Jon Stewart Returns to Late Night, Tells Trump Supporters ‘This Country Isn’t Yours’
Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination for president on Thursday night, and late-night comedians were salivating for their shot at ripping into the billionaire and former reality TV star’s acceptance speech.
In fact, a small army of late-night TV hosts went out of their way to host live shows on Thursday night just so they would have a crack at zinging the GOP’s new standard-bearer. But the comedian whose Trump jokes may have created the biggest stir—while also appearing to be the most cathartic—doesn’t even have his own show. At least not anymore.
Immediately following the rambunctious Trump speech that closed the 2016 Republican National Convention, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart made his second visit this week to his old Comedy Central colleague on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Stewart, who is less than a year removed from his Daily Show exit and still months away from a new gig at HBO, had cameoed on The Late Show earlier in the week, but his return Thursday was more of a roast (of Trump) and gloat (to celebrate the ouster of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.)
Taking a seat behind Colbert’s desk to dish out some hilariously scathing remarks, Stewart noted that Ivanka Trump’s introduction of her father promised a “really compassionate and generous” speaker. “But then this angry groundhog came out and he just vomited on everybody for an hour,” Stewart said.
Though he’s been off the air for some time, Stewart then slid easily into one of his trademark rants, in which he chastised Trump and his supporters for stoking fear with hateful rhetoric and for wrongly asserting their ownership over America and its ideals. “This country isn’t yours,” Stewart said. “You don’t own it, it never was. There is no real America . . . You don’t own patriotism, you don’t own Christianity. You sure as hell don’t own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police, and firefighters.”
The comedian’s rant followed Colbert’s own opening monologue, as the CBS host kicked off his latest live (rather than pre-taped) episode in honor of the GOP and Democratic conventions this week and next. In his monologue, Colbert joked about what he described as “Trump’s acceptance shout,” saying that the night represented “a historic moment, uniting America’s political system, entertainment complex, and the self-tanner industry.”
“It was a great performance,” Colbert went on. “I’ve got to give that to [Trump]. It fired up the room and finally answered the question, ‘What if Frankenstein’s monster was in charge of the angry mob?'”
Of course, Colbert wasn’t the only late-night host to tape a live Thursday show for a shot at “The Donald.” Here’s how some of the other late-night comedians responded to a speech in which Trump “humbly and gratefully” accepted the GOP’s nomination for president.
The Daily Show
Trevor Noah has struggled to gain a strong foothold in the TV ratings, but the South African comedian is doing his best to escape Stewart’s shadow on The Daily Show with a strong showing in his first presidential election season. In a live show taped near the RNC site in Cleveland, Noah led off the program with this announcement: “It’s officially official, people. Donald Trump just accepted the Republican nomination for president. And so I urge you to live every day like it’s your last.”
Later, regarding Trump “humbly and gratefully” accepting the GOP nomination while standing on a lavishly ornate stage emblazoned with a huge “TRUMP” sign, Noah said, “Yes, nothing says humble like turning the stage gold and having your name in 9,000-point font.”
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Meyers went live on Thursday to follow Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show on NBC. Meyers, who “banned” Trump from appearing on his show last month, dedicated his entire opening monologue to roasting the presidential hopeful. Noting that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, introduced her father by describing him as “color blind and gender neutral,” Meyers said this meant that “unfortunately, under the RNC platform, Trump could not use the bathroom anywhere.”
Meyers also roasted the long running time of a speech in which Trump frequently referred to himself as “the law and order candidate.”
“If you’re going to give a 76-minute speech that late at night, maybe don’t mention other things people could be watching,” he said, showing a graphic with the title cards for multiple TV shows from the popular Law & Order franchise.
Real Time with Bill Maher
John Oliver remains on hiatus until this weekend, but HBO’s other resident political comedian-pundit hosted a live version of his show on Thursday following the end of the RNC. Bill Maher commented on how “bleak” the messaging in Trump’s speech was, saying, “It was just really about death. ‘Crime is going to kill you. Immigrants are going to kill you. Terrorists are going to kill you.’ He has a new hat, it says ‘Make America Goth Again.'”
Maher added: “This convention did answer a few important questions for the American people, like, ‘Could another Nazi Germany happen here?’ And, ‘Whatever happened to Scott Baio?'”