Jordan Klepper Describes ‘Awesome Shock’ of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Return

Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper may have roasted Jon Stewart on-air during his celebrated return episode last week, but real-life Jordan Klepper has nothing but love for his former boss.

Klepper joined The Daily Show in 2014 and worked with Stewart for a year and a half before Stewart stepped down from his longtime role as host. Klepper is the only current Daily Show on-air talent to have previously worked with the late night legend.

“What a surprise, what an exciting, awesome shock for us to have this person who is important for so many people’s lives here at The Daily Show,” Klepper told The Daily Show supervising producer Ian Berger on Monday’s edition of The Daily Show: Ears Edition podcast. “We’ve missed his voice over these last few years, even though he’s had wonderful shows where his voice has been on, but I think there’s so many people here who would love to hear him day in and day out; and so to have him back on the show is pretty gosh, darn great.”

The Daily Show has featured a rotation of hosts since Trevor Noah exited the program in December 2022, and that will remain the case on Tuesdays through Thursdays through the election. Klepper hosted the Tuesday through Thursday editions last week, and correspondent Desi Lydic is set to host the Tuesday through Thursday editions this week.

According to Klepper, Stewart has helped establish something of a “unified front” with everyone now moving in the same direction this year. Klepper said that Stewart posed many questions to his new colleagues to get them prepared for this campaign sprint.

“This building is built to get these ideas attacked and approached in very similar, thoughtful ways,” said Klepper. “But we haven’t had an opportunity to sit down and really talk about, ‘Alright, this is what we’re doing: attacking the biggest election year of our lives.'”

He added, “Jon came in and said, ‘Here’s what I’m feeling about this. This is such an important year. It’s an existential threat is what everybody is talking about. We all know the threat Donald Trump poses. We also know it looks like it’s gonna be Joe Biden, and how do Democrats feel about this? What are the insecurities people have around this idea? How do we talk authentically about the fears people have? How do we criticize BS wherever we see it? How do we prep for this wild election year as a team and look at it almost holistically, so that we can approach the big trends over the next year while also being on the ball day in and day out?'”

Stewart’s return seems to be paying dividends, at least for now. For Feb. 13-15, Klepper’s stint as host averaged 461,000 live plus same-day viewers — the largest average audience in more than 2 1/2 years (since May 17-20, 2021). Adding in the 970,000 total viewers who tuned into Comedy Central for Stewart’s Monday show (it was simulcast across Paramount cable properties), The Daily Show averaged 588,000 viewers for the week, its largest weekly average in nearly three years (since March 2021). We’ll see if this trend continues.

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