Al Franken, Chelsea Handler Among 2023 Hosts

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The cast of Comedy Central does not know who will replace Trevor Noah as anchor of the The Daily Show after his departure on December 8, but they have enlisted a list of well-known comedy stars to keep the seat warm while they figure out what’s next, Vulture has learned. Among the bold-faced names that will begin appearing behind the fake news desk next month are many SNL alums (former Senator Al Franken, Sarah Silverman, and, beginning January 17, Leslie Jones); two former late night hosts (Chelsea Handler and Wanda Sykes); many sitcom and comedy-film vets (DL Hughley, John Leguizamo, Kal Penn, and Marlon Wayans); and one of the former Daily show often (Hasan Minhaj). And anyone hoping to see Roy Wood Jr. or Dulcé Sloan the host, fear not: Current correspondents and contributors are set to be part of the anchor rotation as well.

While The Daily Show She’s had guests in the past, executive producer and showrunner Jen Flanz tells Vulture that, as far as she can remember, “This is the first time we’ve actually had outsiders in our house.” The nature of Noah’s sudden departure is also unprecedented in the show’s history: He is now facing the longest permanent vacancy ever. It is because the next iteration of The Daily Show is unlikely to begin before September 2023, according to Chris McCarthy, who oversees Comedy Central in his role as president and CEO of Paramount Media Networks. “We’re going to use the back half of the broadcast year – let’s call it from now until June – to really test and try different things,” he said. “And then our goal will be to start again in the fall.” The new host (or hosts) will be announced before then, allowing them time to prepare for the transition and have a full year to settle in before the 2024 presidential election. But, in general, “We don’t feel the need to rush into a decision,” McCarthy emphasizes.

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Indeed, while Comedy Central and Paramount execs have “general thoughts and a thesis” about what they want the post-Noah season to look like, McCarthy says they’re looking at the upcoming months of foreign and domestic hosts as an opportunity to experiment. “This is an opportunity to test different models and formats,” he said. “And we’re going to do that to give ourselves some planning time over the next few months before we start getting locked in on what the next chapter is going to look like.” One thing Flanz does is that the list of celebrities already signed up for guest gigs shouldn’t be seen as a list of vetted candidates to become permanent hosts. He says: “Anything is possible, but that is not the goal, and that is not the goal.” “I’m excited to see people who may not want to sit at a desk four nights a week for years but are interested in doing it for a week and hearing their opinion. And some of these people are people who probably have a lot of other things going on in their jobs but are happy to take a week off and do it. The Daily Show for a week.”

While many—perhaps most—guest anchors will fill a week at a time, some may just appear overnight, especially those with busy schedules or prior commitments, Flanz said. Moreover, today’s list of ten famous guests will grow in the coming weeks. “There’s a ton of talent that we’re still talking to,” McCarthy said. “And there’s a ton of comedy central greats along The Daily Show alumni – including former hosts – that I wouldn’t be surprised if they came to surprise us. ” When asked if he was referring to Jon Stewart or Craig Kilborn, McCarthy said to think “definitely more on the iconic side.” (This could cover Stephen Colbert, his Late show airs on Comedy Central on our sister network CBS.)

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As for now Daily show The staff mentioned as candidates for Noah’s chair, McCarthy said that the coming months of hosting guests will give them the opportunity to show their skills and maybe play with the format. “We’re very fortunate to have such a great bench of talent, every single person I’ve met. And they all expressed how important it was to them to be part of the recovery The Daily Show,” he says. “I think each of them has ideas about how the show should look, what it might look like. And we want to give them a chance to test those ideas … I think this is the best bench of writers we’ve had in a long time, and we want to be in business with them for a long time to come. .

In addition to not knowing who will take over as host, McCarthy and Flanz said they haven’t decided whether to stick around. The Daily Showsingle anchor format or evolves into something different like a composite anchor, such as SNLThe latest iteration of “Weekend Update,” or multiple hosts, à la CBS Mornings and Hello Hello America. “We’re very open to any number of ideas,” McCarthy said. “I think it has to be run smartly, and it has to be talent first.” Flanz agrees, saying the idea of ​​leaving anchor alone is “exciting” to him. “One of my favorite things we’ve done on the show is when the characters interact with each other,” he said. I think something is said when we talk instead of one person telling you things.

That said, both McCarthy and Flanz caution against reading too much into their openness to a different format. “Look, one person has worked for us for a long time,” says Flanz, who is entering his 25th year. The Daily Show next month. “I think there are many options. And the fun thing about this time is that it’s blown open again, and we can try. “

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More important, according to McCarthy, is to find a way to ensure that whoever takes over the army The Daily Show going forward is able to connect with audiences outside the cable-TV ecosystem, the way Noah did. “We are very mindful that the audience that watches us online is very different from the audience that watches us locally and on broadcast,” said the manager. “And the next generation can watch us on TikTok.” However, he adds, “I’m less concerned about how they view us and more concerned about making sure we stay true to the brand … and stay at the peak of fitness. We really want to make sure we get it back – not just for the short term but for the long term. “

For McCarthy, overseeing the selection of Noah Daily show The successor is the latest addition to a long and growing list of business responsibilities at Paramount Global. The exec has run several of the company’s cable brands over the past few years (including MTV, Comedy Central, and the Paramount Network) and recently took on the role of chief content officer for Paramount+, which handles unscripted and adult animation. In October, McCarthy was given oversight of Showtime Networks, putting him in charge of pay cable content and programming. And, perhaps most importantly in Paramount’s long-term line, McCarthy is busy managing the expansion of Taylor Sheridan’s universe, launching several spinoffs, prequels, and companion shows to Sheridan’s. Yellowstoneits recent fifth season premiere was the most-watched episode of the TV series in 2022.


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