The New Daily Show Review

I have been a fan of “The Daily Show” for years. When Jon Stewart visited campus last year for his movie, “Rosewater,” I set my alarm so early that I awoke when it was still dark outside, hopped in a cab, and waited in line for hours. When the movie premiered here at Georgetown, I was the first one in line. A few months later, when he announced he was leaving the “The Daily Show,” I was beyond disappointed. I have spent hours with this show, analyzing the program’s content, watching episodes, and following their social media accounts.

When the search for a host began, I didn’t have any particular favorite actors or correspondents that I was rooting for. Even though he was new at the time, I thought Jordan Klepper might be good behind the anchor desk. But, when they announced Trevor Noah, I had to remind myself who he was. So, when the new “Daily Show” premiered, I didn’t want to rush to judgment. I knew he was new and nervous. I thought I would give him a chance to “win me over.” Noah was replacing an icon, Stewart, whom I spent years watching. Now that the show has been on for a month, I am rendering my opinion. I miss Jon Stewart!

Noah does a good job mimicking Stewart to a certain degree, but when Trevor Noah and Jordan Klepper had a conversation about John Boeher in the premiere episode, which became an allegory for Trevor Noah taking over the show, I thought he was good, but no Jon Stewart. Klepper made several jokes in the skit about “not being consulted for the new font” and logo, which are so slight one needs to look for them. It feels as though Noah slid into a new set that resembles the old one, making the connection between him and Stewart even more prevalent and hard to separate.

The first show went relatively well for Noah. He had his jokes ready to go and executed them with a smile on his face. Granted, for me, not all the jokes were on the mark. However, the program still felt similar with the same format, correspondent segments, guest interview, and moment of Zen ending. The familiarity made the transition less awkward. Now, it feels similar to John Oliver’s time on the program as host, when he replaced Stewart for nearly three months. I keep waiting for Jon Stewart to come back one night and introduce the episode.

“The Daily Show” has paved the way for fake news programs, created a successful spin off, “The Colbert Report,” and launched John Oliver’s anchor career, “Last Week Tonight.” The program itself a pillar of satirical history.

While Noah promised to uphold the quest to call programs on their bull****, maintaining the watchdog effect “The Daily Show” has become known for, I’m curious if it will be exactly the same. Since Jon Stewart always claimed he was a comedian first, host second, he was able to get away with a lot more remarks and off-the-cuff comments that a regular news program probably could not say. Trevor Noah was also a comedian before he became the lead anchor, so their two backgrounds overlap in this way, making it appear as though the show is still placing emphasis on the fact that the host is a comedian first and fake news anchor second.

According to Channel 34, “The Daily Show’s” ratings have dropped 33%. I genuinely hope that the show stays on the air, but if it doesn’t do something to differentiate between the two hosts soon, I doubt the program’s longevity. Stewart was the father of the satirical fake news genre; his predecessor should be just as amazing. With any luck, Noah will find his footing and host “The Daily Show” for years to come.