The former ‘Daily Show’ host and Garden State native attempted to settle an ongoing debate over the existence of a central cultural region.
Jon Stewart returned to The Late Show on Thursday night to add his voice to the ongoing hyper-regional, Garden State-specific argument over the existence of a so-called “Central Jersey.”
The debate began when new New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said in a speech, “We are one New Jersey, North, Central and South,” sparking stories and numerous social media posts about whether a “Central” New Jersey existed. (Traditionally, most have divided the state culturally between North and South.)
After Colbert spoke with Murphy himself, who called Central Jersey “a little bit of a mystical journey, a Camelot,” the host said in voiceover that the governor had been so wishy-washy on the topic that he had to go over his head to “the chief justice of the Garden State himself” — who happened to be New Jersey-bred Stewart. The former Daily Show host then appeared in judge’s robes in what appeared to be a diner (or, more likely, a green screen with a diner backdrop).
“I’m ready to render my judgement in the case of douchebag versus some hunk who cut me off,” he said as an introduction. “Here ye, here ye, I Jon Stewart, the chief supreme justice of New Jersey, hereby declareth by the power vested in me from whatever it is in the air around Elizabeth declareth that Central Jersey does exist, I grew up there.”
Stewart himself grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, which is indeed close to the center of the state.
Stewart then bit into a sub (or, what those in South Jersey would call a hoagie). “By the way, another pronouncement, Philadelphia does not exist, it’s actually a suburb of northwest f—hole, also known as Delaware,” Stewart said. He then aggressively approached the camera: “Oh, you wanna beef, what are you, an Eagles fan?” he asked.
Stewart and Colbert both had late-night shows on Comedy Central until Stewart stepped down in 2015. Stewart has appeared a few times on The Late Show, most recently in a segment in which he camped out under Colbert’s desk.