It’s happening: Jon Stewart is emerging from hibernation to take on Donald Trump

The satirist is breaking his silence.
The satirist is breaking his silence.
Image: AP Photo/Brad Barket
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Donald Trump is a man-baby.

That’s according to American comedian Jon Stewart, who has in recent days come out of his months-long hibernation to comment on the 2016 US presidential election and its presumptive Republican nominee, businessman Donald Trump.

In August, Stewart left his post as host of Comedy Central’s political satire show, The Daily Show, a position he held for nearly 17 years. Since then, he’s stayed out of the spotlight, deferring the satirist mantle to his protégés John Oliver and Samantha Bee, who now host shows of their own on HBO and TBS, respectively, and to Trevor Noah, who replaced Stewart as host of The Daily Show.

But for many Stewart superfans, this election season just isn’t the same without him. He signed a deal with HBO in November to develop short-form video content for the premium channel’s online outlets, HBO Now and HBO Go—but that deal has yet to bear fruit. HBO CEO Richard Plepler said last week that he’s “hopeful” Stewart’s new gig will be ready before Americans vote for their new president in November.

We think it will be. Judging by his recent public appearances, Stewart is itching to get back to lampooning the state of American politics. Donald Trump, specifically, has brought the master out of hiding.

Yesterday (May 9), Stewart appeared as a guest for a live taping of “The Axe Files,” a podcast hosted by former Barack Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, who now runs the non-partisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. The hour-long discussion covered a range of topics, but Stewart zeroed in early and often on Trump.

“I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I can’t necessarily say,” Stewart said, “But are you eligible to run if you are a man-baby? A baby-man? He has the physical countenance of a man and a baby’s temperament and hands.”

A few days earlier (May 5), Stewart hosted a comedy show for US military members at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. During his brief remarks, he brought up Trump:

“Trump’s gonna keep you busy when he’s commander in chief,” Stewart told the crowd. “You’re gonna have to repaint all the planes with ‘Trump’ in big gold letters.”

While Stewart may be slowly returning to form, those hoping for a Daily Show-style comeback are going to be disappointed. Instead, Stewart’s HBO project is likely to focused on bite-sized segments disseminated through HBO’s online platforms. It will allow the comedian to do what he does best without the burden of appearing on late-night television for a half-hour every night. Given America’s changing media habits, that’s probably a smarter approach anyway.

“The one thing I want to make clear to people is—when you’re not on television, you’re still alive,” Stewart told Axelrod. “You’re still engaged in the world. And I feel maybe more engaged with the world in a real way now, than I ever did sitting on television interviewing politicians.”