As the sun sets on what will eventually be known as Day 11 of the New Trump Era, America certainly feels like it’s taking a few punches to the chest. Immigration bans, depressing cabinet appointments, Steve Bannon: they’re all doing a number on the national morale. But at least despair has the upside of energizing the country’s best satirical minds (and bringing others out of their self-imposed exile), with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart teaming back up on tonight’s episode of The Late Show.
Stewart is no stranger to Colbert’s CBS set, but he’s rarely appeared in such impressive form, decked out in an oversized tie and a “dead animal” in honor of our new president’s fashion sense. (Colbert, admiring Stewart’s headwear: “Is this one of the rescue animals from the farm?”) It takes alarmingly little time for a punch-drunk Colbert and Stewart to lose the thread of the bit (reading out Trump’s next set of executive orders), but it’s just such a relief to watch the two of them bounce off of each other for ten full minutes that it’s hard to care. And there’s still something refreshing about hearing Stewart return to one of his favorite words, declaring that “The new official language of the United States is bullshit.” That’s before he goes full-on, twinkle-eyed pep talk at the end. “No one action will be adequate. All actions will be necessary,” he reminds America, offering up a few seconds of rhetorical hope that could easily qualify as a moment of zen.