Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart mutes the comedy after the Eric Garner verdict: 'I honestly don't know what to say'

"I don't know," a stunned Jon Stewart said on Wednesday night's Daily Show, taped right after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a New York City police officer for killing Eric Garner by applying a banned chokehold. "I honestly don't know what to say. If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more f--king time — but I would really settle for less f--king tragedy."

Unlike the de facto acquittal in Ferguson, Missouri, Stewart said, there was no ambiguity in the Garner case: The coroner ruled his death a homicide, and since somebody videotaped the encounter, it's clear Garner wasn't acting threatening toward the cops who killed him. "Damn," he said. "We are definitely not living in a post-racial society, and I can imagine there are a lot of people out there wondering how much of a society we're living in at all." After letting off a cathartic scream, Stewart found enough humor to mock President Obama's newly confirmed ambassadors to Argentina and Hungary. But for a rare, fairly raw glimpse of Stewart dealing with breaking bad news, watch below. --Peter Weber