The Daily Show‘s former host will take part in the Facts of Life half of the upcoming special, which also will reenact an episode of Diff’rent Strokes. But what role will he play? That’s the big question; right now, ABC is only saying that Stewart will appear in a “surprise” role during the broadcast, which is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 8/7c.
The rest of the Peekskill crew will include Jennifer Aniston (Friends) as Blair, Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision) as Jo, Allison Tolman (Fargo) as Natalie, Gabrielle Union (L.A.’s Finest) as Tootie and Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mrs. Garrett.
Meanwhile, the Diff’rent Strokes cast will include John Lithgow (3rd Rock From the Sun) as Mr. Drummond, Kevin Hart (True Story) as Arnold, Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) as Willis and Dowd, who’ll play Mrs. Garrett in both parts of the special.
The network isn’t saying which Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes episodes will be reenacted during the event, so it’s not immediately clear whom Stewart might play. But that won’t stop us from guessing! We’re thinking that the Facts of Life episode will be from the show’s early run (when the girls were at Eastland and Mrs. Garrett was their house mother) versus from a later season (when the girls were grown-up and worked at Edna’s Edibles with Mrs. Garrett); if that’s true, then it will preclude Stewart from playing handyman George Burnett, a part originated by George Clooney in Season 7. Perhaps Stewart will take on the role of Eastland School headmaster Steven Bradley, which was played in Facts of Life Season 1 by John Lawlor? Or Charles Parker, who later replaced Bradley as headmaster and who was played by Roger Perry?
Stewart left The Daily Show in 2015. He currently hosts The Problem With Jon Stewart on Apple TV+.
What are your thoughts regarding Stewart’s Live in Front of a Studio Audience part? Hit the comments with your best guess!