Obama made his seventh appearance on the programme two weeks before Stewart’s departure, and appeared to find saying goodbye to the seasoned host hard to swallow.
“I can’t believe you’re leaving before me,” said Obama. “I’m going to issue an executive order: Jon Stewart cannot leave the show. It’s being challenged in the courts.”
The pair spent 20 minutes moving from quips and friendly digs to tough questions on policy and legacy, 18 months before the President hands over his keys to the White House.
Obama appeared assured as he reflected on the impact of his two terms, telling Stewart: "The one thing I know, as I enter into the last year of my presidency, is that the country is full of good people, and there is a sense of common purpose at the neighbourhood level, and the school and at the workplace.
"That dissipates the further up it goes because all the money and because of all the filters and all the polarizing that takes place in terms of how our politics take shape. But the only way to prevent that is by people getting involved."
Fortunately for Obama, Stewart did not subject him to the dressing-down he received five years ago in an interview that saw the President admit his slogan should have been "yes we can - but". This time, Obama's relaxed demeanour was noted by Stewart, who started to ask, “do you feel like, seven years in," before Obama offered: "Like I know what I'm doing?"Reuse content