Jon Stewart on Trump Presidency: ‘Purposeful, Vindictive Chaos’

Jon Stewart returned to late-night on Tuesday to offer a blistering assessment of the first 10 days of the Trump presidency during an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

“We have never faced this before: Purposeful, vindictive chaos,” Stewart said.

Stewart and Colbert giggled through a segment that featured Stewart channeling Trump reading new executive orders to come. The longtime friendship and comedic collaboration between Stewart and Colbert was evident as the bit veered from skewering Trump to a quick homage to Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon (via Carnac the Magnificent) and a quick nod to Jerry Lewis.

The first of Stewart’s three executive orders declared the official language of the United States to be “bull—-” — perhaps a call out to Stewart’s warning in his August 2015 sign-off from “The Daily Show.”

Another was to demand that China send America its Great Wall “COD, so Mexico has to sign for it,” Stewart said.

The final order affirmed “that I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting,” Stewart said. “The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.”

With his presence and his incisive observations, Stewart seemed to try to reassure the audience that the country is strong enough to survive the upheaval already evident during Donald Trump’s 10-day tenure in the White House. He called for “relentless stamina and vigilance and every institutional check and balance this country can muster” to contain the President, given the policy agenda and behavior demonstrated since his Jan. 20 inauguration.

If the nation survives Trump’s reign without a major calamity, it will have “demonstrated the greatness of America, just not in the way I thought it would,” Stewart said, speaking as Trump.

Stewart has popped up a few times on “The Late Show” since Colbert took the reins in September 2015. Stewart is an executive producer of “Late Show” but is not a hands-on presence.

Stewart’s visit to “Late Show” raises the question about the status of his deal to deliver topical short-form content for HBO’s various platforms. He signed a wide-ranging production pact with HBO in 2015 after ending his nearly 17-year run on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show.”

Sources close to the situation said Stewart continues to work on a venture to produce timely animated programming using cutting-edge technology. Fans had expected that Stewart would use the HBO platform to comment on the raucous 2016 presidential election, but no material to date has surfaced. Sources emphasized that the technology is new and the production infrastructure is still being assembled. But Stewart remains committed to the HBO deal.

More TV

  • Pablo Guisa, Pablo Cruz, Enrique López

    Morbido, El Estudio Team on Massive Trans-Atlantic Genre Initiative (EXCLUSIVE)

    Trans-Atlantic Spanish-language production powerhouse El Estudio and Mexico’s Morbido Group have joined forces in the largest genre, horror and fantasy production initiative in the Spanish-speaking world. Feature films, series, remakes and reboots of classic IP and even unscripted programming are all part of the plan going forward for El Estudio and Morbido. Already, the companies [...]

  • Wolfsburg

    Italy's Cross Set for Werewolf Immigrant TV Series 'Wolfsburg' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italy’s Cross Productions, in which Germany’s Beta Film has a stake, is shopping “Wolfsburg,” a high-end TV series which turns on an Italian immigrant who during the 1960s arrives in the German city of Wolfsburg, headquarters of Volkswagen Group, and morphs into a murderous werewolf. The innovative skein, now in advanced development, is being set up [...]

  • Lincoln Younes

    'Lost Boys' Pilot at CW Casts Lincoln Younes in Kiefer Sutherland Role

    The CW’s revamped (get it?) “Lost Boys” pilot has cast one of its lead roles. Lincoln Younes has been cast in the series as Benjamin, the charismatic leader of the gang of vampires in a seemingly idyllic North Carolina seaside town. Younes’ role is most similar to the role of David in the 1987 film [...]

  • Gary Levine and Jana Winograde Showtime

    Showtime, HBO Broaden Scope as Parent Companies Aim to Grow Their Audiences

    For years, the halo around premium cablers such as HBO and Showtime has been integral to their branding. Their parent companies in a past life — Time Warner and CBS, respectively — seemed to be content with the tens of millions of subscribers each had accumulated. But now, shepherded by new corporate owners — AT&T’s [...]

  • Josh Brolin Dune

    Josh Brolin to Lead Amazon Drama Series 'Outer Range'

    Josh Brolin has found his next role. The “Avengers” and “No Country for Old Men” star has signed on to play the lead role in “Outer Range,” a thriller which received a series order at Amazon. The show was announced as part of the TV overall deal that Amazon signed with Brad Pitt’s Plan B [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content