memories and general brain power was a big focus. Stewart discussed the special counsel deposition that concluded that Biden shouldn’t be charged with criminal behavior over his mishandling of classified documents…but partly because he was a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” That troubled Stewart, who said, “The footage of a president unable to recall simple facts must have been brutal to watch.”

What he did next was a classic Daily Show move, honed during his tenure: He suddenly cut to a montage of Trump, not Biden, stumbling through his own depositions. We saw him struggling to remember when he was married to ex-wife Marla Maples, as well as saying he can’t remember ever saying he has one of the best memories.

“It turns out that the leading cause of early onset dementia is being deposed,” Stewart cracked.

But that doesn’t mean Stewart’s buying claims that Biden is more sharp than he appears in public appearances. He trashed him for skipping out on a Super Bowl interview, in which he could have showed off his mental prowess, instead choosing a TikTok chat where he answered softball questions…and did not exactly come off looking like a spring chicken, especially when talking about his love of chocolate chip cookies.

“How do you go on TikTok and end up looking older?” Stewart remarked.

“These two candidates, they are both similarly challenged,” Stewart told the crowd. “And it is not crazy to think that the oldest people in the history of the country to ever run for president might have some of these challenges … We’re not suggesting neither man is vibrant, productive or even capable. But they’re both stretching the limits of being able to handle the toughest job in the world. What’s crazy is thinking that we’re the ones as voters who must silence concerns and criticisms. It is the candidates job to assuage concerns.”

He continued: “Look, Joe Biden isn’t Donald Trump.”

“He hasn’t been indicted as many times, hasn’t had as many fraudulent businesses or been convicted in a civil trial for sexual assault or been ordered to pay defamation charges or stiffed blue collar tradesman….. The stakes of this election don’t make Donald Trump’s opponent less subject to scrutiny. It actually makes him more subject to scrutiny. If the barbarians are at the gate, you want Conan [the Barbarian] standing on the ramparts, not chocolate chip cookie guy.”

So, Stewart advised, buckle up because this year’s going to be a rough one. That doesn’t mean it will be apocalyptic. He ended on a bright note, of sorts:

The work of making this world resemble one that you would prefer to live in is lunchpail f*cking job, day in and day out, where thousands of committed, anonymous, smart, and dedicated people bang on closed doors and pick up those that are fallen and grind away on issues till they get a positive result — and even then, have to stay and make sure that positive result holds.

So the good news is, I’m not you don’t have to worry about who wins the election. I’m saying you have to worry about every day before it and every day after, forever. Although I am told at some point the sun will run out of hydrogen.

On that note, welcome back, Jon Stewart! It will be an…interesting nine months.

You can watch Stewart’s opening Daily Show volley in the video above.