Home Entertainment Jon Stewart’s Return Boosts ‘The Daily Show’ to 1.9 Million Viewers, Biggest...

Jon Stewart’s Return Boosts ‘The Daily Show’ to 1.9 Million Viewers, Biggest Episode Since 2018

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Jon Stewart‘s return to “The Daily Show” on Monday brought in 1.9 million viewers, marking the show’s biggest audience in more than five years.

Of those 1.9 million viewers, 930,000 tuned in via Comedy Central, while the rest were counted across simulcasts on CMT, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, Pop and TV Land. These figures come from Live + Same Day as reported by Nielsen.

It’s unsurprising that the episode would perform so well. “The Daily Show” has lacked any consistent presence since Trevor Noah exited as host at the end of 2022, and Stewart’s return to the post — which he left nearly a decade ago — adds a trusted voice back to the landscape of political commentary in a key election year, even if he’ll only be back at the desk on Mondays. It’s likely that Stewart’s episodes will continue to bring sorely needed viewership back to Comedy Central, as Monday’s big showing was achieved with only a week and a half of marketing lead up after a surprise announcement.

The episode was immediately well received, with Variety critic Alison Herman writing that “anyone who has living memories of the War on Terror is powerless to resist Stewart’s particular blend of cynicism and moral righteousness. Yet the lack of pomp and circumstance around his return means that its meta aspects become the most meaningful. Stewart could mock Biden’s fraying faculties or point out Trump’s infinite shortcomings in his sleep. It’s not the punchlines themselves that help demonstrate the snake-eating-its-tail absurdity of the current news cycle. It’s the man delivering them, and how many times we’ve seen him before.”