JTA — Jon Stewart has kept a relatively low profile since he left “The Daily Show” three years ago. But on Monday, he swapped places with his protégé, Stephen Colbert, to host a segment of “The Late Show” on CBS.
His guest, naturally, was Colbert. And one of the topics they discussed was the Hebrew Bible. Specifically, their favorite characters.
Colbert is a practicing Catholic and, according to Stewart, a “noted substitute Sunday school teacher.” Stewart, as he would frequently remind viewers, is Jewish.
Both of them chose biblical characters seen by many as underdogs. At first, Colbert picked Aaron, Moses’ brother and the Israelites’ high priest, “because Aaron did so much and gets no credit. Moses gets all the ink, but Aaron actually led everybody ’cause Moses had the stutter.”
But Stewart chose Isaac, the middle of the three biblical patriarchs, because of what he went through when his father Abraham almost sacrificed him.
“Now Isaac has to deal with the ramifications,” says Stewart, “which is really the foundation of Judaism: being rejected by your father.”
Then Colbert switched his answer to Job, the accursed believer, and went on to quote a lengthy section of a poem about Job by Archibald MacLeish, a mid-20th century American poet.
“Here’s what I want to let you know: This is what it’s like to hang out with this guy,” Stewart told the audience.