Jon Stewart made a surprise appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Monday to respond to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that the comedian is simply “bent out of shape” in his push for renewal of the 9/11 victims fund.
The former late-night funnyman and fierce advocate for 9/11 first responders emerged from below Colbert’s desk after his former colleague rolled the clip of McConnell’s comments from a Fox News interview earlier that day.
McConnell assured that Congress would take care of the first responders, but Stewart didn’t seem to care much for some of the Republican leader’s additional commentary on the issue.
“I’m not bent out of shape,” Stewart said. “I’m fine. I’m bent out of shape for them.”
“These are the first heroes, and veterans, and victims of the great trillions of dollars War on Terror. And they’re currently still suffering and dying and in terrible need. You know, you would think that that would be enough to get Congress’ attention, but apparently, it’s not.”
Watch the video below, via CBS:
Stewart appeared before a House subcommittee last week to push for renewal of the fund but scolded members who were not in attendance in a moment that went viral.
“It’s an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution, and you should be ashamed of yourselves,” he said at the time.
Responding to McConnell’s claim that members are simply busy and Stewart was looking for a reason to be offended, the comedian sarcastically said that now he felt “stupid.”
“This is a huge misunderstanding,” he joked. “I didn’t know that they were busy.”
“I didn’t mean to interrupt them with their jobs.”
Stewart questioned why McConnell would make the “we’ll get to it when we get to it argument for the heroes of 9/11,” and compared the top Senate Republican to a turtle moving slowly.
But Stewart set aside the jokes for a moment and offered one more impassioned plea for help:
“So if you want to know why the 9/11 community is ‘bent out of shape’ over these past, let’s call it 18 years, meet with them, tomorrow, as soon as possible, and don’t make them beg for it. You could pass this thing as a standalone bill tomorrow. Meet with them, I beg of you.”
“If you’re busy, I get it,” Stewart added in one final jab at McConnell. “Just understand the next time we have a war, or you’re being robbed, or your house is on fire, and you make that desperate call for help, don’t get ‘bent out of shape’ if they show up at the last minute with fewer people than you thought were going to pay attention and don’t actually put it out.”
“Just sort of leave it there smoldering for another five years,” he joked, “cause that’s how shit gets done around here.”