Will Jon Stewart come back to ‘The Daily Show’? Dark times call for coming out of retirement

It’s hard to let go of good friends, especially the ones you formed a close bond with late at night, talking about all the absurd shit in the world and finding a way to laugh at the pain. Which is why everyone sort of wants to know if Jon Stewart is coming back to The Daily Show, especially now that Donald Trump will be our president and everything you ever believed in is being flushed down the toilet. Trevor Noah can’t soothe us the way Stewart can. After all, he’s the man who helped all of us deal with the George W. Bush years, and, well, it’s OK to feel a little needy right now.

Alas, Stewart has no plans to return to television. Back in May during a spot on the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics The Axe Files, he said, “I’m not going to be on television anymore. I’m not restless.” He added,”I feel like I’m engaged now. When you’re not on television, you’re still alive and you’re still engaged in the world. And I feel more engaged now in the real world than I ever did sitting on television interviewing politicians.” Whatever, dude.

He did sign a four-year contract with HBO to make some animated show that was teased to be released before the election. Obviously that didn’t happen, so we will have to wait until things get really terrible.

Stewart made some appearances on Stephen Colbert’s show to rip Trump, but that’s about it. So you should probably stop wishing and hoping and move on. I don’t know about you, but I had sort of written The Daily Show off recently just because it wasn’t Stewart. Really, though, it’s not the end of the world. And maybe it’s time to try something different.

Recently, Noah’s been all over the place, most notably ripping Tomi Lahren, who compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK, a new one last week. But some people think it’s not good enough. BuzzFeed’s Tomi Abaro accuses him of talking race as a promotional strategy for his new memoir and pushing a “trite moderation” strategy for American voters. He also doesn’t really seem to see that racism in America is a very different brand than South Africa’s. So maybe he’s just not our guy for these dark times.

But he does know that he has to go hard. Noah wrote in The New York Times this week that when he took over for Stewart, he was in for more than he realized. “I was surprised to learn that my job as a late-night comedy host was not merely to entertain but to eviscerate — to attack, crush, demolish and destroy the opponents of liberal, progressive America,” he wrote. Noah added, “Very quickly, people from some quarters — mostly those same liberal progressives — criticized me for not maintaining the minimum acceptable levels of daily evisceration that were established by my predecessor.”

He’s no Stewart, but at least he realizes he has a lot of work to do.