Back in December 2022, seven years after he succeeded Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah exited the Comedy Central program. Over the course of 2023, various guests hosts sat in his place at the anchor desk, ranging from major celebrities to the show’s correspondents, but eventually a permanent host was going to be selected to take over. Well, apparently that’s not the plan for the foreseeable future, and I’m confused by this turn of events.
According to Variety, when The Daily Show returns from its hiatus, it will “rely heavily on a team of correspondents to lead each night.” It’s unclear if the “final assemblage of talent” has been assembled yet, but the show’s current lineup of correspondents includes Ronny Chieng, Desi Lydia, Michael Kosta, Dulcé Sloan, Troy Iwata and Grace Kuhlenschmidt, along with Lewis Black and Jordan Klepper being classified as contributors. Roy Wood Jr. left The Daily Show back in October after deciding that eight years was a “good run” as a correspondent, and it was only a few days ago he was seen mouthing “Please hire a host” at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Additionally, it was mentioned that past celebrities who guest hosted The Daily Show in 2023 could be called back for more appearances, but for now, the plan is to spotlight the correspondents and place the search for a permanent host on the back burner indefinitely. Instead, Chris McCarthy, Paramount Global’s president, as reportedly said the satirical news program will be relying more on a “newsroom” concept going forward. Comedy Central also announced after the Emmys that it will be “sharing its plans for The Daily Show’s next chapter” sometime next week.
As someone who’s been watching The Daily Show for almost 20 years, I find the decision to not to pick a permanent host baffling. To be fair, it is noted in Variety’s report that this move will likely save money. So I can understand this as a cost-cutting measure, particularly since the show only pulled in under $19 million in ad revenue in 2023, a sharp decrease from $39.9 million in 2022. I also understand that finding a permanent host was sidelined when the series when on an extended break last year because of the writers strike, though the search was reportedly widening in September.
But from a purely creative standpoint, not tapping someone to permanently succeed Trevor Noah just feels too weird. Yes, the correspondents are an integral part of this show and it’s good to occasionally see them stretch their comedy muscles at that news desk, but there’s something to be said about someone consistently sitting there. Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah’s profiles got significant boosts from their tenures on The Daily Show, it’d be nice if someone else could experience such success.
There was a time when Hasan Minhaj was allegedly the frontrunner to take over hosting The Daily Show, and even Kal Penn was reportedly under consideration for the job. And while the idea of hiring a new permanent host hasn’t been taken off the table completely (there’s been speculation that John Mulaney was approached in the “recent past”), as we continue into 2024, get used to continuing to see the show’s correspondents leading the charge.
We’ll let you know what the more concrete plans are for The Daily Show’s future once they’re announced. Until then, stream past episodes with a Paramount+ subscription and see what else is airing this year with the 2024 TV schedule.