"Do you ever have one of those days where everything you ever loved as a child was under water?"
Or so wondered Jon Stewart, who returned to The Daily Show Wednesday after two nights of previously unscheduled repeats in the wake of Sandy, the post-tropical storm that ravaged the East Coast this week, killing at least 50 people, displacing thousands and causing billions of dollars in damage.
Stewart noted that power was still out in midtown Manhattan, "or, as we refer to it now, Little North Korea."
Among the bits that aired tonight, Stewart dispatched his satirical-news team to different spots around the city, with varying results: Al Madrigal ended up in the midst of a continuing blackout downtown, while John Oliver enjoyed an ice cream sundae uptown and toted a shopping bag from the American Girl store.
"There's two types of folks still down here in No Juice Town—people with machetes, and people without machetes," Madrigal explained when Stewart asked why he was toting, yes, a machete while on the job.
"It's a total hellscape up here," Oliver chimed in. "I don't want to cause a panic, but Serendipity has run out of mocha sprinkles! Which begs the question, where the f--k is FEMA when you need them?!"
Ah, socio-politcal commentary at its best.
Stewart also tipped his hat to all the emergency responders and everyone else who has put their safety on the line to provide aid to others, as well as to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who's drawn rave reviews both for his leadership in the storm's aftermath and his decidedly nonpartisan, Obama-appreciating behavior.
He has "kicked crazy ass," Stewart said of Christie, highlighting how antagonistic the governor was toward the president only weeks ago, but how complimentary he's been of him in the last few days.
Samantha Bee also did a little sign language behind him, in the vaunted tradition of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's much-talked-about interpreter for the deaf, Lydia Callis.
The Colbert Report also returned to Comedy Central after two nights off (both shows had audiences, BTW) and Stephen Colbert was in top form, telling viewers he hoped they had engaged in his three steps to storm preparation: duct tape the windows, fill the bath tub with fresh water and build an ark.
"Of course, with all this heartbreaking devastation," Colbert said, "there's really only one question on everyone's mind." Cue the newscast clips: "How will this affect election day?"
"This hurricane has got election all over it!" Colbert exclaimed. "Out of sensitivity, less than one week from election day, Mitt Romney has been forced to suspend his campaign. That's why he scrapped his victory rally in Kettering, Ohio, and appeared at a completely different—the same spot with the same people—and called it a 'storm relief rally.' Which is so comforting for all those living on Ohio's hard-hit Atlantic coast."
Welcome back, guys, good to have you back.
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