We’ve only got one week left before Jon Stewart leaves us and passes the Daily Show torch to its new host, Trevor Noah. This leaves us with two big questions looming: first, how are we supposed to function in this new Jon Stewartless world? Will Comedy Central be offering grief counseling? Second, how will the new incarnation of the show be the same, and how will it change? Well, at this week’s Television Critics Association summer press tour, we got some answers in regard to the second question there. (Still no word as to whether employers will be mandated to recognize a period of paid leave for us to work through our mourning.)
The first move by Noah is a great one: he’s keeping all five of the show’s executive producers. That should help guarantee that even if the host takes a while to settle in, the overall quality of the show should still be what we’re used to. But there will be changes. Some will be small, like minor changes to the set. But others will be large, like, for example, the entire perspective of the show. According to Noah,
We’re still dealing with the same issues, it’s just a different angle we’re looking at things from—and it’s my angle, really. I’m taking things in a slightly different direction, but to the same endpoint… The way we [meaning he and Stewart] look at the same story will be completely different. We have different access to different jokes, different sides, different sensitivities… the most important thing is the place that you come from.This makes a lot of sense. Noah is a 31-year-old mixed race South African. If he DIDN’T come at issues from a different angle as Stewart would have, that would be weird. So what kinds of changes can we expect in that regard?
The Daily Show was based on an emerging 24 hour news cycle, that’s everything it was. That’s what inspired The Daily Show. Now you look at news and it’s changed. It’s no longer predicated around 24 hour news. There are so many different choices. Half of it is online now. Now you’ve got the Gawkers, the BuzzFeeds. The way people are drawing their news is soundbites and headlines and click-bait links has changed everything. The biggest challenge is going to be an exciting one I’m sure is how are we going to bring all of that together looking at it from a bigger lens as opposed to just going after one source—which was historically Fox News.Whoa whoa whoa. Hold up a minute. I’m all for a “bigger lens” and a shift in the mockery targets. The Daily Show should absolutely be making fun of the internet. We’re f*cking ridiculous. But this is a show that isn’t just about light mockery. It’s a major source of real news and social and political commentary. And if there were ever a day when we didn’t see a headline about how some Fox News correspondent being a total piece of walking, talking garbage and being severely less than human in regard to an issue of race, women, or poverty— well, that’s the day that maybe The Daily Show doesn’t need to be paying attention to Fox News.
Until then, go f*ck yourself, Fox.