Mullen v. Stewart, round three


Adm. Mike Mullen weathered comedian Jon Stewart's jokes well in a Sept. 12 interview. // DoD photo

As he prepares to step down from the military’s top post in two weeks, Adm. Mike Mullen braved the bright lights and barbs of The Daily Show on Monday one last time.

Mullen, while discussing his career, braced himself for the comedic trap, which host Jon Stewart laid about a  trip they had taken together to Afghanistan in July to visit the troops. Mullen — a veteran of three wars, not to mention countless comedy show appearances — proved his mettle.

“I was surprised that when we landed at Kandahar, that you forced them to carry you around on a litter. I thought that was interesting,” Stewart said pausing, seeing if Mullen would take the bait. He smirked instead. Stewart continued: “I don’t know where they got rose petals. Certainly it’s a dry and arid place. But I’m glad you were comfortable.”

“That usually only happens once a trip,” Mullen replied to laughs.

What’s next for Mullen?

“My plan is to take a long winter’s nap,” he told Stewart.

The appearance seemed to stay on track more than Mullen’s June interview on The Late Show with David Letterman, when he answered so many questions about mistakes early in his career that he asked Letterman, “Where is this going, Dave?”

Mullen wore service dress khaki, the first time he’s worn it in his three appearances on The Daily Show. Appreciating Mullen’s sartorial sense, Stewart told him, at the end of the interview, that he hoped “that I get to try on that jacket at some point.”

“This is not a sergeant’s jacket,” Mullen replied.


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