Stephen Colbert welcomed two big guests to Monday’s “Late Show” coverage of the Republican National Convention. And former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart wasn’t even the main attraction.
Colbert left the “Late Show” stage to find the retired Stewart out in the forest. He had grown his beard out, began making his own jerky, and still believed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush would be the Republican nominee in 2016.
“Jon, it’s not Jeb. I’m going to tell you who the candidate is,” Colbert told Stewart.
After asking if he could take a drink before hearing the name, Stewart predictably spit it out upon hearing that Donald Trump had somehow captured the nomination.
Stewart then yelled, “What! The guy from ‘The Apprentice’? The guy who did a McDonald’s commercial with the Grimace? The guy who filed for bankruptcy in 1991?”
“And ’92,” Colbert added.
“And 2004,” Stewart responded.
Colbert continued, “And 2009.”
“That guy,” said Stewart, who also serves as an executive producer on the “Late Show.”
After doing a round robin of Trump insults, Colbert said, “So you can see why I’m here. You can see what I’m asking for.”
And voila! Colbert’s old “Colbert Report” version of himself appeared in the doorway. When he found out the nominee wasn’t Jeb Bush, Colbert sprung into action.
After taking a seat at the “Late Show” desk as the audience cheered, Colbert said, “Hello, nation. Did you miss me? I did. It’s time to say aloha to Stephen Colbert and say aloha to Stephen Colbert.”
It’s easy to see how such a stunt made sense for the “Late Show.” First, it brings more attention to the planned two weeks of live shows during the national conventions. And second, it could provide a much-needed boost for the show. Continually behind NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, Colbert and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel battle for second place in late night each week.
To confront the ratings problem, CBS hired a new showrunner and began retooling the show in May. It’s unclear how often the “Late Show” will feature Colbert’s previous Comedy Central character, but fans should enjoy him for now.
Watch Stewart usher the old Stephen Colbert back onto TV below:
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