The Changing of the 'Daily Show' Guard

The Daily Show faced a difficult task last night. Correspondent John Oliver had anchored the program all summer, filling in for Jon Stewart while he directed the film Rosewater in Jordan. But now that TDS was back from its break—and Stewart had returned to the country—how would they orchestrate the passing of the torch?

To put it simply, they killed it.

In a pre-taped sketch at the top of the half-hour, Oliver and Jessica Williams fought to transform Stewart back to normal as he cycled through a bizarre cast of characters including Hitler, Miley Cyrus, and Freddie Mercury. When a Big Mac defibrillator, a direct injection of lox, and even the intervention of Stephen Colbert in a hazmat suit failed, they brought out the big guns: Mr. Met.

The studio audience greeted Jon with an even louder roar of approval than usual. He motioned the camera to come closer, whispering, "I've missed you so much." After reflecting on his time in the Middle East and his transition back home ("I remember driving into New York City and thinking, 'Hello, dildo shop near school!'"), he thanked his staff, his crew, and John Oliver. He praised the "unbelievable job" his substitute host had done and invited him back onstage—sharing his side of the desk. D'aww.

Oliver caught Jon up on the summer's biggest stories, from the Royal Baby to Sharknado. He also gave a nod to Stewart's well-known friendship with the controversial mayoral candidate known as Carlos Danger: "Remember your friend Anthony Weiner? For a start, no one really calls him Anthony Weiner any more..." As a counterpoint to all this goofiness, the show made a pitch-perfect abrupt segue to a story about America's looming military action against Syria. "Good luck with that," Oliver deadpanned.

It's wonderful to have Stewart back, but Oliver will certainly be missed. That accent, those glasses, the "h" in his name—we've had a great summer. Can they host the show together, please?

Image via Huffington Post