A press release posted to HBO's official Medium account on Tuesday confirmed the one thing that political news junkies and late night comedy fans have been waiting for since August: Jon Stewart is coming back to television. The former Daily Show host (slash writer/producer/director) anchored the popular late night show for 16 years before ultimately turning in his credentials to move on to greener pastures, and while fans were devastated, most assumed Stewart would be back at some point to remark on the recent 2016 political melee and a slew of other important happenings. Of course, not all topics of conversation are created equal — and since HBO made the big announcement this week, there have been a handful of issues that we've already started crossing our fingers over in the hopes that Stewart will take them on, full-force.
"Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me," Stewart joked on Tuesday while discussing the HBO collaboration, which is said to be a series of "short-form digital [pieces] ... refreshed on HBO NOW" each day. "I'm pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again."
During the late night host's Daily Show farewell speech on Aug. 6, Stewart hinted that a good part of that exhaustion had stemmed from the constant stream of "bullshit" propaganda and false claims being spread by politicians, lobbyist groups, and extremist groups. "Teach the controversy," Stewart encouraged his audience. "[...] The best defense against [this] bullshit is vigilance — so if you smell something, say something."
According to HBO, Stewart's new project will do just that. "Stewart will view current events through his unique prism," added the company in its press release Tuesday. Although the media giant did not specify which topics Stewart's new projects would be covering in particular (because sadly, it seems Stewart won't be in front of the camera himself), there are a few we hope he'll nab first:
Anything & Everything Ben Carson
There are currently 14 GOP candidates and three Democratic candidates in the 2016 presidential race, but out of all of them, one front-runner has provided more than enough comedic fodder to get Stewart through the first two months of his show alone. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson started his 2016 run as a soft-spoken, not-afraid-to-disagree, intellectual outsider with a unique perspective on most issues, but with enough conservative clout to keep him on most Republicans' good sides. As the push to the right began to grow more outrageous, however, Carson gave up on his mission to remain coherent and responsible with his language and began dropping bombs to stay in the game, comparing women to slave-owners, and rehashing strange religious ideology to stock his coffers whenever the narrative suited him.
Stewart isn't exactly known for keeping mum on candidates and politicians with an aversion to sound logic, which means he's probably put Carson — who's currently leading the GOP race in at least a few major polls — on the docket more than once. And if he hasn't yet, one can still dream, right?
Canada's New Prime Minister
On Oct. 17, 2015, Canada elected its next prime minister, 43-year-old liberal candidate Justin Trudeau — and Twitter immediately had a meltdown for one very important reason. "If you search 'Canadian prime minister' on [social media], one of the related searches will be 'Justin Trudeau Hot,'" noted one elated Twitter user, remarking on Trudeau's obvious, er, "physical gifts." The son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, a noted intellectual and activist, Trudeau also has a pretty hilarious track record: From starring as a general in the Canadian docu-drama The Great War to showing off his bizarre stair-falling routine, there's no shortage of comedic material at Stewart's disposal, should he choose to make Trudeau the subject of one of his new projects. Please, god, let that happen.
Mass shootings have, unfortunately, been in the news quite a bit of late. From the tragic Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, which ended in 10 fatalities (including the gunman), to the most recent rampage in Colorado Springs that left four dead, its seems as if Americans can't go one day without being plagued by news of yet another bloody incident. Despite all of this, a good portion of Washington still refuses to consider serious discussions about gun control and gun safety measures.
Stewart proved himself more than capable of tackling such serious topics over his 16-year tenure in the late night hot-seat, notably giving one particularly moving monologue on Americans' attitudes toward gun control following a devastating church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this summer. If anyone can take on such a volatile subject and make it more palatable for the masses, it's Stewart — let's just hope he's still up for the challenge.
Earlier this week, hacktivist group Anonymous claimed that it would be releasing the names of alleged Ku Klux Klan members in an online post — and when the apparent list was posted on Monday, a handful of prominent names came forward to deny any association with the white supremacist group. "I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK," claimed Lexington, Kentucky, Mayor Jim Gray, who was named in the list, in a statement to the press. "I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong."
While another group that also claims to be associated with Anonymous denied any association with the purported list ("This account has NOT YET released any information," tweeted user @Operation_KKK, adding that they believed in "due diligence" and wouldn't recklessly involve "innocent individuals"), the news still made waves. With the smoke of allegations and drama still lingering in the air, perhaps Stewart could do us all a favor and take the news apart piece by piece, in his traditionally uproarious fashion. After all, there's nothing funny about white supremacist groups like the KKK, but there's plenty of comedic value in shutting them down.