Jon Stewart has been gone from The Daily Show for the past 12 weeks and while his replacement, correspondent John Oliver, did an admirable job, Stewart's return on Tuesday night was met with no small amount of fanfare. Despite being gone for three months, Stewart, 50, didn't miss a beat.
The show began with the late-night host and his summer substitute Oliver, 36, sitting behind the glass-topped anchor desk, with Oliver recounting the fun and wonderful summer that Stewart missed while directing a movie in the Middle East, including the wacky, weird and wild Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger saga.
Then, when the two looked at what "fun" news awaited Stewart on his first day back, an MSNBC clip played, talking about Syria's use of chemical weapons, and how America is going to step in with military might. Clearly, not the funniest of topics.
Stewart was able to still make the show funny, and address the violence in Syria, while at the same time exposing the hypocrisy of world politics with biting satire and righteous indignation that, coming from him, didn't feel pompous.
It's going to be interesting to see how Stewart's sharp and acerbic wit will be utilized in the coming months as America seems to move towards a new Middle Eastern war, but it may be just as interesting to see how John Oliver is utilized by Comedy Central after he proved he could hold his own behind an anchor desk.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm on Comedy Central.