Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned to late-night TV Monday night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to attempt to “make sense” of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.
Colbert’s struggling CBS show kicked off two weeks of special live broadcasts from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions on Monday night.
“I’m really excited about what’s going to happen this week because we don’t know what’s gonna happen this week,” Colbert told the Late Show audience. “How can we guess what will happen when we can’t begin to explain how we got here?”
“How did Donald Trump get the nomination? I know I can’t explain it,” he added. “But I think I know somebody who might be able to.”
Colbert then “visits” Stewart at a secluded cabin in the woods, where the former Comedy Central standout has ostensibly retired after his Daily Show days.
“You won’t believe who the [Republican] nominee is,” Colbert informs Stewart, who has apparently been out of the loop on presidential politics in his retirement, instead keeping busy my making homemade “kale jerky” and drinking “chai kambucha.”
“It’s Donald Trump,” Colbert tells Stewart, only to have a mouthful of tea spat into his face in disbelief.
“The guy from The Apprentice?” an incredulous Stewart asks. “The guy who did a McDonald’s commercial with the Grimace? The guy who filed for bankruptcy in 1991? Mike Tyson’s business adviser?”
“Indeed, same guy,” Colbert confirms.
Stewart confers with someone off-screen and returns to reveal that he’s been living with Colbert’s faux-conservative alter-ego, the Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, who informs the real Colbert that he can’t help him because he and Stewart are perfectly happy in retirement, “living off the grid” and “canning our own urine for the end times.”
Stewart’s appearance on the Late Show could provide a boost to Colbert’s CBS late-night program, which has suffered through a months-long ratings slump.
Earlier this week, Colbert donned a costume from the Hunger Games film franchise and took over a microphone on the floor of the convention center to mock the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
At the center of power at the RNC pic.twitter.com/R8kBtEI7Hq
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) July 17, 2016
Stewart could make more appearances on Colbert’s program as the host continues his live coverage of the Republican convention this week.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum