During the final weeks of The Colbert Report in December, President Obama gave Stephen Colbert quite the tribute by expertly delivering “The Word” in his stead. That was Obama’s only appearance on Colbert, and while he and Jon Stewart have far more history, there was much less revelry during his final appearance on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show — though he did acknowledge the occasion. “I can’t believe you’re leaving before me,” Obama told Stewart. “In fact, I’m issuing a new executive order that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show.” After applause, he quipped that his decree is already “being challenged in the courts.”
For most of the rest of the interview, the president focused on defending the Iran deal (to be fair, Jon asked).
In the third segment (watch part two here), the president concluded by urging Americans to educate themselves about the Iran deal and take action. “I really want people to pay attention to this issue and learn about it and then contact your elected representatives and express your opinion,” he said. Sure, it’s a good message, but it’s not exactly what late-night audiences tune in for.
Even when Stewart brought up Donald Trump, Obama restrained himself, saying only, “I’m sure the Republicans are enjoying Mr. Trump’s dominance of their primary.”
It seems like Stewart wants his exit to be more low-key than Colbert’s, so those who were hoping to see some high jinks during his final presidential chat will have to skim through Obama’s five previous appearances on The Daily Show, dating back to the 2008 campaign. It was probably too much to hope that the president would reference the greatest Daily Show joke he ever inspired: Colbert’s claim way back in 2004 that he’s the proud descendant of a “poor Virginia turd miner.”