Williams, Cooper, Glass admire Stewart's 'Show'

Among “The Daily Show’s” biggest fans are the very folks the skein consistently pokes fun at.

Broadcasters locked into the “real” news format often envy “The Daily Show’s” straight talk and common-sense approach. NBC news anchor Brian Williams, a frequent guest and a bemused sparring partner of Jon Stewart’s, notes, “Often at our editorial meeting, we talk about what ‘The Daily Show’ did the night before.” He adds, “‘The Daily Show’ does stuff we can only dream about.”

The show’s practice of researching old videos and culling politicos’ past (often contradictory) statements is “the strongest, most biting stuff they do,” says CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Their use of video is completely legitimate and effectively done. There’s no reason why that wouldn’t be on other newscasts. It’s something they do very effectively and a lot of people would like (to see) more of.”

Cooper’s guest spots include recently serving as moderator for a “debate” between puppies angling for the White House top dog gig.

“This American Life’s” Ira Glass points to the show’s interview segment, often with politicos, pundits and political authors mixed in with the occasional celebs, as a highlight of the show.

“It was probably designed as filler, but through sheer force of personality, the interviews have become important,” Glass contends. He also admires the show’s tone and use of vernacular, explaining, “Stewart talks about stuff in a normal tone of voice, not the moronic jaded language of a typical newscaster.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more