Daily Show: New host like Samantha Bee, Cal Penn may be from outside.

By | October 26, 2022

Trevor Noah’s replacement could be someone “Daily Show” viewers haven’t seen on the show in a while — if at all.

Comedy Central has indicated that it is considering its current mock team of “correspondents” and contributors as potential candidates to replace current host Trevor Noah, and is also talking to outside contenders, people familiar with the matter said.

Paramount Global Network may be looking for a host who is well-versed in political comedy or simply someone who has bridged the gap between Hollywood and Washington. People like Samantha B., a former “Daily Show” reporter, is launching her own contemporary-comedy show at Warner Bros. Discovery’s TBS (cancelled last July) or Cal Penn, an actor who enlisted in the Obama administration and produced a short-lived late-night show on Disney’s Freeform, may have the experience Comedy Central is looking for.

A rep for the B’s declined to comment on his desire to return to “Daily,” and Penn manager Dan Spilo did not return a request for comment.

Executives at Comedy Central have trodden this path before. As the network considers a replacement for Jon Stewart, people involved in the process have offered up popular choices such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Chris Rock, following the talent already attached to the show. It was during Noah’s early days as a reporter for “The Daily Show” that he was awarded the show’s top job.

A single host cannot be in place when “daily” starts a new run. His last on-air appearance as the host is expected to take place on December 8. After that broadcast, the show will go off the air and resume in mid-January as part of what Comedy Central has billed as a “reinvention.” As part of that process, the network may experiment with their current crew of reporters in two or three events. There is speculation that Comedy Central may consider Roy Wood Jr. one of its current correspondents, or Jordan Klepper, who once hosted the post-“Daily” program “The Opponents.”

Comedy Central declined to comment on executives. In a previous statement, the network said: “Over time, we’ll be moving on to the next season of ‘The Daily Show,’ and that lineup will include all of our amazing reporters.” In the meantime, we will focus on honoring Trevor and thanking him for his many contributions.

Candidates must impress various executives to snag the ultimate “Daily Show” job. Ari Pierce, the network’s vice president of talent and development, is among those said to be influential in the new show’s selection. Jane Flanz, executive producer of “The Daily Show”; and Trevor Rose, executive vice president of talent and content development for Paramount Global. Nina L. Diaz, chief creative officer of the company’s entertainment-focused cable networks, said longtime Paramount executive Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group, was fully aligned with the decision.

Noah surprised viewers and the show’s staff when he told an in-studio audience that he plans to leave the show he inherited from Stewart at the end of September. “I found myself thinking about everything we’ve been through,” the host said of the revelation. The Trump presidency, the pandemic, the travel, more pandemic and seven years later I realized my time was up.

His departure draws new scrutiny to the slate of late-night TV shows, which have begun to dwindle. At Warner Bros. Discovery, executives ditched late-night shows hosted by both Bee and Conan O’Brien and made no public effort to replace either. Comedy Central once boasted three different shows hosted by Stewart, Colbert and Chris Hardwick. Now the cable network is down to just one. The watch “Desus & Mero” has recently stopped production. James Corden has indicated he plans to leave CBS’ “The Late Late Show” next year, and NBC is no longer airing comedy shows at 1:30 a.m. following its split with Lily Singh in 2021. Sure, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert continued their small talk, and it turned out that Fox News’ panel show, hosted by Greg Gutfeld, was on the east coast at 11:00.

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