BYBy Emily Yahr
July 14

On Thursday, Jon Stewart made a surprise return to late-night TV — but it wasn’t what you would expect from the former “Daily Show” host. Here’s why:

1) He didn’t stop by Stephen Colbert’s show.

Instead of visiting his best pal at “The Late Show” (as he is occasionally known to do), Stewart stopped by ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Why did he choose Kimmel over Colbert? Is there some sort of feud?!

While that would be juicy, it’s probably due to the fact that Stewart was already in Los Angeles to present an award at the ESPYs on Wednesday, so figured he may as well make the late-night TV rounds. As an East Coaster, Stewart can stop by “The Late Show” New York studio any day, to the point where it seems like he lives under Colbert’s desk.

2) His cameo had nothing to do with politics.

Though it’s Stewart’s favorite subject, politics didn’t come up at all. Stewart crashed a video interview that Kimmel was conducting with Will Rubin, a teen from Pennsylvania who recently had a “Jimmy Kimmel Live”-themed bar mitzvah. Stewart decided he had a few things to say to Will.

“I’m Jon Stewart. I’m a talk show host as well — I was, a few years ago,” he said as the audience cheered wildly. “And I’m a Jew. You probably had your choice of idolizing any talk show host. You could have gone with a Jew, is what I’m saying.”

Stewart reminded Will that Kimmel is not Jewish. “Don’t be fooled by his learned-looking beard and his puffy, sad eyes,” Stewart cautioned. “He’s not rabbinical. He’s just unhealthy.” (Kimmel really cracked up at that one.)

3) It didn’t appear to promote anything.

Was it really just a visit for fun? Sure, Stewart was just at the ESPYs, owned by Disney along with ABC (synergy!), though it’s unusual for any celebrity to show up on a talk show without promoting anything at all. Given that Stewart visits Colbert just to hang out sometimes, maybe he really is just a bit bored in the post-late-night world.

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