The Daily Show
is an American late-night talk
and news satire
television program. It airs each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central
. Describing itself as a fake news program, The Daily Show
draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations, and often uses self-referential humor
The half-hour-long show premiered on July 22, 1996, and was first hosted by Craig Kilborn
until December 17, 1998. Jon Stewart
then took over as the host from January 11, 1999, until August 6, 2015, making the show more strongly focused on political satire
and news satire
, in contrast with the pop culture focus during Kilborn's tenure. Stewart was succeeded by Trevor Noah
, whose tenure premiered on September 28, 2015. Under the different hosts, the show has been formally known as The Daily Show with Craig Kilborn
from 1996 to 1998, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
from 1999 until 2015, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
since 2015. The Daily Show
is the longest-running program on Comedy Central (counting all three tenures), and has won 24 Primetime Emmy Awards
The program is popular among young audiences. The Pew Research Center
suggested in 2010 that 74% of regular viewers were between 18 and 49, and that 10% of the audience watched the show for its news headlines, 2% for in-depth reporting, and 43% for entertainment; compared with respectively 64%, 10% and 4% who said the same of CNN
Critics chastised Stewart for not conducting sufficiently hard-hitting interviews with his political guests, some of whom he may have lampooned in previous segments. Stewart and other Daily Show
writers responded to such criticism by saying that they do not have any journalistic responsibility and that as comedians their only duty is to provide entertainment. Stewart's appearance on the CNN show Crossfire
picked up this debate, where he chastised the CNN production and hosts for not conducting informative and current interviews on a news network.
Each episode begins with announcer Drew Birns announcing the date and the introduction, "From Comedy Central's World News Headquarters in New York, this is The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
Previously, the introduction was "This is The Daily Show
, the most important television program, ever." The host then opens the show with a monologue drawing from current news stories and issues. Previously, the show had divided its news commentary into sections known as "Headlines", "Other News", and "This Just In"; these titles were dropped from regular use on October 28, 2002, and were last used on March 6, 2003. Some episodes will begin with a 1–3 minute intro on a small story (or small set of stories) before fully transitioning into the main story of the night.
The monologue segment is often followed by a segment featuring an exchange with a correspondent, either at the anchor desk with the host or reporting from a false location in front of a greenscreen
showing stock footage. They typically present absurd or humorously exaggerated takes on current events against the host's straight man
. Some correspondent segments involve the show's members travelling to different locations to file comedic reports on current news stories and conduct interviews with people related to the featured issue.
Correspondents are typically introduced as the show's "senior" specialist in the story's subject, and can range from relatively general (such as Senior Political Analyst) to absurdly specific (such as Senior Religious Registry Correspondent). The cast of correspondents is quite diverse, and many often sarcastically portray extreme stereotypes
of themselves to poke fun at a news story, such as "Senior Latino Correspondent", "Senior Youth Correspondent" or "Senior Black Correspondent".
While correspondents stated to be reporting abroad are usually performing in-studio in front of a greenscreen background, on rare occasions, cast members have recorded pieces on location. For instance, during the week of August 20, 2007, the show aired a series of segments called "Operation Silent Thunder: The Daily Show in Iraq" in which correspondent Rob Riggle
reported from Iraq.
In August 2008, Riggle traveled to China for a series of segments titled "Rob Riggle: Chasing the Dragon
", which focused on the 2008 Beijing Olympics
traveled to Iran in early June 2009 to report on the Iranian elections, and John Oliver
traveled to South Africa for the series of segments "Into Africa" to report on the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In March 2012, Oliver traveled to Gabon, on the west African coast, to report on the Gabonese government's decision to donate $2 million to UNESCO
after the United States cut its funding for UNESCO earlier that year. On July 19, 2016, Roy Wood Jr.
reported live from the Republican National Convention
and talked about Donald Trump
's African-American support.
Topics have varied widely; during the early years of the show they tended toward character-driven human interest stories such as Bigfoot
enthusiasts. Since Stewart began hosting in 1999, the focus of the show has become more political and the field pieces have come to more closely reflect current issues and debates.
Under Kilborn and the early years of Stewart, most interviewees were either unaware or not entirely aware of the comedic nature of The Daily Show. However, as the show began to gain popularity—particularly following its coverage of the 2000
presidential elections—most of the subjects now interviewed are aware of the comedic element.
have recurred periodically throughout different tenures, such as "Back in Black" (segments hosted by comedian Lewis Black
) & "Your Moment of Zen". Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq
, a common segment of the show has been dubbed "Mess O' Potamia
", focusing on the United States' policies in the Middle East, especially Iraq.
Elections in the United States were a prominent focus in the show's "Indecision" coverage throughout Stewart & Noah's time as host (the title "InDecision" is a parody of NBC News
' "Decision" segment). Since 2000, under Stewart's tenure, the show went on the road to record week-long specials from the cities hosting the Democratic
and Republican National Convention
For the 2006 U.S. midterm elections
, a week of episodes was recorded in the contested state of Ohio
The "Indecision" & "Democalypse" coverage of the 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 elections all culminated in live Election Night
In the show's third act, the host conducts an interview with a celebrity guest. Guests come from a wide range of cultural sources, and include actors, musicians, authors, athletes, pundits, policy experts and political figures.
During Stewart's tenure, the show's guests tended away from celebrities and more towards non-fiction authors and political pundits, as well as many prominent elected officials.
In the show's earlier years it struggled to book high-profile politicians. (In 1999, for an Indecision 2000
segment, Steve Carell
struggled to talk his way off Republican candidate John McCain
's press overflow bus and onto the Straight Talk Express
However its rise in popularity, particularly following the show's coverage of the 2000 and 2004 elections, made Stewart according to a Rolling Stone
(2006) article, "the hot destination for anyone who wants to sell books or seem hip, from presidential candidates to military dictators". Newsweek
labeled it "the coolest pit stop on television".
The show has played host to former and current members of the Administration and Cabinet as well as members of Congress. Numerous presidential candidates have appeared on the show during their campaigns, including John McCain
, John Kerry
, Barack Obama
and Hillary Clinton
In a closing segment, there is a brief segue to the closing credits in the form of the host introducing "Your Moment of Zen
", a humorous piece of video footage without commentary that has been part of the show's wrap-up since the series began in 1996.
The segment often relates to a story covered earlier in the episode, but occasionally is merely a humorous or ridiculous clip. Occasionally, the segment is used as a tribute to someone who has died.
Sometimes, before the "Your Moment of Zen", this segment is used for quick promotions. The host might promote the show that follows right after their broadcast, such as promoting the show @midnight
. This time has also been used to promote films, books or stand-up specials that are affiliated with the host.
In October 2005, following The Colbert Report's
premiere, a new feature (sometimes referred to as the toss) was added to the closing segment in which Stewart would have a short exchange with "our good friend, Stephen Colbert
at The Colbert Report
", which aired immediately after. The two would have a scripted comedic exchange via split-screen from their respective sets. In 2007, the "toss" was cut back to twice per week, and by 2009 was once a week before gradually being phased out. It was used on the 2014 mid-term election night and again just before the final episode
of The Colbert Report
on December 18, 2014, and returned upon the premiere of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
. Stewart then regularly tossed to Wilmore at the end of his Monday night episodes. Under Noah, the "toss" has been used for The Opposition with Jordan Klepper
and Lights Out with David Spade
Outside of the Daily Show studio, pictured in 2007, during Stewart's tenure
The host sits at his desk on the elevated island stage
in the style of a traditional news show. The show relocated from its original New York studio in late-1998 to NEP
Studio 54 in New York City's Hell's Kitchen
neighborhood, where it remained until 2005, when the studio was claimed by The Colbert Report
On July 11, 2005, the show premiered in its new studio, NEP Studio 52, at 733 11th Avenue, a few blocks west of its former location.
The set of the new studio was given a sleeker, more formal look, including a backdrop of three large projection screens. The traditional guests' couch, which had been a part of the set since the show's premiere, was done away with in favor of simple upright chairs. The change was initially not well-received, spawning a backlash among some fans and prompting a "Bring Back the Couch" campaign. The campaign was mentioned on subsequent shows by Stewart and supported by Daily Show
contributor Bob Wiltfong
The couch was eventually featured in a sweepstakes in which the winner received the couch, round-trip tickets to New York, tickets to the show, and a small sum of money.
The sign over the entryway of the current Daily Show studio
On April 9, 2007, the show debuted a new set. The projection screens were revamped (with one large screen behind Stewart, while the smaller one behind the interview subject remained the same), a large, global map directly behind Stewart, a more open studio floor, and a J-shaped desk supported at one end by a globe. The intro was also updated; the graphics, display names, dates, and logos were all changed.
Outside of the Daily Show studio, pictured in 2019, during Noah's tenure
On September 28, 2015, the show debuted a new set alongside the debut of Trevor Noah
's tenure. According to Larry Hartman, Noah took a lot of inspiration from Stewart's set.
A second on-stage 'jumbo-tron' was added and the colours of the set were made lighter. The graphics, intro, theme music, lower thirds, logo, etc. were also all revamped.
On July 19, 2016, the set and graphics were given another change to reflect Democalypse 2016 and denote The Daily Show'
coverage (which was taped in the conventions' respective cities).
The new temporary sets had a Washington
theme, and was meant to show that Washington is "a little broke" and needs "repair".
Though the studio was reverted to its former self after the election week in 2016, the changes to the graphics were kept.
Since March 2020, due to the pandemic, the studio has been closed and the show has been filmed from Noah's apartment.
The show's writers begin each day with a morning meeting where they review material that researchers have gathered from major newspapers, the Associated Press
, cable news
television channels and websites, and discuss headline material for the lead news segment. Throughout the morning they work on writing deadline pieces inspired by recent news, as well as longer-term projects. By lunchtime, Noah — who describes his role as that of the captain of a team
— has begun to review headline jokes. The script is submitted by 3 pm, and at 4:15 there is a rehearsal. An hour is left for rewrites before a 6 pm taping in front of a live studio audience.
The Daily Show
typically tapes four new episodes a week, Monday through Thursday, forty-two weeks a year.
The show is broadcast at 11 PM Eastern
/10 PM Central
, a time when local television stations show their news reports and about half an hour before most other late-night comedy programs begin to go on the air. The program is rerun several times the next day, including a 7:30 PM Eastern/6:30 PM Central prime time broadcast.
Craig Kilborn's tenure (1996–98)
included "This Day in Hasselhoff
History" and "Last Weekend's Top-Grossing Films, Converted into Lira
", in parody of entertainment news shows and their tendency to lead out to commercials with trivia such as celebrity birthdays.
Another commercial lead-out featured Winstead's parents, on her answering machine, reading that day's "Final Jeopardy!
" question and answer.
In each show, Kilborn would conduct celebrity interviews, ending with a segment called "Five Questions" in which the guest was made to answer a series of questions that were typically a combination of obscure fact and subjective opinion.
These are highlighted in a 1998 book titled The Daily Show: Five Questions
, which contains transcripts of Kilborn's best interviews.
Each episode concluded with a segment called "Your Moment of Zen" that showed random video clips of humorous and sometimes morbid interest such as visitors at a Chinese zoo feeding baby chickens to the alligators.
Originally the show was recorded without a studio audience, featuring only the laughter of its own off-camera staff members. A studio audience was incorporated into the show for its second season, and has remained since.
Differences between Kilborn's version and Stewart's version
The show was much less politically focused than it later became under Jon Stewart, having what Stephen Colbert described as a local news feel and involving more character-driven humor as opposed to news-driven humor.
Winstead recalls that when the show was first launched there was constant debate regarding what the show's focus should be. While she wanted a more news-driven focus, the network was concerned that this would not appeal to viewers and pushed for "a little more of a hybrid of entertainment and politics".
The show was slammed by some reviewers as being too mean-spirited, particularly towards the interview subjects of field pieces; a criticism acknowledged by some of the show's cast.[by whom?]
Describing his time as a correspondent under Kilborn, Colbert says, "You wanted to take your soul off, put it on a wire hanger, and leave it in the closet before you got on the plane to do one of these pieces."
One reviewer from The New York Times
criticized the show for being too cruel and for lacking a central editorial vision or ideology, describing it as "bereft of an ideological or artistic center... precocious but empty."
Craig Kilborn's departure
There were reports of backstage friction between Kilborn and some of the female staff, particularly the show's co-creator Lizz Winstead
. Winstead had not been involved in the hiring of Kilborn, and disagreed with him over what direction the show should take. "I spent eight months developing and staffing a show and seeking a tone with producers and writers. Somebody else put him in place. There were bound to be problems. I viewed the show as content-driven; he viewed it as host-driven", she said.
In a 1997 Esquire
magazine interview, Kilborn made a sexually explicit joke about Winstead. Comedy Central
responded by suspending Kilborn without pay for one week, and Winstead quit soon after.
In 1998, Kilborn left The Daily Show
to replace Tom Snyder
on CBS's The Late Late Show
. He claimed the "Five Questions" interview segment as intellectual property, disallowing any future Daily Show
hosts from using it in their interviews.
Correspondents Brian Unger and A. Whitney Brown left the show shortly before him, but the majority of the show's crew and writing staff stayed on.
Kilborn's last show as host aired on December 17, 1998, ending a 386-episode tenure. Reruns were shown until Jon Stewart's debut four weeks later.
Kilborn made a short appearance on Jon Stewart's final edition of the Daily Show
saying "I knew you were going to run this thing into the ground."
Jon Stewart's tenure (1999–2015)
Shift in content
Comedian Jon Stewart took over as host of the show, which was retitled The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
, on January 11, 1999.
Stewart had previously hosted Short Attention Span Theater
on Comedy Central
two shows on MTV
(You Wrote It, You Watch It
and The Jon Stewart Show
), as well as a syndicated late-night talk show, and had been cast in films and television.
In taking over hosting from Kilborn, Stewart initially retained much of the same staff and on-air talent, allowing many pieces to transition without much trouble, while other features like "God Stuff", with John Bloom
presenting an assortment of actual clips from various televangelists, and "Backfire", an in-studio debate between Brian Unger and A. Whitney Brown, evolved into the similar pieces of "This Week in God" and Stephen Colbert
and Steve Carell
's "Even Stevphen". After the change, a number of new features were developed. The ending segment "Your Moment of Zen", previously consisting of a random selection of humorous videos, was diversified to sometimes include recaps or extended versions of news clips shown earlier in the show.
The show's theme music, "Dog on Fire" by Bob Mould
, was re-recorded by They Might Be Giants
shortly after Stewart joined the show.
Stewart served not only as host but also as a writer and executive producer of the series. He recalls that he initially struggled with the Kilborn holdover writers to gain control of the show and put his own imprint on the show's voice, a struggle that led to the departure of a number of the holdover writers.
Instrumental in shaping the voice of the show under Stewart was former editor of The Onion Ben Karlin
who, along with fellow Onion
contributor David Javerbaum
, joined the staff in 1999 as head writer and was later promoted to executive producer. Their experience in writing for the satirical newspaper, which uses fake stories to mock real print journalism and current events, would influence the comedic direction of the show; Stewart recalls the hiring of Karlin as the point at which things "[started] to take shape". Describing his approach to the show, Karlin said, "The main thing, for me, is seeing hypocrisy. People who know better saying things that you know they don't believe."
Logo used for Stewart's tenure
Under Stewart and Karlin The Daily Show
developed a markedly different style, bringing a sharper political focus to the humor than the show previously exhibited. Then-correspondent Stephen Colbert recalls that Stewart specifically asked him to have a political viewpoint, and to allow his passion for issues to carry through into his comedy.
Colbert says that whereas under Kilborn the focus was on "human interest-y" pieces, with Stewart as host the show's content became more "issues and news driven", particularly after the beginning of the 2000 election
campaign with which the show dealt in its "Indecision 2000
Stewart himself describes the show's coverage of the 2000 election recount
as the point at which the show found its editorial voice. "That's when I think we tapped into the emotional angle of the news for us and found our editorial footing," he says.
Following the September 11th attacks
, The Daily Show
went off the air for nine days. Upon its return, Stewart opened the show with a somber monologue, that, according to Jeremy Gillick and Nonna Gorilovskaya, addressed both the absurdity and importance of his role as a comedian. Commented Stewart:
They said to get back to work, and there were no jobs available for a man in the fetal position. ...We sit in the back and we throw spitballs – never forgetting the fact that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. ...The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. Now it's gone. They attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can't beat that.
— Jon Stewart, Thursday, September 20, 2001, broadcast
Gillick and Gorilovskaya point to the September 11 attacks and the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as the point at which Jon Stewart emerged as a trusted national figure. Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, recalled of this period, "When all the news guys were walking on eggshells, Jon was hammering those questions about WMDs."
Broadening the role of the correspondent
During Stewart's tenure, the role of the correspondent broadened to encompass not only field segments but also frequent in-studio exchanges. Under Kilborn, Colbert says that his work as a correspondent initially involved "character driven [field] pieces—like, you know, guys who believe in Bigfoot." However, as the focus of the show has become more news-driven, correspondents have increasingly been used in studio pieces, either as experts discussing issues at the anchor desk or as field journalists reporting from false locations in front of a green screen. Colbert says that this change has allowed correspondents to be more involved with the show, as it has permitted them to work more closely with the host and writers.
Popularity and critical respect
The show's 2000 and 2004 election coverage, combined with a new satirical edge, helped to catapult Stewart and The Daily Show
to new levels of popularity and critical respect.
Since Stewart became host, the show has won 23 Primetime Emmy Awards
and three Peabody Awards
, and its ratings steadily increased. In 2003, the show was averaging nearly a million viewers, an increase of nearly threefold since the show's inception as Comedy Central became available in more households.
By September 2008, the show averaged nearly two million viewers per night. Senator Barack Obama
's interview on October 29, 2008, pulled in 3.6 million viewers.
In the political spectrum
The move towards greater involvement in political issues and the increasing popularity of the show in certain key demographics have led to examinations of where the views of the show fit in the political spectrum. Adam Clymer
, among many others, has argued that The Daily Show
is more critical of Republicans than Democrats.
Stewart, who voted Democratic in the 2004 presidential election,
acknowledged that the show has a more liberal point of view, but that it is not "a liberal organization" with a political agenda and its duty first and foremost is to be funny. He acknowledges that the show is not necessarily an "equal opportunity offender", explaining that Republicans tended to provide more comedic fodder because "I think we consider those with power and influence targets and those without it, not."
In an interview in 2005, when asked how he responded to critics claiming that The Daily Show
is overly liberal, Stephen Colbert, also a self-proclaimed Democrat,
said in an interview during the Bush Administration, when the Republicans held a majority in the House and Senate: "We are liberal, but Jon's very respectful of the Republican guests, and, listen, if liberals were in power it would be easier to attack them, but Republicans have the executive, legislative and judicial branches, so making fun of Democrats is like kicking a child, so it's just not worth it."
Stewart is critical of Democratic
politicians for being weak, timid, or ineffective. He said in an interview with Larry King, prior to the 2006 elections, "I honestly don't feel that [the Democrats] make an impact. They have forty-nine percent of the vote and three percent of the power. At a certain point you go, 'Guys, pick up your game.'"
He has targeted them for failing to effectively stand on some issues, such as the war in Iraq, describing them as "incompetent" and "unable... to locate their asses, even when presented with two hands and a special ass map."
Karlin, then the show's executive producer, said in a 2004 interview that while there is a collective sensibility among the staff which, "when filtered through Jon and the correspondents, feels uniform," the principal goal of the show is comedy. "If you have a legitimately funny joke in support of the notion that gay people are an affront to God, we'll put that motherfucker on!"
On September 15, 2003, Senator John Edwards
became the first candidate to announce that they were running for president on the show, causing Jon Stewart to jokingly inform him that their show was "fake" and he might have to reannounce elsewhere.
On November 17, 2009, Vice President Joe Biden appeared on the show, making him the first sitting vice president to do so.
On October 27, 2010, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to be interviewed on the show, wherein Obama commented he "loved" the show.
Obama took issue with Stewart's suggestion that his health care program was "timid."
After the United States Senate
failed to pass and the media failed to cover the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act
, which would provide health monitoring and financial aid to sick first responders of the September 11 attacks
, Stewart dedicated the entire December 16, 2010, broadcast to the issue. During the next week, a revived version of the bill gained new life, with the potential of being passed before the winter recess.
Stewart was praised by both politicians and affected first responders for the bill's passage. According to Syracuse University
professor of television, radio and film Robert J. Thompson, "Without him, it's unlikely it would've passed. I don't think Brian Williams
, Katie Couric
or Diane Sawyer
would've been allowed to do this."
Due to the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike
, the show went on hiatus
on November 5, 2007. Although the strike continued until February 2008, the show returned to air on January 7, 2008, without its staff of writers. In solidarity with the writers, the show was referred to as A Daily Show with Jon Stewart
rather than The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
until the end of the strike.
As a member of the Writers Guild of America
, Stewart was barred from writing any material for the show himself which he or his writers would ordinarily write.
As a result, Stewart and the correspondents largely ad-libbed
the show around planned topics.
In an effort to fill time while keeping to the strike-related restrictions, the show aired or re-aired some previously recorded segments, and Stewart engaged in a briefly recurring mock feud
with fellow late-night hosts Stephen Colbert
and Conan O'Brien
The strike officially ended on February 12, 2008, with the show's writers returning to work the following day, at which point the title of The Daily Show
Stewart's absence in 2013
Starting in June 2013, Jon Stewart took a twelve-week break to direct Rosewater
, a drama about a journalist jailed by Iran for four months. Show writer John Oliver
replaced Stewart at the anchor desk for two months, to be followed by one month of reruns.
Oliver received positive reviews for his hosting,
leading to his departure from the show in December 2013
for his own show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
, which debuted April 27, 2014, on HBO
made his final appearance on the show with Jon Stewart as host on July 21, 2015
On February 10, 2015, Stewart announced that he would be leaving the show later in the year. Comedy Central indicated in a statement that The Daily Show
would continue without Stewart, saying it would "endure for years to come".
On June 25, 2015, Comedy Central announced that to lead up to Stewart's final episode, it would hold "Your Month of Zen"—an online marathon
streaming every episode of Stewart's tenure from June 26 to August 6, 2015.
On August 5, 2015, Stewart's longtime friend of 30 years comedian Louis C.K.
was selected to be the last guest before the final Daily Show episode with Stewart helming the show. C.K. joked that he was there "representing comedy to say good job".
The second segment featured a pre-recorded tour of the Daily Show production facility and studio introducing all of the show's staff and crew. The final segment featured a short farewell speech from Stewart followed by the final "Moment of Zen" (being 'his own' moment of zen): a performance of "Land of Hope and Dreams
" and "Born to Run
" by Bruce Springsteen
and the E Street Band
Trevor Noah's tenure (2015–present)
On March 30, 2015, it was announced that Trevor Noah
would replace Stewart as host of The Daily Show
Shortly after his announcement, it was revealed that Amy Schumer
, Louis C.K.
, Amy Poehler
, and Chris Rock
were all considered for the job.
His first show was on September 28, 2015, with comedian Kevin Hart
as his first guest. Noah's premiere episode was simulcast by Viacom
on Comedy Central, the Nick at Nite
block on Nickelodeon
, VH1 Classic
, TV Land
and Logo TV
On September 14, 2017, it was announced that Comedy Central had extended Trevor Noah's contract as host of The Daily Show
for five years, through 2022.
Ratings declined by about 37 percent at the start of Noah's tenure, and have gradually increased since then, only to once again fall down to the lowest ratings in 15 years in 2020.
Differences between Stewart's version and Noah's version
In addition to changes in the tone of the show,[clarification needed]
Noah has also implemented stylistic changes to the show, with an updated set,
and his monologue sometimes taking place while standing in front of a screen as opposed to sitting at the desk. Trevor also increased the usage of more millennial-based references, impersonations and characterizations for his comedy on the show, due to his younger demographic and his ability to speak in multiple accents and eight languages.
Additional correspondents were added in 2017. Michael Kosta
became the Senior Constitutional Correspondent and Senior American Correspondent on July 11, 2017. Dulcé Sloan
became the Senior Fashion Correspondent on September 7, 2017.
In January 2016, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
started to use a modified version of the show's previous theme, remixed by Timbaland
and King Logan
also avoided talking too much about Fox News
, as Stewart was previously known for. "The Daily Show
was based on an emerging 24 hour news cycle, that’s everything it was, that’s what inspired The Daily Show
. Now you look at news and it’s changed. It’s no longer predicated around 24 hour news. There are so many different choices. Half of it is online now. Now you’ve got the Gawkers
, the Buzzfeeds
. The way people are drawing their news is soundbites and headlines and click-bait links has changed everything. The biggest challenge is going to be an exciting one I'm sure is how are we going to bring all of that together looking at it from a bigger lens as opposed to just going after one source—which was historically Fox News," Noah said at a press conference before the show's debut.
Stewart visits The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
; Jordan Klepper guest hosts
On December 8, 2015, former host Jon Stewart returned to The Daily Show
for the first time in an extended-length show to return attention to extending the James Zadroga
9/11 Health and Compensation Act, otherwise referred to as 9/11 First Responders Bill, which Stewart explained had been blocked by Paul Ryan
and Mitch McConnell
for political reasons.
On October 20, 2016, Noah was unable to host a scheduled taping of The Daily Show
due to illness,
so correspondent Jordan Klepper
On November 16, 2017, Stewart once again returned to The Daily Show
, in part as a parody of the robocalls of fake Washington Post
reporter "Bernie Bernstein" and to promote Night of Too Many Stars
The Daily Social Distancing Show
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States
, it was initially announced that starting March 16, 2020, the show would do away with the live audience, like all other live shows were starting to do. However, that day, Noah posted a short video explaining that they would not do that because of social distancing
. On March 18, 2020, Noah did a modified version of The Daily Show
from his own home for Comedy Central's website and The Daily Show'
s YouTube channel called The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah
. On March 21, 2020, it was announced that this format would be moving to linear television beginning March 23, 2020.
The Daily Show won the 2020 Webby Award for Humor in the category Social.
Expansion to 45-minute format
Following the cancellation of Lights Out with David Spade, The Daily Show
expanded into a 45-minute format beginning April 27, 2020.
In July 2020, Comedy Central head Chris McCarthy told Vulture
that there were plans to possibly extend the show to an hour-long format by the end of the year.
Correspondents, contributors and staff
The show's correspondents have two principal roles: experts with satirical senior titles that Noah interviews about certain issues, or hosts of field reporting segments which often involve humorous commentary and interviews relating to a current issue. The current team of correspondents collectively known as "The World's Fakest News Team" (formerly known as "The Best F#@king
News Team Ever") includes Ronny Chieng
, Michael Kosta
, Desi Lydic
, Dulcé Sloan
, Roy Wood Jr.
and Jaboukie Young-White
Contributors appear on a less frequent basis, often with their own unique recurring segment or topic.
Current contributors are Lewis Black
, Neal Brennan
, and Gina Yashere
Ben Karlin says that the on-air talent contribute in many ways to the material they perform, playing an integral role in the creation of their field pieces as well as being involved with their scripted studio segments, either taking part early on in the writing process or adding improvised material during the rehearsal.
The show has featured a number of well-known comedians throughout its run and is notable for boosting the careers of several of these. Scott Dikkers
, editor-in-chief of The Onion
, describes it as a key launching pad for comedic talent, saying that "I don't know if there's a better show you could put on your resume right now."
Steve Carell, who was a correspondent between 1999 and 2005 before moving on to a movie career and starring television role in The Office
, credits Stewart and The Daily Show
with his success.
In 2005, the show's longest-serving correspondent, Stephen Colbert, became the host of the spin-off The Colbert Report
, earning critical and popular acclaim.
Colbert would host the program until he was chosen to replace David Letterman
as host of CBS
's Late Show
in 2015. Ed Helms
, a former correspondent from 2002 to 2006, also starred on NBC's The Office
and was a main character in the 2009 hit The Hangover
In June 2010, actress-comedian Olivia Munn
began a tryout period on the show as a correspondent. Her credentials were questioned by Irin Carmon
of the website Jezebel
, who suggested that Munn was better known as a sex symbol than as a comedian.
Carmon's column was denounced by Munn and the Daily Show's
female writers, producers, and correspondents, 32 of whom posted a rebuttal on the show's website in which they asserted that the description of the Daily Show
office given by the Jezebel piece was not accurate.
Munn appeared as a Daily Show
correspondent in a total of 16 episodes, from June 2010 to September 2011.
had a tumultuous tenure on the show, revealing in a July 2015 interview on WTF with Marc Maron
, that his departure stemmed in part from a heated argument he had with Jon Stewart
in June 2011 over a bit about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain
However, Cenac did return for Stewart's final episode to bid him farewell and the two exchanged an intentionally awkward conversation.
- Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, 1 episode (October 7, 2014)
- Steve Carell, 7 episodes (February 21, 2001, Mar. 27–29, 2001, Apr 2 & 4, 2001, and May 1, 2001)
- Stephen Colbert, 11 episodes (January 24, 2001, Feb 20 & 22, 2001, Mar. 26–27, 2001, Apr 3 & 5, 2001, May 2–3, 2001, March 6, 2003, and July 6, 2004)
- Rob Corddry, 1 episode (February 9, 2006)
- Vance DeGeneres, 2 episodes (Feb. 26–27, 2001)
- Jordan Klepper, 1 episode (October 20, 2016)
- John Oliver, 33 episodes (June 10, 2013, to August 15, 2013, and November 13, 2014)
- Mo Rocca, 1 episode (February 27, 2001)
- Nancy Walls, 2 episodes (February 21, 2001, and March 29, 2001)
For this reason, commentators such as Howard Dean
and Ted Koppel
posited that Stewart served as a real source of news for young people, regardless of his intentions.
In 2016, a The New York Times
study of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes
found that The Daily Show
was "most popular in cities and other more liberal-leaning areas along the coasts. Peak popularity is in San Francisco; it's least popular in Alabama".
As a news source
The show's writers reject the idea that The Daily Show
has become a source of news for young people. Stewart argues that Americans are living in an "age of information osmosis
" in which it is close to impossible to gain one's news from any single source, and says that his show succeeds comedically because the viewers already have some knowledge about current events. "Our show would not be valuable to people who didn't understand the news because it wouldn't make sense," he argues. "We make assumptions about your level of knowledge that... if we were your only source of news, you would just watch our show and think, 'I don't know what's happening.'"
A 2006 study published by Indiana University
tried to compare the substantive amount of information of The Daily Show
against prime time network news broadcasts
, and concluded that when it comes to substance, there is little difference between The Daily Show
and other news outlets. The study contended that, since both programs are more focused on the nature of "infotainment
" and ratings than on the dissemination of information, both are broadly equal in terms of the amount of substantial news coverage they offer.
As the lines between comedy show and news show have blurred, Jon Stewart has come under pressure in some circles to engage in more serious journalism. Tucker Carlson
and Daily Show
co-creator Lizz Winstead
have chastised Stewart for criticizing politicians and newspeople in his solo segments and then, in interviews with the same people, rarely taking them to task face-to-face. In 2004, Winstead expressed a desire for Stewart to ask harder satirical questions, saying, "When you are interviewing a Richard Perle
or a Kissinger
, if you give them a pass, then you become what you are satirizing. You have a war criminal sitting on your couch—to just let him be a war criminal sitting on your couch means you are having to respect some kind of boundary."
She has argued that The Daily Show's
success and access to the youth vote should allow Stewart to press political guests harder without fearing that they will not return to the show.
In 2010, Winstead had changed her views, commenting that since 2004, Stewart did some of the hardest-hitting interviews on TV.
Stewart said in 2003 that he does not think of himself as a social or media critic and rejects the idea that he has any journalistic role as an interviewer.
During Stewart's appearance on CNN
, Stewart criticized that show and said that it was "hurting America" by sensationalizing debates and enabling political spin
. When co-host Carlson argued that Stewart himself had not asked John Kerry substantial questions when Kerry appeared on The Daily Show
, Stewart countered that it was not his job to give hard-hitting interviews and that a "fake news" comedy program should not be held to the same standards as real journalism. "You're on CNN!" Stewart said, "The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls
! What is wrong with you?"
Media critic Dan Kennedy says that Stewart came off as disingenuous in this exchange because "you can't interview Bill Clinton, Richard Clarke
, Bill O'Reilly, Bob Dole
, etc., etc., and still say you're just a comedian."
A 2004 study into the effect of The Daily Show
on viewers' attitudes found that participants had a more negative opinion of both President Bush and then Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. Participants also expressed more cynical views of the electoral system and news media.
Political scientists Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan Morris, who conducted the study, state that it is not clear how such cynicism would affect the political behavior of the show's viewers. While disillusionment and negative perceptions of the presidential candidates could discourage watchers from voting, Baumgartner and Morris say it is also possible that discontent could prompt greater involvement and that by following the show, viewers may potentially become more engaged and informed voters, with a broader political knowledge.
Rachel Larris, who has also conducted an academic study of The Daily Show
, disputes the findings of Baumgartner and Morris. Larris argues that the study measured cynicism in overly broad terms, and that it would be extremely hard to find a causal link between viewing The Daily Show
and thinking or acting in a particular way.
Bloggers such as Marty Kaplan of The Huffington Post
argue that so long as Stewart's comedy is grounded in truth, responsibility for increased cynicism belongs to the political and media figures themselves, not the comedian who satirizes them.
Stewart himself says that he does not perceive his show as cynical. "It's so interesting to me that people talk about late-night comedy being cynical," he says. "What's more cynical than forming an ideological news network like Fox
and calling it 'fair and balanced
'? What we do, I almost think, is adorable in its idealism."
Stewart has said that he does not take any joy in the failings of American government, despite the comedic fodder they provide. "We're not the guys at the craps
table betting against the line," he said on Larry King Live
. "If government suddenly became inspiring... we would be the happiest people in the world to turn our attention to idiots like, you know, media people, no offense."
In July 2009, Time
magazine held an online poll entitled "Now that Walter Cronkite
has passed on, who is America's most trusted newscaster?"
Jon Stewart won with 44% of the vote, 15 points ahead of Brian Williams in second place with 29%.
Stewart downplayed the results on the show stating "It was an Internet poll and I was the 'None of the above' option".
In December 2013, TV Guide
ranked Jon Stewart's run on the show at #53 on its list of the 60 Best Series of All Time.
In late 2004, the National Annenberg Election Survey
at the University of Pennsylvania
ran a study of American television viewers and found that fans of The Daily Show
had a more accurate idea of the facts behind the 2004 presidential election
than most others, including those who primarily got their news through the national network evening newscasts and through reading newspapers.
However, in a 2004 campaign survey conducted by the Pew Research Center those who cited comedy shows such as The Daily Show
as a source for news were among the least informed on campaign events and key aspects of the candidates' backgrounds while those who cited the Internet, National Public Radio
, and news magazines were the most informed. Even when age and education were taken into account, the people who learned about the campaigns through the Internet were still found to be the most informed, while those who learned from comedy shows were the least informed.
In a survey released by the Pew Research Center in April 2007, viewers who watch both Tucker Carlson Tonight
and The Daily Show
tend to be more knowledgeable about news than audiences of other news sources. Approximately 54% of Tucker Carlson Tonight
and The Daily Show
viewers scored in the high knowledge range, followed by Jim Lehrer
's program at 53% and Bill O'Reilly's program
at 51%, significantly higher than the 34% of network morning show viewers. The survey shows that changing news formats have not made much difference on how much the public knows about national and international affairs, but adds that there is no clear connection between news formats and what audiences know.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism
released a content analysis report suggesting that The Daily Show
comes close to providing the complete daily news.
Awards and nominations
Under host Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
rose to critical acclaim. It has received two Peabody Awards
for its coverage of the 2000
and 2004 presidential elections
Between 2001 and 2015, it has been awarded 24 Primetime Emmy Awards
in the categories of Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series
(winner for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012) and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program
, and a further seven nominations. The show has also been honored by GLAAD
, the Television Critics Association
, and the Satellite Awards
. America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
, the 2004 bestseller written by Stewart and the writing staff of The Daily Show
, was recognized by Publishers Weekly
as its "Book of the Year", and its abridged audiobook edition received the 2005 Grammy Award
for Best Comedy Album
In September 2010, Time
magazine selected the series as one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME".
In 2015, the show received its third Peabody Award
for the show's "lasting impact on political satire, television comedy and even politics itself."
At the 69th Emmy Awards in 2017 The Daily Show with Trevor Noah added yet another emmy award to the show's many Emmy's.
The Daily Show
airs on various networks worldwide; in addition, an edited version of the show called The Daily Show: Global Edition
is produced each week specifically for overseas audiences. It has been airing outside of the U.S. on CNN International
and other overseas networks since September 2002.
This edition runs for half an hour and contains a selection of segments including one guest interview from the preceding week's shows, usually from the Monday or Tuesday episode. Noah provides an exclusive introductory monologue in front of an audience, usually about the week's prevalent international news story, and closing comments without an audience present.
When aired on CNN International, the broadcast is prefaced by a written disclaimer: "The show you are about to watch is a news parody. Its stories are not fact checked. Its reporters are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through."
Between 2001 and 2006, Westwood One
broadcast small, ninety-second portions of the show to various radio stations across America.
In Canada, The Daily Show
is aired on The Comedy Network
(a cable channel similar to Comedy Central), in simulcast with the Comedy Central airing, as well as on the CTV
broadcast network at 12:05 a.m. local time, following late local newscasts.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the digital television channel More4
used to broadcast episodes of The Daily Show
Tuesday through Friday evenings with the Global Edition
, which is uncensored, airs on Mondays; regular episodes air the evening following their U.S. airing. More4 was the first international broadcaster to syndicate entire Daily Show
episodes, though they made edits to the program due to content, language, length or commercial references. The program was also available to watch via the internet video on demand
. However, the 'toss' to The Colbert Report
was usually included even though it was aired on FX
, another channel.
In addition, the placement of commercial breaks followed the UK format, with one break midway through the show rather than several short breaks at various points. When The Daily Show
was on hiatus, either re-runs or alternative content were aired. Since January 2011, only the Global Edition is broadcast.
In July 2012 Comedy Central
announced that The Daily Show
would be shown on Comedy Central Extra
in the same format as previously on More4, with episodes shown 24 hours after airing in the U.S.
The show aired on the channel from July 2012 to April 2015.
The Global Edition of the week of July 20, 2011, was not aired in the UK as it included a segment mocking Rupert Murdoch
's appearance before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in relation to the News International phone hacking scandal
Parliamentary rules ban parliamentary proceedings from being broadcast in a satirical context.
Stewart dedicated a segment of the show on August 2, 2011 to lampooning the censorship of the episode in Britain.
In May that year, The Daily Show
mocked the ban on using footage of the Royal Wedding
in a satirical context with an animated video that showed Paddington Bear
and Adolf Hitler
as guests at the wedding, and depicted its attendants engaging in various forms of violent and sexual behavior.
Stewart later discussed the ban with guest Keira Knightley
The Daily Show
aired on Australian Pay TV
channel, The Comedy Channel
, weeknights at 6:30pm. Free-to-air
digital channel ABC2
began broadcasting the show without commercial breaks in March 2010, but discontinued in January 2011 when The Comedy Channel
obtained exclusive rights;
episodes were also available on the network's online service ABC iView
shortly after airing. The Comedy Channel
(as well as ABC2 during 2010) used to air the show together with The Colbert Report
, and both air the Global Edition
on Mondays and the regular edition Tuesday through Friday. The Global Edition
was previously shown weekend late nights on SBS
before moving to Network TEN
. The show now airs on 10 Shake
(owned by Comedy Central parent ViacomCBS
In North Africa and the Middle East, the Daily Show was broadcast on Showtime Arabia
starting in 2008 and ending in 2015. When the show transitioned under Noah, OSN decided to wait a bit before airing the new show.
Now, the Global Edition of Noah's show is broadcast on OSN's Comedy Central HD channel.
Episodes are often edited if they contain topics deemed inappropriate for the region.
Episodes of the U.S. version are also available online the next day at Comedy Central's official Daily Show
website, although this service is not available in all countries. However, clips for UK and Ireland viewers became available on the UK Comedy Central website
in December 2011.
The Daily Show: Nederlandse Editie
An official Dutch version of the show called The Daily Show: Nederlandse Editie
(The Daily Show: Dutch Edition
) premiered on the Dutch Comedy Central on January 31, 2011. The program is similar to the original, except with Dutch news and a Dutch view on international news. The show is hosted by comedian Jan-Jaap van der Wal, who was a team captain on Dit was het nieuws
, the Dutch edition of Have I Got News For You
The first episode featured a guest appearance by Jon Stewart (recorded at the New York studio), who gave his official blessing for the show.
This is also the first and still only franchise of The Daily Show
. The 'Dutch Edition' didn't make it past the test run of 12 episodes due to lack of viewers.
A spin-off, The Colbert Report
, was announced in early May 2005. The show starred former correspondent Stephen Colbert, and served as Comedy Central's answer to the programs of media pundits such as Bill O'Reilly. Colbert, Stewart, and Ben Karlin developed the idea for the show based on a series of faux television commercials that had been created for an earlier Daily Show
segment. They pitched the concept to Comedy Central chief Doug Herzog, who agreed to run the show for eight weeks without first creating a pilot. The Colbert Report
premiered on October 17, 2005, and aired following The Daily Show
for nine years. Initial ratings satisfied Comedy Central and less than three weeks after its debut the show was renewed for a year. The Colbert Report
was produced by Jon Stewart's production company, Busboy Productions
The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
On May 9, 2014, it was announced that Larry Wilmore
had been selected to host a show on Comedy Central to serve as a replacement for The Colbert Report
. On January 19, 2015, Wilmore began hosting The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
, a late-night panel talk show
. It was produced by Busboy Productions. On August 15, 2016, Comedy Central announced that Wilmore's show had been cancelled. The show ended on August 18, 2016, with a total of 259 episodes.
The Opposition with Jordan Klepper
On April 4, 2017, Comedy Central announced a brand-new spinoff to occupy the 11:30 p.m. time slot which had not had an original show since the canceling of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
. The Daily Show'
s senior correspondent Jordan Klepper
was enlisted as host, with Klepper, Stuart Miller, and Trevor Noah serving as executive producers.
The show intends to "satirize the hyperbolic, conspiracy-laden noise machine that is the alternative-media landscape on both the right
The show aired from September 25, 2017, to June 28, 2018. Comedy Central announced that Klepper would be hosting a new primetime weekly talk show, Klepper, to debut in early 2019.
- The Daily Show's Five Questions from Comedy Central, published in 1998, is a book written by Craig Kilborn and other writers of The Daily Show that contains new material from the "Five Questions" segment.
- America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, published in 2004, is a book written by Jon Stewart and other writers of The Daily Show that parodies and satirizes American politics and worldview.
- Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, published in 2010, is a book written by Jon Stewart and other writers of The Daily Show and is similar in style to America (The Book), but focuses on planet and human culture instead of the history of America.
- The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests, published in 2016, is a book written by Chris Smith, a contributing editor at New York Magazine, and other members of the Daily Show family. The book chronicles the 16 years of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
- The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, published in 2018, is a book written by Trevor Noah and other writers of The Daily Show that parodies and satirizes President Donald Trump's usage of his Twitter account.
The Daily Show’s satirical format has inspired international versions unaffiliated with Comedy Central.
- In Iran, the Persian-language satire program Parazit (meaning "static") was directly inspired by The Daily Show with the hosts even making a guest appearance on the January 20, 2011, episode of The Daily Show. Parazit was later succeeded by OnTen debuting on May 11, 2012.
- In Germany, the heute-show has aired on ZDF since 2009. The name is derived from the main ZDF news program heute (which means "today").
- In Egypt, the show Al Bernameg was modeled after The Daily Show as well. Host Bassem Youssef even imitated Jon Stewart's mannerisms, such as using his mug as a comedic prop. Youssef has appeared as a guest on The Daily Show multiple times.
- In India, On Air With AIB was modeled after The Daily Show, SNL, and Last Week Tonight.
- In Iraq, Albasheer Show is a reduced version (with no celebrity interviews) and is hosted by the Iraqi journalist/comedian Ahmad Al-Basheer; commenting and criticizing local political issues.
- In Israel, the Daily Show was one of the main inspirations for Eretz Nehederet, a popular Israeli satire.
- In Portugal, during the 2009 legislative election campaign, Portuguese comedy group Gato Fedorento hosted Gato Fedorento Esmiúça os Sufrágios, a satirical news show modeled after The Daily Show’s election coverage segments, which attracted immediate public attention after securing the key political candidates as guests.
- In Croatia, Montirani proces, a short-lived satirical program, heavily inspired by The Daily Show, ran for only six episodes in 2016, before being controversially cancelled by the newly appointed conservative administration of the Croatian Radiotelevision.
- In Canada, the Rick Mercer Report (which ran from 2004-2018) was a satirical program that often revolved around Canadian politics and news. The show aired weekly on Canadian network CBC and was inspired by The Daily Show.[dubious – discuss] The taping took place in Toronto, Ontario in front of a live audience.
- In Armenia: ArmComedy is an Armenian comedy show first aired in March 2012. It is aired thrice a week on ArmNews TV channel. Started as a satirical news website it later evolved into a web series on CivilNet Internet TV channel. After two years creators of the show were invited to expand to network television. " ArmComedy became the "first satiric news show in Armenia dripped in political humor and wit, reporting the real news with a different perspective.". Every episode of ArmComedy is written and hosted by Armenian comedians Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan. It has been dubbed in press as "Armenia's version of The Daily Show".
- In Ukraine, ChistoNEWS is a Ukrainian comedy show first aired in March 2012.
- In the United Kingdom, The Mash Report is a British version of the format, hosted by Nish Kumar.
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