When Trevor Noah announced to his studio audience on September 28 that he would be leaving Comedy Centrals The daily show, it was a shock for the public; staff and officers of Paramount Global; and even MTV Entertainment CEO Chris McCarthy, who oversees Comedy Central and had lunch with Noah the day before the announcement. And let’s not forget the publicists; Noah’s announcement on camera meant the news broke on social media before the episode aired.
A person close to the production confirmed the lunch meeting, that Noah gave no indication of his imminent exit, and virtually everyone on and around the show was caught off guard. Comedy Central is currently working out a timeline for his departure, with Noah and his team helping with the transition. Despite speculation that the new Daily Show will go live, the source close to the production told IndieWire that the new program will remain on Comedy Central.
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We are grateful to Trevor for our incredible partnership over the past seven years. With no timetable for his departure, we are working together on next steps, a Comedy Central spokesperson said in the official statement provided to IndieWire. As we look to the future, we were excited for the next chapter in The Daily Show’s 25+ year history, which continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences give meaning to the world around him.
Whoever gets the office won’t get many Nielsen viewers. It’s certainly not Noahs fault; this is true for almost all linear TV shows. In Stewart’s final 2015 season, The Daily Show drew 1.309 million viewers per episode. Over the past 12 months, Noah has averaged 372,000 viewers, down nearly 1 million, or 72%. The show is down 81% in ratings in the key demographic of adults 18-49.
Unsurprisingly, Noah’s basic cable show ratings suffer a lot compared to his network counterparts. Noah’s closest competitor, Late Night with Seth Meyers, more than doubled in viewership with 804,000 total viewers. However, in one area, Noah dominates everyone else: The Daily Show currently has the most engaged late-night social audience.
The Daily Show has gained 31 million social media followers since taking over from Stewart, for a total of 45 million per Domo data. According to TubularLabs, Noah’s version has amassed over 15 billion views. It has received the most mentions and comments so far this year, according to ListenFirst. Year-to-date, the series has had over 1.8 billion views on social media and over 31 billion minutes watched, per Domo.
So who could be the next face for the next phase? Possibly Roy Wood, Jr., the program’s regular correspondent since 2015 and the very first person Noah mentioned in his announcement. Or Ronny Chieng, the second person Noah yelled at. The Desi Lydic correspondent hasn’t been given a name, but that’s another possibility (On the Wood, Jr. speculation, a Comedy Central spokesperson shared the following statement: chapter of The Daily Show and to all of our amazing correspondents will be at the top of this list. Until then, our focus is on celebrating Trevor and thanking him for his many contributions.)
Noah could be replaced by contributor Jordan Klepper, but he’s carved out a nice niche supporting the show with longer fieldwork. Maybe alum Samantha Bee, who recently finished a run at TBS, won’t be missing the late night game after all. She could bring back with her husband and former Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones, who also left for TBS.
It certainly won’t be Stewart, who is on a multi-year contract with Apple TV+. A person with knowledge of the deal told IndieWire that the contract signed in 2020 still had several years remaining. Emmy-Nominated Apples The Trouble With Jon Stewart rolls out episodes every week or two, a much lighter workload for the guy who hosted 2,584 episodes of The Daily Show. By IMDb, Noah has hosted 1,060 episodes so far; OG host Craig Kilborn left after 380.
Or, perhaps the person who fills Noah’s shoes will be someone who is exactly as he was: although he was a famous comedian in his native South Africa, Noah was virtually unknown in the United States when He made his Daily Show debut as Senior International Correspondent on December 4, 2014. Within four months, he was named host.
Watch Noahs Thursday night announcement below. It has already surpassed one million views on YouTube. A representative for Noah did not immediately respond to IndieWires’ request for comment on this story.
And for a trip down memory lane, here’s Jons from seven years earlier:
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