Jon Stewart returned to US satirical talk show The Daily Show last night (December 7) to ask for support from viewers for “this issue I care very deeply about.”
Stewart stepped down from his role as presenter of The Daily Show in August after fronting Comedy Central’s satirical news programme since 1998. He was replaced by comedian Trevor Noah.
Arriving on the show to rapturous applause, Stewart explained that he wanted to raise awareness and gain more support for the first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, many of whom continue to be treated for illnesses suffered as a result of the attack.
As reported by Billboard, Noah welcomed Stewart back to the show. “I can’t believe it! This is awesome,” he said. “Oh, wait, wait, wait, shit. Are you here to take the show back?”
“A thousand times no,” Stewart replied. “I have this issue I care about very deeply and I was wondering, I want to get attention paid to it but I was realising I don’t have a show, and nobody gives a shit anymore. So I thought, you have a show, and maybe I could come and…”
Stewart went on to explain that the 2010 James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act had expired, meaning that many of the first responders to the 9/11 attacks were now unable to pay for treatment needed for illness suffered as a result of the attacks.
“It expired in September. Soon to be out of money, these first responders, many sick with cancers and pulmonary disease, had to travel at their expense to Washington, D.C., hundreds of times to plead for our government to do the right thing. Plead,” Stewart said.
“The only conclusion I can draw is that the people of Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders,” he added.
The Daily Show Twitter account later tweeted a link to a petition to support the cause. See the tweet below.
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) December 8, 2015