It was a side of Jon Stewart that we've rarely seen in his over 15 years of hosting "The Daily Show." The 52-year-old opened his episode last night and quickly apologized to the in-studio audience.
"I didn’t do my job today, so I apologize," he said, turning serious. "I got nothing for you, in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina."
Stewart was referencing the mass shooting in a South Carolina church that left nine people dead. The shooter, a 21-year-old white man named Dylann Roof, was later arrested and confessed to police that he had committed the horrible crime because of his strong anti-black views.
"I honestly have nothing other than just sadness once again that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist," said Stewart. "And I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack s—. Yeah. That’s us."
Stewart added that the media's confusion over how to label such an act of terror makes clear that we continue to fail to recognize the major racial issues still fracturing the country.
"I heard someone on the news say 'Tragedy has visited this church.' This wasn’t a tornado," he said. "This was a racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater. You know, so the idea that — you know, I hate to even use this pun, but this one is black and white. There’s no nuance here."
It's a powerful five minutes of television and another reminder of how much we'll miss Stewart's insights on world events after his retirement on Aug. 6. Check out the video below.