Possible Contenders – Hollywood Life
- Trevor Noah gave his final broadcast on the ‘The Daily Show’ in December 2022.
- Leslie Jones, Chelsea Handler, Wanda Sykes, and many more will serve as guest hosts for the start of 2023.
- Many different stars are favored to take over following Trevor’s exit.
Trevor Noah is onto the next chapter. The comedian, 38, exited The Daily Show — a post he took over from Jon Stewart in 2015 — after seven seasons in December. Before a formal replacement is announced, a number of guest hosts will take over duties, with Leslie Jones being the first guest, beginning on January 17, 2023.
“It has been seven years since we started The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” he said on the Sept. 29, 2022 show, shocking fans. “And one of the overriding feelings I’ve found myself experiencing throughout the night and even today waking up, was a feeling of gratitude…And I want to say thank you to the audience for an amazing seven years. It’s been wild,” Trevor added, quipping, “My time is up.”
A special message from Trevor Noah pic.twitter.com/lMM8ll51fu
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 30, 2022
Since Trevor’s last show in December, it’s been announced that a slate of celebrity guest hosts will take over hosting duties until a permanent replacement is found. While nothing has been confirmed for a permanent fixture on the comedy news show, a fourth host is expected to take over. Here’s a look at the guest hosts and some of the contenders for the job.
Stars Filling In As Hosts On ‘The Daily Show’
With Trevor’s decision to step down, Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy explained that this was an exciting opportunity to reinvent The Daily Show as we know it. “Trevor redefined the show, as did Jon Stewart before him, and as we look to the future, we are excited to reimagine it yet again with the help of this incredible list of talent and correspondents along with the immensely talented Daily Show team,” Chris said in a statement, via The Hollywood Reporter.
Trevor was the third host of the show, behind Jon Stewart and Craig Kilborn, who all had unique takes on the program. Guest hosts have been announced through mid-February. Find out more about who’s coming to the news desk here.
Leslie Jones, 55, will be the first guest host to fill in. The Saturday Night Live alum will anchor the show from January 17 until January 19. Leslie is no stranger to TV or even comedic takes on the news. As an SNL cast member, she frequently would join Colin Jost and Michael Che at the “Weekend Update” desk to deliver comedic insights and characters. Other than SNL, which she left in 2019, Leslie has also starred in the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters and released her Netflix comedy special Time Machine in 2020.
Ahead of her stint guest-hosting, Leslie has shared clips previewing her appearance on Instagram. The Daily Show also shared a humorous clip of her naming different politicians, including Lauren Boebert, Mitch McConnell, and Herschel Walker. She opened up about advice she got from Chris Rock before hosting in an interview with The New York Post. “He told me not to be Trevor [Noah] and not to be Jon Stewart, just be myself. I’m Leslie Jones, so it’s gonna be totally different, at least for me. Just like anything else that’s brought to me, it’s an opportunity to come and do something that I haven’t done before,” she said. Before getting behind the desk, Leslie said that the whole show crew was very “helpful” during an interview on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Wanda Sykes, 58, will have hosting duties from January 23 to 26. Wanda is a pro when it comes to comedy! She won an Emmy in 1999 as part of the writing staff for The Chris Rock Show, and she’s been nominated 12 other times, with her most recent nomination coming in 2020 for her appearance on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Wanda has appeared in numerous hit comedy movies and shows, and released a ton of specials, with her most recent being 2019’s Not Normal. She also was one of the hosts of the 2022 Academy Awards.
Prior to the hosting job, Wanda has been a guest on the show 5 times with her most recent appearance being in 2017. Still, she’s no stranger to the news! She regularly comments on important political and social issues on her Instagram.
D.L. Hughley, 59, will sit behind the desk from January 30 to February 2. Another comedy veteran, D.L. has had his fair share of experience bringing people the news in a hilarious fashion over his decades-spanning career. He’s made appearances on The Daily Show seven times before his guest-hosting job. Outside of his standup comedy, D.L. has been hosting his radio show since 2009, and he also briefly hosted his own comedic news show D.L. Hughley Breaks The News on CNN in 2009. He’s clearly still up to date on all the major issues and news stories though and regularly shares his takes on the news on his Instagram.
Chelsea Handler, 47, will have her chance at guest hosting from February 6 to 9. The stand-up comedian has appeared in a wide variety of shows throughout her lengthy career, but most notably, she hosted her own talk show Chelsea Lately from 2007 to 2014. She also hosted the series Chelsea Does and Chelsea on Netflix from 2016 to 2017. She most recently dropped her new comedy special Revolution in 2022.
Chelsea has appeared on The Daily Show five times before. She teased what she plans to cover during an appearance on The View in January 2023. “I’m definitely going to talk about Elon Musk and George Santos because I’m chopping at the bit,” she said. “I love political news, and I love combining it with pop culture.”
Sarah Silverman, 52, will serve as the host from February 13 to 16. She’s the last person that’s schedule has been announced, but there are still plenty more that Comedy Central has teased to guest host. Sarah was the star of her own Comedy Central series The Sarah Silverman Program from 2007 to 2010. She has also won an Emmy award for her 2013 special We Are Miracles.
Sarah has been an outspoken comedian on political issues, and often addresses them on her podcast. She also hosted the political comedy series I Love You, America on Hulu from 2017 until 2018. She wrote that she “can’t wait” to guest host The Daily Show in a post announcing her appearance on Instagram.
Al Franken, 71, is the only guest host who has his own share of political experience as an elected official! Al was an original writer for Saturday Night Live, when the comedy show debuted in 1975. He remained with the show as a writer (occasionally appearing in sketches) until 1980, and then returned from 1985 to 1995. After leaving the show, Al continued working in comedy but occasionally wrote books, which joked about political issues. He notably hosted his own political talk show on Air America radio from 2004 to 2007. He’s also made seven appearances on The Daily Show, including two as a senator.
After leaving his radio show, Al ran for election as a U.S. Senator as the Democratic candidate for Minnesota. He won in the 2008 election and served as a senator for nearly a decade. Al’s political career came to an end in 2018, when he was accused of sexual misconduct, including kissing without consent and groping a woman. Al apologized for the interactions, saying that he remembered the incident differently, via CNN. More women came forward, and he subsequently resigned, although he did deny wrongdoing in some cases. Al has since said that he “absolutely” regrets resigning in a 2019 profile for The New Yorker.
Since resigning, Al has made appearances doing standup comedy and even guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! He also hosts his own podcast.
John Leguizamo, 62, is another comedian who is no stranger to political issues. The Emmy-winning actor and Broadway star has dabbled in both comedy and serious dramas, but he’s also used comedy to help share news and stories about the Latin-American community, often spotlighting important issues (as well as his projects) on Instagram. He’s made five appearances on The Daily Show prior to his guest hosting appearance.
Hasan Minhaj, 37, will return to The Daily Show nearly five years after leaving to guest host. The stand-up comic was a senior correspondent on the show from 2014 to 2018, during which time he also was the guest speaker at the 2017 White House Correspondent’s Dinner. While he may not be a part of the show any longer, Hasan has clearly kept up on political issues, as his two standup specials Homecoming King and The King’s Jester both dabbled in political humor, but he was also the host of the Netflix comedy news show Patriot Act from 2018 until 2020.
When Trevor announced he was leaving, Hasan reflected on his friend’s tenure at the show in an Instagram post. He shared a photo of the two of them sitting at the desk and wrote a heartfelt caption. “You did it your way, and you made The Daily Show your own. We had some amazing times Trevor Noah, and we can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you for not firing me when I needed health insurance the most!” he wrote.
Al Franken isn’t the only guest host with some political experience. Kal Penn, 45, will also get to deliver news on The Daily Show. Kal has been praised for his comedic roles (like the Harold and Kumar films) as well as his dramatic acting skills (like in Smile or The Namesake). Aside from his acting, Kal was also the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement from 2010 until 2011 (aside from a small absence to work on a Harold and Kumar film), during President Barack Obama’s administration. He was also the co-chair for Obama’s re-election campaign and served on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. While his main focus has been acting, he still shows his political involvement and that he still has some connections on his Instagram.
Marlon Wayans, 50, is yet another comedy veteran, who has entertained audiences for decades. Prior to the hosting job, he’s made six appearances on The Daily Show, but audiences should be familiar with him for his numerous hit comedies. He got his start on the sketch show In Living Color, but was also a producer for the first two Scary Movie films as well as the hit comedy White Chicks. Marlon has also regularly toured the standup circuit.
Front Runners to Potentially Take Over
Aside from any of the superstar guest hosts, there are plenty of people with past experience on the show who would make excellent replacements. While Hasan Minhaj is the only former Daily Show correspondent making his return, there are a few others who have been favored to take over.
Samantha Bee is known to The Daily Show audience as she appeared as a correspondent on the series alongside Jon Stewart for 12 seasons between 2003 and 2015. The Canadian-born personality, 53, was the series’ first-ever non-US contributor, and quickly won viewers over with her quirky politically driven segments.
Due to her long-standing position with the show, Sam was largely considered a frontrunner to take over as host after Jon’s departure in 2015 — which instead went to Trevor. “I was wildly unsurprised,” she said in 2019 to The Daily Beast. “They didn’t ask me or talk to me about it. I mean, literally, no one called or even emailed from the network—at all…It was awful. It was really awful. I mean, eventually they spoke to me, but I want to say it was a full month or six weeks after Jon had announced that he was leaving.”
She admitted, however, that she knew Comedy Central execs didn’t have a strong history of promoting from within. “I was never in contention and I very much knew that. I don’t know that people in the outside world knew how much I was not being considered for the job,” she also said.
In another interview, the Toronto native says management just “didn’t see” her in the same light as Jon. “I think that the management at the time, beyond the Jon [Stewart] level for sure, just didn’t see me that way,” she said to BuzzFeed News back in 2019. “They just wouldn’t have thought of me.”
“They didn’t have a super great track record at the time of looking within their own talent pool and figuring out who to bring forward,” she also said. “I think they’ve probably improved somewhat, in that regard, but at that time they looked outward instead of looking inward. I would say they had blinders on.”
She also insisted that she had no hard feelings about Trevor getting the gig after serving as a special correspondent for six months with just three appearances. “I wouldn’t have wanted to take it over, to be perfectly honest,” Samantha, who studied drama and acting at the post-secondary level, also said. “I actually really prefer the experience of building something where there was nothing before, I think that was 100% the right thing that happened.”
Samantha still came up on top, though: the McGill University alum hosted her own show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS, which debuted in 2016 and wrapped up in 2022. Now that she’s back on the market, fans are definitely speculating she could finally take the reigns at The Daily Show.
Roy Wood Jr.
Roy Wood Jr. is also a name floating around to potentially take over for Trevor. Roy, 44, is also known to The Daily Show audience, having served as a correspondent on the series since 2015. Outside of his appearances on the show, he’s well known in the stand-up comedy world, appeared in the 2022 film Confess, Fletch, and his podcast.
Reports surfaced that Comedy Central executives want to “meet” with Roy to talk about the potential gig, per The Daily Mail on Oct. 1. Another source told TMZ, however, that execs “want to meet with him to discuss his future… but he’s NOT been personally told he’s even a candidate to replace Trevor…there’s talk the next host could be a woman.” Roy has yet to break his silence on the topic, but he would be a natural fit.
So far, Comedy Central has remained mum on the issue. “In time, we will turn to the next chapter of The Daily Show and all of our incredible correspondents will be at the top of that list,” the network said to Daily Mail in a statement. “Until then, we are focused on celebrating Trevor and thanking him for his many contributions.”
Another ‘Daily Show’ correspondent
While the other correspondents haven’t been named as front runners, Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulce Sloan and Jordan Klepper are all known to audiences based on their semi-regular appearances. One of them could also be a potential name in the ring as Comedy Central begins the search for a new host.
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