The Daily Show
The Daily Show is a 30-minute news program which focuses on satirizing and poking fun at current events. It airs on Comedy Central Monday through Thursday at 11:00PM EST with several repeats throughout the day. An "international" version also broadcasts weekly on CNN in Europe. The show also runs on the channel More4, based in the United Kingdom on Monday-Friday at 8:30PM GMT.
At its inception in 1996, the show was hosted by former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Craig Kilborn, who developed the news program as more of an entertainment gossip show. Kilborn often joked that he was playing the "enlightened frat boy" character. Despite this difference in tone, Kilborn pioneered many of the endearing qualities of the series including the basic format of headlines, fake "live" segments and the Moment of Zen. Kilborn also notably ended all of his interviews with Five Questions, which was pulled from a pick-up line he devised and later became the source behind the first Daily Show book. In 1998, Kilborn left the series to host The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and placed several of these concepts (including "Moment for Us") on embargo for use on his new show. After a four month hiatus, Kilborn was replaced by comedian and talk show host Jon Stewart.
Stewart took the series in a far more political direction. While Kilborn was the face of the previous three years, he did not write any of the material and, according to contributor Beth Littleford, was as "dumb as a post." Stewart, on the other hand, signed on as a co-executive producer and writer, as well as host. He focused the news content into sharper political satire rather than less sophisticated jokes that didn't probe the issue at hand. This new focus combined with in-depth Indecision 2000 election coverage caused the series to explode in popularity and critical acclaim.
The format for the series is generally static and has remained in the same for its entire tenure. The first block of the show is made up of what was once known as "Headlines," a brief run-down of some of the events of the day, often with commentary from a correspondent in a "live" setting (in actuality, they're a few feet from the desk in front of a green screen). The second block is typically taken up by a produced segment or a recurring bit like Back in Black or This Week in God. The third block is occupied by an interview with the night's guest.
This format isn't set in stone, however. The interview segment is occasionally extended into the second block, usually this happens when the interview has far more potential than any of the produced segments on hand or when the guest has a high degree of notoriety, like former presidents (Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have both appeared), dignitaries (Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf) and controversial figures (Bernard Goldberg). The final minutes of the show are taken up lately by an occasional conversation between Stewart and Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report (a Daily Show spin-off), through a fiberoptic link between their shows and, ultimately, the Moment of Zen.
The series spun off The Colbert Report, which was derived from a fake commercial in which Stephen Colbert played the role of a loud-mouthed pundit in the style of Bill O'Reilly. It began broadcasting in 2004.
In 2013, Stewart took a twelve-week leave to direct a film. During this time, long-time correspondent John Oliver took over as guest host. Oliver's stint was well received, and led to HBO offering him his own show. The last episode of 2013 was Oliver's last episode, with him starting Last Week Tonight with John Oliver in April 2014.
|1996||July 22, 1996||December 1996||—|
|1997||January 1997||December 1997||—|
|1998||January 5, 1998||December 17, 1998||—|
|1999||January 11, 1999||December 21, 1999||159|
|2000||January 5, 2000||December 21, 2000||160|
|2001||January 9, 2001||December 20, 2001||161|
|2002||January 8, 2002||December 19, 2002||160|
|2003||January 7, 2003||December 18, 2003||159|
|2004||January 6, 2004||December 16, 2004||162|
|2005||January 4, 2005||December 15, 2005||159|
|2006||January 4, 2006||December 20, 2005||161|
|2007||January 8, 2007||November 1, 2007||133|
|2008||January 7, 2008||December 11, 2008||159 + special|
|2009||January 5, 2009||December 16, 2009||161|
|2010||January 4, 2010||December 16, 2010||161 + special|
|2011||January 3, 2011||December 15, 2011||160|
|2012||January 3, 2012||December 13, 2012||159|
|2013||January 7, 2013||December 19, 2013||160|
|2014||January 6, 2014||—||—|
|A. Whitney Brown||1||2||3|
|Paul F. Tompkins||3|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
- Recurring Segments: Frequently recurring segments from the series.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004||June 28, 2005||3|