Trevor Noah is nearing his last laugh on “The Daily Show.”
The comedian, who came out of near anonymity to take over the program from Jon Stewart in 2015, plans to exit the flagship Comedy Central series after a seven-year tenure that saw him transform it for a new generation of viewers who are more at home on social media than they are cable outlets and broadcast networks.
Noah revealed his plans to an audience at Thursday evening’s taping of the program in New York, according to two people familiar with the matter. It was not immediately clear when his actual exit would take place, or whether the Paramount Global cable network had begun to consider a successor. Jill Fritzo, a representative for Noah, could not be reached for immediate comment.
“We are grateful to Trevor for our amazing partnership over the past seven years. With no timetable for his departure, we’re working together on next steps,” the network said in a statement. “As we look ahead, we’re excited for the next chapter in the 25+ year history of ‘The Daily Show’ as it continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences make sense of the world around them.”
Noah’s plans to depart surface as TV’s late-night roster has begun to shrink. Yes, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel still appear every weeknight around 11:30 p.m. to poke fun at daily headlines and do celebrity impressions and stunts, but they have fewer rivals. At Warner Bros. Discovery, executives have scuttled late-night shows led by both Samantha Bee and Conan O’Brien, and have made no efforts to replace either. Comedy Central once boasted three different programs, led by Stewart, Colbert and Chris Hardwick. Now the cable network is down to just one. Showtime’s “Desus & Mero” recently stopped production. James Corden has already indicated he plans to step down from CBS’ “The Late Late Show” next year, and NBC is no longer in the business of airing comedy programming at 1:30 a.m. after parting ways with Lilly Singh in 2021.
One exception is Fox News Channel’s “Gutfeld,” which features host Greg Gutfeld leading a roundtable that hashes over the news of the day and vies with the “Daily Show” time slot. That program, which draws a different audience than Comedy Central’s, has seen growth in the time period.
Comedy Central has several potential replacements for Noah on its roster. The host works with a large circle of faux “correspondents” that includes mainstays such as Desi Lydic, Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta and Dulcé Sloan. Jordan Klepper, who once hosted “The Opposition,” a show that followed “Daily,” is a regular contributor, and has gained traction online for segments in which he visits conservatives at rallies and asks them questions about the state of the nation. Comedy Central has also been working with Charlamagne Tha God on a weekly showcase that mixes comedy, commentary and news.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety