Comedy Central Announces New Daily Show Host As…Wait, Him? Really?
When liberal funnyman Jon Stewart announced he was leaving The Daily Show after nearly 17 years of sharp-edged political comedy, two things happened right away. First, there was a giant party at Fox News. Shephard Smith was, naturally, the DD.
But the second thing that happened was an explosion of speculation on who the next Daily Show host would be. At the front line was the program’s own stable of talented correspondents, but even big stars were included in online lists of possibles. Speculation ran from obvious in-house comics like John Hodgman or Jessica Williams, to highly unlikely like John Oliver and Craig Ferguson, to no-chance-in-hell A-list stars like Chris Rock, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.
…You know what, hold up the article, Geek Melee. Pause. Listen to me for a second, readers, seriously. I have gone through nearly a dozen “who will replace Jon Stewart” lists for this little piece, and no one, but no one, saw this coming. How could they? He joined the show in December and has only appeared three times so far! Without further adieu (or “a-who?”), meet South African comedian Trevor Noah.
This isn’t the first time Comedy Central has made an unconventional choice in replacing “the most trusted man in America.” While Stewart was making his directorial debut filming Rosewater last summer, it was relative Daily Show newcomer John Oliver, a British comic, who took on his duties. His debut episode even featured a humorous segment where TDS veterans shrugged off their reporting duties to grumble about Oliver being picked over them.
Could we be seeing some real-life frustration from passed-over TDS veterans? The sudden departure of husband-wife team Samantha Bee and Jason Jones from the show so soon after Trevor’s announcement may raise eyebrows. After all, one can look at Oliver’s surprising pick last summer and think this isn’t the first time they’ve both been passed over for the big spot. Samantha Bee is the longest-serving correspondent in the show’s history, having now reported fake news for over 11 years. In fact, it’s hard not to look back at the duo’s turn guest-hosting the show late last year as a possible try-out.
Noah is so new that it seems unlikely at this point that he wasn’t brought on to the show with the intention of grooming him to replace Stewart.
Imagine: Stewart goes to Comedy Central some time last year and says, after 16 years, he’s ready to move on. “Oh, God. Oh Jesus, Jon, no,” say the CC execs, “We just lost Colbert, and people will only watch so many Youtube clips of Amy Schumer or Key & Peele. Fuck, man, Broad City is shitting pure gold and no one’s even stopping to pick it up. Then all we have left are the roasts, and let’s not kid ourselves, that shit has been sickeningly chummy jerk-off circles without Greg Giraldo. Justin-ffffffFUCKing-Beiber’s manager just called wanting to executive-produce a roast to fix that little Damian’s image, and we’re going to do it, Jon. We’re going to fucking do that and put it on TV. Please. Why are you doing this? Is it about money? We can give you more money. Justin-fucking-Bieber, Jon.”
But Stewart has seen this kind of emotional blackmail before, and he stays strong. So Comedy Central is desperately making calls. Stephen Colbert is already engaged to someone else. So the network tries the guy that they were with for a few months last year while on a break with Stewart. “Sorry,” John Oliver tells them, “I’m with HBO now, and I’m happy.” Like any 24-year-old, Comedy Central discovers a lot of their old flames are committed, and those romantic opportunities just don’t come as easily as they used to. In desperation, they make a booty call to Bee and Jones, thinking “maybe there could be something more.” But after one night they remember there really isn’t.
Finally, Comedy Central does what any jilted single does – it looks for someone younger, someone fresher, and someone where they’ll be unequivocally wearing the pants in the relationship. Enter Noah, a 31-year-old unknown.
Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 12, 2014
Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn't go down easy, just like jewish chicks. #ElClasico
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) January 25, 2012
"Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I'm sexy!" – fat chicks everywhere.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) October 14, 2011
The younger, fresher guy has some blue comedy in his twitter history. Now Comedy Central is taking heat for their “controversial” pick, and some people are even wondering out loud whether the network didn’t do their homework on The Daily Show‘s new host. So has the network made a terrible mistake with their new beau?
Get real. This is what Comedy Central wants – to be ribald, raw, and most of all, relevant. Or does anyone really believe the network that made its name on programming like South Park and Politically Incorrect is desperate to avoid controversy? Isn’t it more likely that Comedy Central couldn’t be happier now that they’re part of a media cycle?