After more than a year of at-home shows during the pandemic, Stephen Colbert finally returned to his desk at The Late Show with a live studio audience on Monday night. And since one of his earliest quarantine guests last year was Jon Stewart, it felt appropriate that Colbert invite the former Daily Show host back to the studio to recap what a whirlwind of a year it’s been.
“When I interviewed you [in June 2020], you were talking about how little progress we’ve made in science in combating pandemics,” Colbert said. “Because in 1918, the advice was, ‘Wear a mask, wash your hands.’ And 103 years later: ‘Wear a mask, wash your hands.'”
“It was soul-crushing to find that out,” Stewart replied. “I was really hoping that in 1918, they’d be like, ‘Drink a tincture of mercury and butterfly juice.'”
Stewart went on to say that he was grateful and supportive of scientific advancement in “treating this disease…that was basically caused by science,” which led to a chaotic discussion about the theory that the Covid-19 pandemic was created within a lab in Wuhan, China.
Words don’t really do the segment justice: You just have to watch Stewart slowly lose his mind onstage as Colbert desperately tries to cut to commercial break. It’s great to have both of them back in their element.