Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. did surprise standup sets at New York’s Comedy Cellar

When a Daily Show audience member asked Jon Stewart before a taping how he would spend his time after he leaves the show next week, Stewart said he wouldn’t rule out returning to standup comedy. He recently returned to that art form much sooner than many expected.

Rory Albanese, a former Daily Show executive producer, Instagramed a photo Wednesday night of Stewart performing a surprise set at the famed Comedy Cellar. “I took this guy to the Comedy Cellar tonight and he couldn’t resist the mic,” Albanese wrote.

I took this guy to the @nyccomedycellar tonight and he couldn’t resist the mic. The Cellar is where it all began for Jon. This was an awesome moment. #BackToTheBasics #Comedy #NYC #JonnyStew

A photo posted by Rory Albanese (@roryalbanese) on

Stewart wasn’t the only surprise guest. He followed Louis C.K., who was also unbilled. Sean McCarthy of the Comic’s Comic photographed Stewart and C.K. chatting beforehand at the “the comedians’ table” in the Olive Tree Cafe, situated above the comedy club.

Oh, what a night.

A photo posted by Sean L. McCarthy (@thecomicscomic) on

Here’s more from the Comic’s Comic:

Louis C.K. arrived to work on new jokes, and when Stewart joined other comedians downstairs to watch (including later drop-in comedian Mike Epps!), Stewart passed by his old headshot on the staircase wall and pointed out how he young he’d been then.

He seemed even more excited watching the crowd watch CK than you may be about reading this. Would Stewart like to go up next? Yes, it turned out. Very much so. Even if he just talked for 10 minutes, the prospect looked too juicy to pass up. Even if he was following CK. Perhaps because he was following CK. …

“It’s been 20 years!” Stewart exclaimed. Well, maybe not that long. Club owner Noam Dworman told The Comic’s Comic he remembers seeing Stewart drop in closer to a decade ago when he needed to test out bits before a big charity function. Nevertheless. It had been ages.

Earlier in the week, Comedy Central released a video of Stewart taking questions from the Daily Show audience. Fast forward to the 2:05 mark to hear his remarks on his past and future standup career.

Photo via Rory Albanese/Instagram

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.