I don’t know why this made me so damn happy to see this, but Jon Stewart is now playing drums in a band.

I think it’s because I feel such a genuine warmth from the guy. Between his passionate, tireless work on behalf of sick 9/11 first responders, his animal sanctuary with his wife and his from-the-heart tribute recently to his dog that died, he strikes me as a true human in a sea of Hollywood phonies.

And so it seems he deserves this thing he does, where he moves on to new adventures and endeavors and truly tries to enjoy his life but always in a way that seems humble.

Plenty of celebrities might become part of a band but only if they had a huge deal to debut by opening for U-2 or Kanye or some ridiculously over the top scenario.

Not Jon.

Church and State is a newly formed New Jersey rock group with fellow musicians Rick Barry, Andy Bova and Jim Bova and they played for the very first time in public this weekend at Asbury Park Brewery. The Saturday afternoon performance was part of the statewide North to Shore festival.

“You are witnessing a premiere performance,” Jon Stewart told the crowd from behind the drums. Probably not even capable of not being funny, he added, “We have never played in public ... we are delighted to be here and please lower your expectations.”

Now this was not an announced performance. There were no press releases. As far as I know Jon didn’t even do the teenage band member thing of putting flyers on windshields (although a down to earth guy like him wouldn’t be above it.) Yet news still got out and there were plenty of people who caught word of mouth this might be happening and the place was packed. People were jammed in, standing on tables and chairs to watch.

There were even people outside on Cookman Avenue up against the windows looking in.

How new is this band? Jon Stewart between songs joked that hadn’t even named their songs yet, saying, “This next song is called 'Five.' We wrote it two songs before 'Seven.' We haven't gotten around to naming these yet but we are going to name then. This song is called 'Five' and it is two better than the song you just heard.”

The crowd was receptive, and it seems like they already won a small fan base.

Jon Stewart is no stranger to a local music scene having worked in his youth before his fame as a bartender at Trenton’s old City Gardens club. The bands Green Day, The Ramones, Jane’s Addiction, Violent Femmes, Blue Oyster Cult, Social Distortion and many others played there.

With Jon Stewart's often political comedy what a perfectly named band, Church and State. Catch them if you get a chance.

PICTURES: See Inside Jon Bon Jovi's Staggering $22 Million Manhattan Condo

Classic rocker and sometimes country singer Jon Bon Jovi has sold his spectacular Manhattan condominium for $22 million, and pictures show an ultra-luxurious property in one of the most exclusive areas in New York City.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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