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Late Night: Jon Stewart vows to stop making 'Santorum' jokes

On Tuesday night, Rick Santorum scored a surprising almost-win in the Iowa caucuses, losing to Mitt Romney by a mere 8 votes. For a candidate largely ignored by the media until last week, the second-place finish was in itself a kind of victory.

In the past, Jon Stewart has had quite a few laughs over Santorum's long-standing "Google problem" -- a search for his last name brings up a newly coined and graphically sexual definition of "santorum." But on Wednesday the comic anchor had some (relatively) nice things to say about the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. 

Playing a clip of Santorum's not-quite-concession speech, in which the candidate reminisced about his coal miner father, Stewart noted that "Rick Santorum is the actual guy Romney's pretending to be."

In contrast, Stewart said, Romney's post-caucus speech felt canned and inauthentic. "Even in victory, his self-described committed conservative, ordinary guy persona feels like it came from a committed conservative, ordinary guy kit that he got from Hammacher Schlemmer for $14 million," Stewart joked.

Santorum's near victory prompted a pledge from Stewart: "In honor of a well-fought, grass-roots Iowa caucus, I am now going to shred the hours and hours of quality, Emmy-eligible ... jokes we had prepared for him." 

He promised that "The Daily Show" would never, ever make another off-color Santorum joke, "no matter how tempting it may be to use some of them." Instead, Stewart vowed "to only ridicule Rick Santorum for his absolutely absurd and sometimes vile political and social beliefs."

Stewart's colleague Stephen Colbert struck a similar note. After ripping Romney for using the same "rousing, impromptu speech" at least four times in the past week, Colbert claimed that Santorum's near-victory proves "one man with a vision, a willingness to work hard and a laser-like homophobia can still make a mark." 

Perhaps the biggest victory of all? When Colbert Googled the word "Santorum," the first result that came up was Rick Santorum. 

 

 

RELATED: 

Late Night: Jon Hunstman rocks out on Letterman

Candidates say no to Sunday talk shows, yes to late night

Late Night: Stephen Colbert predicts winner of Iowa caucus

— Meredith Blake 
Twitter.com/MeredithBlake

 
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