Jon Stewart explains how he overlooked Trump's authoritarian threat
Jon Stewart (Photo: Comedy Central screen capture)

Jon Stewart admits he failed to recognize the authoritarian threat from Donald Trump.

The former "Daily Show" host considered the reality TV star and celebrity real estate developer was a "gift from heaven" to comedians, but Stewart told The Hollywood Reporter that he now understands a key element about authoritarianism that he didn't in 2015, when Trump first announced his candidacy.

"What I missed there is that his certainty, his ridiculousness, his shamelessness is what made him dangerous." Stewart said. "I thought it made him a buffoon, and I thought that's what would disqualify him. What it did is made him the perfect vessel. You have to be shameless to do shameful things."

Now that he's seen an American would-be dictator, Stewart has gained a new understanding of authoritarian rulers in other countries.

"I'm not saying he's the same as these figures, but the most dangerous figures are the ones that seem comic and absurd," Stewart said. "Saddam Hussein seems absurd. Muammar Gaddafi would stand in a kaftan and rant like a madman."