Desperate times call for Jon Stewart.
The former Daily Show host’s surprise appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Election Eve Late Show, during which he went off on “that angry tax- and draft-dodging little orange groundhog” running for president, did nothing to prevent a Donald Trump victory. But now that Trump is actually in the White House and signing discriminatory executive orders left and right, he apparently could no longer keep his opinions to himself.
So there was Stewart Tuesday night, alongside his old friend Colbert, sharing his first thoughts on President Trump’s first week and a half in office.
With a dead animal strapped to his head and a red tie that went down past his feet, Stewart appeared on the Late Show to tell Colbert about some of the additional executive orders Trump has up his oversize sleeves.
“I’ve gotta say, I love your outfit,” Colbert told him. “Is this your Donald Trump impression?”
After a pause, Stewart said, “I thought this is how men dress now. The president sets men’s fashion. And I saw the inauguration: super long tie, dead animal on head. Boom!”
The costume recalled a bit that Stewart did with Colbert early in his stint as Late Show host, all the way back in December 2015. In that appearance, Colbert forced his friend to wear a Trump-esque wig and rub Cheeto dust on his face so that people would listen to his message to Congress about renewing the Zadroga Act to help 9/11 first-responders. “No one’s going to listen to you,” Colbert said at the time, “unless you Trump it up a little bit.” That, of course, was back when Donald Trump was still a punchline and not the president of the United States.
Stewart brought with him a stack of new executive orders yet to be announced by President Trump. No. 1: “By the authority vested in me by the Constitution, I, Donald J. Jonah Jameson Trump, hereby direct that, to secure our border, China shall immediately and without hesitation send us their wall. Done.” As for how we get Mexico to pay for it, he added, “When the wall arrives at the southern border, we shut the lights and pretend we’re not home. It’s C.O.D., Mexico has to sign for it.”
For his next “encyclical,” Stewart said. “I, Donald J. Lincoln Kennedy Trump III do pronounce America now finally has an official language.” No, it’s not English. “The new official language of the United States is bullshit.” As Trump, he declared that he has instructed his staff to “speak only in bullshit,” adding, “None of that, ‘Sure, I’ll speak bullshit at work, but at home I’ll use facts and real information.’ No. Bullshit all the time. Immersion—it’s the only way to be fluent.”
But if you thought the whole thing was just a silly bit and we would not be getting the classic Jon Stewart rant we deserve, you had to wait for the final executive order.
“I, Donald J. Trump, do declare by executive order that I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting,” Stewart read. “It has been 11 days, Stephen. Eleven fucking days. The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public!” The reason Trump was so “exhausting,” he continued, is that “every instinct and fiber of my pathological self-regard calls me to abuse of power.”
“I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting because it is going to take relentless stamina, vigilance, and every institutional check and balance this great country can muster to keep me, Donald J. Trump, from going full Palpatine, with the lightning coming out of the fingertips and the ‘fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.’ We have never faced this before—purposeful, vindictive chaos.”
Putting the executive order prop down, Stewart continued, “But perhaps therein lies the saving grace of I, Donald J. Trump’s presidency. No one action will be adequate. All action will be necessary. And if we do not allow Donald Trump to exhaust our fight and somehow come through this presidency calamity-less, and constitutionally partially intact, then I, Donald J. Trump, will have demonstrated the greatness of America, just not the way I thought I was gonna.”
With that, he hugged Colbert, tore off his tie and walked off stage.