After more than a year, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has returned to Ed Sullivan Theatre. The show returned in a rather triumphant manner. During the opening speech by Colbert, he danced to the song Tequila, together with a chorus line that had dressed up as vaccine syringes. Soon after this ended, Colbert brought forward his first guest. It was John Stewart, his former boss from Daily Show. Stewart decided to talk about the lab leak theory regarding the origin of COVID-19.
The lab leak theory drew attention from the global masses ever since its inception. Initially, it was the right-wingers who had brought forth the idea. It seemed that they proposed the lab leak theory to defend Donald Trump regarding his inability to fight the pandemic. The lab leak theory advocates that the virus did not pass from animals to humans directly. Instead, it leaked out of a lab due to an accident.
The lab leak theory, however, did not come from any credible sources. It mainly was leaders like Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo who promoted it and the right-wing supporters. Either way, there is no solid evidence that the pandemic is a result of a lab accident. However, Stewart seemed to embrace the theory unless he was joking. Considering that Stewart is a comedian, together with his stand-up style appearance, this may be possible. It is not uncommon for comedians to mock something they dislike but putting up silly arguments in its favor.
Many of Stewart’s fans seemed to believe that he did not support the lab leak theory but was joking about it. However, it did appear as he may be in favor of the theory. His jokes seemed to be the kind of jokes where a comedian exaggeratedly mocks an idea, but does really dislike the idea.
Stewart comes up with a series of jokes regarding the location of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, taking into consideration that Wuhan is where the pandemic had started. He specifically mentioned that the pandemic was very likely a result of science. Colbert pushed back against Stewart’s opinions now and then. Stewarts jokes were subtle and not the kind of jokes that usually find their place in The Late Show. Later, Stewart also joked about scientific arrogance. All his jokes seemed to align with the opinion that he had shared earlier and did not contradict it in any way.