Tag Archives: John Oliver

Jon Stewart May be One of a Kind, but ‘The Daily Show’ is More Than Just One Person

daily show team

It’s hard to fathom that a broadcast network suspending its evening news anchor for six month without pay would fail to qualify as the day’s biggest media story, but that’s what happened yesterday: NBC’s surprising Brian Williams news was overshadowed by the even more shocking declaration that Jon Stewart will step down from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart when his contract expires later this year.

The loss will be profound, and last night many stunned fans were questioning whether The Daily Show could continue on without him. But as I wrote at Quartz,

It can, it will—Comedy Central has confirmed that it will bring in a new host—and most importantly, it must. The Daily Show has grown into something much bigger than any one person, even Stewart, and after 16 years with him at the helm, it’s more than capable of thriving without him.

After all, there was a Daily Show before Jon Stewart (the original host was Craig Kilborn). And while Stewart has innovated late-night during the past 16 years even more than David Letterman ever did, the show no longer needs him to thrive, as John Oliver proved two summers ago:

When he decided to take the summer of 2013 off to direct Rosewater, Daily Show fans were wary of how his fill-in, Oliver, would fare. Well, those fears subsided by the first episode. Oliver didn’t just keep Stewart’s seat warm: he lit it on fire, with dozens of memorable moments. Suddenly, the prospect of a Stewart-less Daily Show didn’t seem so scary.

There’s much more in my Quartz piece, including a look back at how Stewart built the Daily Show, after much early trial and error, into the incisive show we all know and love, and my picks for who should be tapped to fill his Daily Show chair.

Jon Stewart may be one of a kind, but ‘The Daily Show’ is more than just one person

Larry Wilmore on How He Landed ‘The Nightly Report’ and What He Learned From Jon Stewart

larry wilmore

While at winter press tour, I sat down with Larry Wilmore to talk about his succeeding Stephen Colbert as Comedy Central’s new 11:30 p.m. late-night host for this Adweek profile. His new show, The Nightly Report with Larry Wilmore, kicked off this week. But as Wilmore told me, the show was originally supposed to be called The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore before Fox began developing a series based on the 2002 Tom Cruise film:

We made the call on the field, so to speak, before it really got too late. Part of our constructing the show was understanding how the audience sees content these days. They see it through social platforms—Twitter, Facebook—so your show has to live in those environments. And it was becoming very difficult to operate in those environments and having to use The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore as a complete tag all the time. We were being confined legally by doing that in all forms of everything, and it was becoming a nightmare. And I thought, “Guys, I don’t want it to be March and we have to change our name, after we’ve already been on.” I said, “Let’s just do it now, before it really came to a head.” It was in late October or early November, so there was still enough time. But the show didn’t change, only the name did.

Wilmore also talked about stepping down as Black-ish showrunner to take the Comedy Central job, how TV has changed since he launched The PJs and The Bernie Mac Show and how John Oliver’s recent late-night success has emboldened him.

Larry Wilmore on How He Landed The Nightly Report and What He Learned From Jon Stewart