When Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by “The Daily Show” on Monday night to plug his new book, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” Jon Stewart began by immediately addressing the “elephant in the room.”
“What were you thinking with ‘Jingle All the Way’?” he asked, facetiously.
Of course, without actually having to utter the words “affair” or “love child,” Stewart was actually asking Schwarzenegger about his relationship with housekeeper Mildred Baena, which came to light last year shortly after his term as governor ended.
“Why write the book now? Stewart wondered. “Why not wait until things cool off?”
Schwarzenegger might have answered, “Because I got a book deal,” but instead he made writing the memoir sound like an act of contrition. “I never was the kind of person that runs away from the problem, I run towards it,” he said.
The Governator argued that “to me it’s much better just to talk about it,” though he neglected to mention if there’s a statute of limitations on coming clean. (Schwarzenegger’s affair with Baena took place in 1996.)
He also admitted that the situation -- and no doubt his current publicity blitz, which kicked off Sunday on “60 Minutes” -- has been hard on his estranged wife, Maria Shriver, their children, and many of their friends.
Even Stewart found it difficult. “This is very tough on me right now. I'm uncomfortable,” he joked. “I don't want to know about any of this stuff.”
He then proposed a solution inspired by one of Schwarzenegger’s most famous roles: “Couldn't you just go to the future and then come back and kill that Arnold?”
Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses affair
Schwarzenegger: 'I inflicted tremendous pain'
Jimmy Fallon performs as Neil Young on 'Late Night'
Timeline: Emmy winners through the years
VIDEO: Watch the latest fall TV trailers here