Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Ed Helms and Rob Corddry joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Tuesday night to reminisce about their time on The Daily Show.
Each of the personalities recalled their first memories of working on the Comedy Central program.
Colbert explained how he had to “flee the Klan one night” during his second field piece for the show and how a clever producer got him out of what could have been a difficult situation.
The Late Show host asked his former boss: “Jon, did you ever — did you ever feel bad about what you were sending us out to do?”
“No. I enjoyed it and would try and heighten it,” Stewart said.
As each shared their stories of how they cut their teeth, Colbert exclaimed: “This was what it was like to hang out backstage for years at the The Daily Show. It was the greatest experience.”
In one skit, the alumni pretended it was the summer of 2005 during the Bush administration as they were getting ready to create a show.
As each donned different getups to parody how they looked 12 years ago, they reflected on what, in hindsight, must have been a simpler time.
“I can't believe you're leaving right in the middle of the George W. Bush administration. There will never be another president this good for comedy,” Samantha Bee said. “I mean, this guy does something ridiculous, like, least once a month. I know there's one thing for sure — there is no scenario in which I would say God, I wish George W. Bush was president!”
The special show opened with Stewart and Colbert fighting for current Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s affection and attention.
Noah tweeted: “I had so much fun doing this bit with @StephenAtHome and Jon Stewart my mentors, icons and friends. Happy 20yrs Colbert!”
Colbert also tweeted backstage shots of the Noah skit.
Stewart, who also serves as an executive producer of The Late Show, also sat down with Colbert to discuss his retirement from hosting and how sometimes he misses it.
“There are nights where I find myself sort of impotently shouting into the abyss, which if you think about it, wasn’t that different from what I did on a nightly basis,” Stewart said.
He added that hosting The Daily Show helped him “make sense” of the news, but "the things that I’ve gained in terms of time spent with family and things like that, I wouldn’t give up.”