CHICAGO — "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart admitted Wednesday that he was wrong when he called Chicago-style deep dish pizza "an above ground marinara swimming pool for rats."
Stewart's comments last week sparked tongue-in-cheek outrage in Chicago, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel sending the Comedy Channel show a deep dish pizza with "dead fish" in the form of anchovies, a reference to when the mayor years ago sent a rival a dead fish in a mahogany box.
Before sampling a slice of deep dish on Wednesday's show in a segment labeled "Strife of Pie," Stewart launched one last zinger, saying "I may have implied that deep dish pizza tastes like a string cheese that's been baked for two hours inside Mike Ditka's ass."
Commenting on the reaction in Chicago to his earlier comments, Stewart joked "apparently Chicago has television" and showed a tweet from a deep dish fan telling him "f--- you" and wishing Stewart would die.
"Some people thought my contribution to the pizza dialog was not particularly well reasoned," Stewart said.
"I hope Chicagoans are not too upset," he said, adding that "in the spirit of healing" he would sample some deep dish presented to him by Marc Malnati of the Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza chain.
"It looks very good," Stewart said, but tried to reject Malnati's chinaware and knife and fork. "What am I, a f------ animal?"
The talk show host ended up declaring "it's very tasty."
"This is for Chicago. I have great friends there. It's a beautiful city. I apologize. Truce," said Stewart.
He then launched into the next phase of the pizza wars, saying at least Chicago pizza is "not California pizza."
"That is a pile of s---," Stewart said.