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Plenty of people claimed that they didn't even miss Jon Stewart when John Oliver took over the Daily Show anchor desk for the summer-- but apparently there were even more of them just counting down the days until Stewart's return. The ratings for Tuesday's Daily Show episode, Stewart's first since going on hiatus in June, were up 24% from the episodes that Stewart had hosted earlier in the year, and 21% over the average ratings for episodes this time last year. It's also well above the 1.22 million viewers Oliver had for his final episode on August 15-- though comparing the anticipated return of a fake news host to the last episode of his replacement, in the middle of July, isn't exactly fair.
Stewart's return on Tuesday was at turns ridiculous and somber, but of course, the truly ridiculous kicked things off:
And while calling the potential airstrikes against Syria "Uncle Jonny Stew's Good Time Syria Jamboree," there was something definitely comforting about having Stewart back in the anchor chair to make light of a harrowing, potential war. As Stewart himself pointed out, it was like 2004 all over again!
On Wednesday's episode the Syria conversation continued, but thanks to John McCain's getting caught playing online poker during a Senate hearing, Stewart was able to more the conversation into this real wheelhouse: making fun of all the truly stupid stuff that surrounds even the most serious news. And why not call the situation in Syria Groundhog Deja [email protected]#k, right?
If you're wondering how Stewart spent his summer, you ought to sneak up to Toronto this weekend to take a look-- Stewart is preparing to present buyers scenes from Rosewater, his directorial debut starring Gael Garcia Bernal. As revealed on a previous episode, the movie is inspired by a Daily Show segment itself, though one that inadvertently led to a British journalist being imprisoned in Iran for 118 days. You can find out more in Maziar Bahari's book, or just wait for Rosewater's presumed arrival sometime next year.