Jon Stewart returns to “Daily Show” to support 9/11 first responders

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Did Jon Stewart Just Give Us a Taste of What He’ll Be Doing for HBO?.

Many mourned when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show earlier this year, and while he’s popped up here and there since, most of us would like regular doses of him on our screens again. NEW YORK (CBSDC/AP) — Comedian Jon Stewart returned to “The Daily Show” where he made a push to renew a law that provides health benefits for first responders who grew ill after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. “He is the key to getting this done and so far he’s been an enormous obstacle, unwilling to move the bill forward for purely political reasons,” Stewart said of McConnell. “It’s soon going to be out of money.

The former “Daily Show” host returned to his old stomping grounds — this time as a guest — to impel Congress to “end the f—ery” and reauthorize the Zadroga Act, a vital health care bill, which expired after Sept. 30, for 9/11 emergency responders. These first responders, many sick with cancers and pulmonary disease, have had to travel at their own expense to Washington, D.C., hundreds of times to plead with our government to do the right thing,” Stewart railed.

After the 53-year-old comic assured his successor he wasn’t there to reclaim his “Daily Show” throne, he explained the health care act passed by Congress in 2010 had dwindling funds — and that “there was no reason not to renew it permanently, but they did not renew it anyway.” Stewart, who has long championed the legislation, singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speculating he only blocked it from moving forward as political retribution. “Sen. Appearing on the Comedy Central show for the first time since his departure in August, Stewart told new host Trevor Noah that he had no interest in taking back the desk on a nightly basis. “I have this issue I care about very deeply and I was wondering – I want to get attention paid to it but I was realizing I don’t have a show, and nobody gives a sh– anymore. Proponents of the law are seeking its permanent extension, but some Republicans have opposed that, saying they want a chance to periodically review it and make sure it’s operating soundly. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky doesn’t give a s— about anything but politics,” Stewart said. “(He) pulled it out of the transportation bill when he didn’t get concessions about loosening oil export regulations.” The comedian played correspondent in a taped segment and accompanied first responders to Washington “to see if shame works,” confronting senators who tweeted “Never Forget” on 9/11 but failed to support the bill’s renewal — including Sen. The fact that it had only been four months since he left, it was only natural for new anchor Trevor Noah to be a little nervous: “Are you here to take the show back?

Stewart’s deal with HBO has him focusing, for now, on “short-form digital content” for the HBO Go and HBO Now streaming services. (With a potential for TV series and movie projects down the road.) We got a taste of what a short-form digital piece from Stewart might look like last night. Stewart urged the public to take to social media with the hashtag “#WorstResponders” in an effort to get McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the rest of Congress to get funding for the bill. (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. Oh, man, I heard about this in American TV!” The bearded, casually dressed Stewart (which has become something of a new uniform for him over the past few months) reassured Noah that his job was safe.

To shame Congress into doing something to protect the act, Stewart mustered a full camera crew and produced something that looked a lot like a classic Daily Show pre-taped segment. Stewart finally approached Portman, who replied he supported the bill but wanted to “find a way to pay for it.” In a voiceover, the comedian revealed that the Ohio senator signed onto the bill later that night. “So maybe shame does work,” he mused.

Stewart then went on to use his temporary Daily Show platform in order to take direct aim at Senator Mitch McConnell and present a stunning visual on the health of 9/11 first responders. To his dismay, only one man, Kenny Specht, returned to continue the discussion, as one person (operating engineer John Devlin) has since died, and the other two were unable to attend due to illness. And, on a recent podcast, HBO’s other shiny new star Bill Simmons said Stewart confided that he was worn out from being at the center of a polarized and extreme news cycle. There’s no indication whether those HBO segments will be bookended by Stewart sitting back behind a desk like his former colleague John Oliver does. But after watching him scream “he’s not nice!” in reference to McConnell, it’s clear that Stewart in disgruntled, bearded anchorman mode would be pure magic for HBO.

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