The Daily Show welcomes new host and bids farewell to Stewart

Seth Barshay, Editor-in-Chief

This summer, late night mainstay Jon Stewart retired from The Daily Show, a Comedy Central program he had been the host of for sixteen years, when most of this school’s senior class was merely a year old.  His influence has cast a net over much of the comedy industry, with many disciples who had originally gained prominence as correspondents on show.  Alumni like Steve Carell, Ed Helms, and Olivia Munn have gone on to have successful acting careers, while Stephen Colbert, Jon Oliver, Larry Wilmore, and now Trevor Noah have come into their own as late night hosts. Last month, Colbert and Noah each took on the reins of popular programs.

Colbert, the second-longest tenured Daily Show Correspondent, was passed the torch to The Late Show, replacing the legendary and recently retired David Letterman.

He took his talents from his popular Colbert Report, which he had been hosting since 2005 while in character as a fictional conservative pundit also named Stephen Colbert.  For his new endeavor, he opted to drop the façade.

Since beginning his hosting duties on Sep.  8, the transition from Comedy Central to CBS has been very smooth for the most part, with much of the deadpan humor from The Report coming along with Colbert, without the false persona.

Colbert has hosted a wide array of guests, from presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders, to tech entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Evan Spiegel, to actors like Emily Blunt, Scarlett Johansson and Jake Gyllenhaal promoting upcoming roles.

Despite his short tenure on The Late Show, he already seems to have hit his stride, showing a nice balance of humor, wit, and seriousness when necessary.  One interview in particular, with Vice President Joe Biden, exhibits this balance well.  He was able to truly relate to Biden after the death of his son Beau to cancer, bringing up his own experiences with death after losing his father and two of his ten siblings to a plane crash when he was only ten years old.

At other times, Colbert brought his lengthy experience interviewing on The Report to the table, stopping Cruz and Sanders from answering his questions with pandering non-answers.

So far, Colbert definitely seems to be able to compete with other network late night stars, including his main competition at NBC, Jimmy Fallon.  Contrary to the goofy games and wacky sketches of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Colbert’s Late Show seems to be a much smarter show, more similar to the style of another newcomer and fellow Northwestern alumnus, Seth Meyers.

Back on Comedy Central, Noah replaced Stewart on The Daily Show, with the premiere of his first episode on Sep.  28.  Noah, a 31 year old of mixed race who grew up in apartheid South Africa, comes from a much different background than that of New Jerseyan Stewart.

While Stewart’s absence has left a noticeable mark, it has helped that most of the writing staff and all of the correspondents from his last regime have stayed over for the transition.

Despite his lack of experience hosting, Noah has had a shockingly easy start, playing it safe with little adlibbing and featuring many of the old mainstays of the show, including correspondent reports and news clips peppered throughout.

Like Colbert, Noah has also had an array of guests, including comedian Kevin Hart, Tinder cofounder Whitney Wolfe, and presidential candidate Chris Christie.  In addition, Noah plans to have more musical guests on the show than there have been in the past, starting with singer Ryan Adams performing part of his cover album of Taylor Swift’s 1989.

Luckily, the two shows do not overlap.  The Daily Show airs Monday-Thursday at 11:00 p.m., while The Late Show airs weeknights at 11:30.