Jon Stewart is having the last laugh over Rick Sanchez's bizarre meltdown.
On Saturday night, Stewart took a few shots at Sanchez, who lost his CNN show Friday after calling Stewart a "bigot" in a satellite radio interview the day before. Sanchez also suggested that Jews run CNN, and the media industry, and claimed Jews don't face discrimination. Sanchez, a Cuban-American, said Stewart mocks him because he's anti-Hispanic (as opposed to poking fun at the the former host's on-air stunts and statements).
Stewart, appearing at Comedy Central's "Night Of Too Many Stars," mentioned the Sanchez incident when talking about raising money for autism education—the charity involved with the event. "If you went on radio and said the Jews control the media," Stewart said, "you may want to hold on to your money."
He added later that if Sanchez's views about Jews are correct, then "all he has to do is apologize to us, and we'll hire him back."
The Hollywood Reporter caught Stewart's comments at the Manhattan event, which will be broadcast Oct. 21 on Comedy Central.
CBS's David Letterman, also on hand Saturday night, said he was in the city "helping Rick Sanchez clean out his office." The Hollywood Reporter noted that NBC's Tom Brokaw also "took a jab" at Sanchez during the event.
Around 6 p.m. Friday night, CNN responded with a terse statement to questions about Sanchez's future that had been swirling all day in media circles. "Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company," the CNN statement read. "We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well."
Sanchez joined the CNN in 2004 from a Miami station. He previously worked at both MSNBC and CNBC.
The firing of Sanchez is the first major move of the network's new management. Jon Klein, who recently lost his job as CNN president, was an advocate of Sanchez's. Klein even defended Sanchez against criticism from CNN's Washington staffers who were not fans of his Twitter-focused afternoon show, "Rick's List." Ken Jautz, previously head of sister-network HLN, took the reins of CNN on Sept. 24 and presumably was involved with the firing.
A Comedy Central spokesman declined to comment Friday about Sanchez's comments, which isn't too surprising. Stewart, when he chooses to respond to criticism, will typically do so on "The Daily Show."
(Photo of Stewart interviewing Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sept. 22: AP/Peter Kramer)