Jon Stewart returned to ‘The Daily Show’ for the first time since stepping down as its longtime host. Video, which you can see here, has gone viral, as he used his screen time to advocate for 9-11 first responders in a way that, not surprisingly, is unforgettable.
Yes, we knew we had not seen the last of Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’ after that star-studded send-off and that long social media #JonVoyage” good-bye. It was just a matter of when and that when has become now. Yes, he shared the stage with the current host Trevor Noah in a segment which has quickly gone viral, and is destined to become a classic.
It began with Stewart literally wandering onto the set, sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and wearing a gray t-shirt instead of his usual suit and tie.
This prompted current host, Trevor Noah, to say, “I’m sorry, sir. Are you lost?”
He told Noah, “I have this issue. I care about it deeply and wanted to get some attention paid to it. But I was realizing, I don’t have a show.”
And with that, as he often did at the helm of the show over his 16-year-tenure, Jon Stewart began to challenge the powers that be. This time around he was a voice for the surviving first responders of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Stewart explained that the James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act will expire next October. Originally passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010 which is set to completely expire by next October. It’s named after the late NYPD detective James Zadroga, who was among those heroic first responders, and who died in 2006 of respiratory illness. The act makes provisions for medical care for the surviving 9-11 responders, stricken with various illnesses.
Stewart said, “It’s soon going to be out of money. These first responders, many sick with cancers and pulmonary disease, have had to travel at their own expense to Washington, DC, hundreds of times to plead for our government to do the right thing.”
Continuing, he added, “There’s no reason not to renew it permanently. But they did not renew it anyway.”
He went on to say, “The only conclusion that I can draw is that the people of Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders.”
Underscoring the urgency and the tragedy most powerfully, Jon Stewart, in the following segment, had with him the only one member of a four-member panel of 9-11 first responders that he had assembled on the show five years ago to advocate for the Zadroga Act. Two members of the panel were ill, and the other one had died. Three empty chars on the stage were there to represent them.
Powerful television, and Jon Stewart at his finest. Watch video below, and see his unforgettable return to ‘The Daily Show.’
Pictures: PR Photos