The Daily Show already had a layup on Tuesday with Trump’s arraignment, but guest host Roy Wood Jr. still came with a Jon Stewart-shaped ace up his sleeve.
“Thank you for clapping for that, man,” Wood told the crowd after a segment clowning the ex-president, who faces 34 counts of conspiracy and falsifying business records, with a maximum (if unlikely) prison sentence of 136 years. “That was good, but I just don’t know if that’s good enough to go viral. I’m trying to go viral this week, you know? It’s a lot of pressure as guest host, you got to be funny, you gotta be satirical, you gotta be powerful. You’ve gotta go viral, and I don’t know what to do. I just wish I had somebody that I could talk to to guide me through some of this stuff, man.”
Jon Stewart emerged in the guise of Obi-Wan Kenobi, doing his best Force Ghost Alec Guinness voice from offstage to segue into a goofy back-and-forth loosely focused on guidance from a veteran. (Of the Clone Wars.)
Stewart, now 60, led the 1996-founded Comedy Central institution from ’99 to 2015, memorably covering four presidential elections. “I used to work here when the budget wasn’t as big, a few years back,” he joked by way of introduction. “I actually hosted the program, to be honest with you.”
“The Daily Show had a white host?” exclaimed Roy Wood Jr., who proceeded to hilariously, repeatedly steer the conversation back to Star Wars until their time was up. The host of Apple TV+’s The Problem with Jon Stewart made sure to let Wood know he’s “doing a fabulous job,” then squeezed in half a thought about Trump before Roy informed him their time was up.
Trevor Noah announced last September that he’d leave The Daily Show after seven years behind the desk. His moving farewell episode aired on Dec. 8. Filling his seat for one week apiece since January have been comedians and/or show alums Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, D.L. Hughley, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Hasan Minhaj, Marlon Wayans, Kal Penn, Al Franken, and John Leguizamo. Next week Jordan Klepper will take the lead; succeeding him will be Desi Lydic (April 24), Dulcé Sloan (May 1), and Michael Kosta (May 8). Lewis Black and Ronny Chieng will also come through, although they don’t have dates yet.
Hughley spoke to Complex’s Karla Rodriguez in February about the opportunity to work with such a talented crew. “They know what they’re doing,” the 60-year-old said. “They know how to book it, they know how to prepare the material, and they know how to present the material. So it’s really just like, it’s like a Tesla. You put in the directions and it takes you where it’s going. … I will say that I love the motion, I love how big the staff is. I love how nimble they are. A lot of the staff has been around for a couple of incarnations, a couple of hosts. I think I met a couple of staff members that have been around all 28 years. ... So it’s very hard to trust people at least creatively, at least for me, but they’ve made it an easy process.”