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The Daily Show host opened Thursday night’s episode by discussing the latest Republican politicians to throw their hat into the ring (Rick Santorum, George Pataki), or say they’re considering it (Lindsey Graham, Donald Trump).
With respect to Santorum, Pataki and Graham, Stewart seemed flattered but unmoved.
“Guys, guys, guys … I appreciate the effort. My mind’s made up,” he says. “I’m leaving the show. I’m not staying.”
He then played a clip of a news report that Donald Trump has said he’s considering running for the Republican nomination.
A speechless Stewart appeared visibly excited.
He struggles to resist, reminding himself, “I’ve made up my mind,” before he suggests a way he could stay in the political satire game after leaving The Daily Show.
“Maybe I’ll get a Twitter account,” he says.
“You know, honestly, how much fun could you really have covering this thing?” Stewart wonders aloud before showing the “fun” he’s capable of.
He poked fun at Santorum’s “prop-filled” speech, in which the Republican candidate explained that his coal-mining grandfather didn’t come to America from fascist Italy for coal, he came for the American flag.
Stewart continued Santorum’s story, suggesting his grandfather had an unsuccessful experience trying to mine for American flags in the U.S.
He also tackled Graham saying he “know[s] the Iranians are lying” because of all of the “liars” he met when he ran his family’s pool room when he was a kid.
“You’re against a nuclear deal with the Iranians because they remind you of some South Carolina billiards hustlers you met when you were eight?” a stunned Stewart asks.
But Trump is the most outrageous, as far as Stewart’s concerned. He plays a clip of Trump telling Greta Van Susteren that he has a plan for defeating ISIS but he won’t reveal it.
Wide eyed, Stewart continued, impersonating Trump, “Not because I don’t have a foolproof plan, I do. I have a foolproof plan that would work 100 percent. It would save thousands and thousands of lives. But I’m not going to tell you. I’m withholding it for now because I am a tremendous asshole.”
Stewart previously said that one of the reasons he decided to leave The Daily Show was that he didn’t particularly want to cover the 2016 presidential election.
“I’d covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one,” he told The Guardian.
Watch the full clip below.
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