Jon Stewart recently announced his departure from The Daily Show after 16 years and a few thousand episodes. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about The Daily Show.
- Stewart so made the show so singular that it’s easy to forget that he wasn’t the first host of The Daily Show. It debuted in the summer of 1996, hosted by former sportscaster Craig Kilborn. The show focused less on politics and satire and primarily sent up entertainment news shows and fluffy newsmagazines.
- During the Kilborn era, one of the show’s key segments involved bizarre, and often cruel, segments involving eccentric people all across America. Many of them weren’t in on the joke and were often convinced they were being interviewed by real journalists. Stephen Colbert, who got his big break by serving as a fake reporter on the show in the Kilborn era, once said, “You wanted to take your soul off, put it on a wire hanger, and leave it in the closet before you got on the plane to do one of these pieces.”
- Jon Stewart took over in 1999 after Kilborn departed to host The Late Late Show on CBS. Among the hosts he beat out for the job? Jon Stewart, who had hosted a failed talk show on MTV.
- The show went on hiatus during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. When it returned to the airwaves during the final weeks of the strike, it was briefly renamed A Daily Show With Jon Stewart. To support the efforts of his writers, Stewart ad-libbed most of his material and the show relied on previously recorded segments.
- While the show isn’t a real newscast, Stewart was determined the winner of a 2009 poll conducted by Time magazine to determine America’s most trusted newscaster.
- In addition to helping launch the career of Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show also served as the launching pad for Steve Carell, who served as a correspondent for five years. Other famous comedians who have appeared as contributors or correspondents on the show include: Kristen Schaal, John Oliver, Lewis Black, John Hodgman, and Olivia Munn.