Jessica Williams’ Departure Points to Bigger Problems at ‘The Daily Show’

Jessica Williams Trevor Noah Daily Show
Courtesy of Comedy Central

On Wednesday, longtime “The Daily Show” correspondent and fan-favorite Jessica Williams announced that she would be leaving the show to work on a scripted pilot with “Broad City” and “Difficult People” writer Naomi Ekperigin. With her, she takes one of the finest voices at “The Daily Show.” Williams was an important hire for the Comedy Central fake-news late-night comedy show: She came in after the lack of women in the writers’ room and in front of the camera caught the attention of Jezebel writer Irin Carmon. There was a brief period of time, too, where Williams was a favorite to replace Jon Stewart in the host’s chair.

Right now, the vision of that alternate universe is a rosy one. Williams takes her talent with her, and what’s left behind is a show that has been struggling ever since Stewart announced his retirement. It is not totally a surprise that “The Daily Show” was going to struggle after he left last August — the show only sprang to life when Stewart took over it from previous host Craig Kilborn in 1999. Stewart made “The Daily Show” not just a venue for political jokes but also a platform for everyday media criticism. The show did have a behind-the-scenes crew that stayed with “The Daily Show” through the host transition, and Stewart, still an executive producer on the show, gave new host Trevor Noah his seal of approval. But without Stewart’s sensibility and presence, the show was always going to be irrevocably different. Transitions take time for everyone to get used to, especially the audience at home.

Given this, what is most confusing about “The Daily Show” since Stewart announced his resignation last February are its unforced errors — the decisions made either within the organization, by Noah, or by Comedy Central that are so bafflingly wrongheaded that it undermines the audience’s trust. For a show that so successfully built its audience by gaining its trust, these missteps have proven to have a chilling effect on the new “Daily Show”’s ability to gain critical momentum.

This week offers up a perfect example. On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a controversial statute Texas which was designed to drastically limit access to abortion. “The Daily Show” chose to celebrate the news, as many other personalities and shows were doing on Twitter. But the tweet they chose was almost comically off-base: “Celebrate the #SCOTUS ruling! Go knock someone up in Texas!”

Indeed: A bastion of liberal thought in America made a joke about women having broader freedoms in reproductive health by addressing a joke specifically at people with penises. It’s a logical loop that doesn’t compute. And while there’s apparently plenty to say on the topic, it’s not just about poor taste and taking offense; it’s the type of thing that prompts the question: “Who’s driving this thing?”

Post-Stewart, “The Daily Show” has been inundated with these moments. The biggest question has taken the shape of one of the show’s biggest competitors. Six months after Noah started, former (and longtime) “The Daily Show” correspondent Samantha Bee launched “Full Frontal” on TBS. It’s a similar type of show populated by a lot of “The Daily Show” alums, and she is much better in her role than Noah is in his. And yet, for unclear reasons, Comedy Central never asked her to host the show during their talent search.

Meanwhile, Noah’s hiring revealed a startling lack of consideration: In addition to the immediate (and highly avoidable) excavation of embarrassing tweets, Noah did not seem to understand that being the host of “The Daily Show” would require an element of reportage and investigation. He told Linda Holmes on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, “I did not anticipate how much journalism I would have to do.” He added, in a sentiment that doesn’t seem to understand what made “The Daily Show” beloved, that “It’s sad that a comedy show is looked to to be the number one source of authentic news.”

This disconnect has been borne out in behind-the-scenes tremors, too. Just two months after the show premiered, the Daily Beast reported that several of the show’s writers had disclosed concerns with a scheduled segment where Noah would interview R&B singer Chris Brown on the subject of domestic violence. (Brown was convicted of felony assault against his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.) The segment was then cancelled without further explanation.

There’s an extraordinary lack of poise at play here. The above examples aren’t issues with execution, or symptoms of overambition; these are bizarre lapses in vision and a systemic lack of consideration. It is worrying that so many of these incidents seem to be motivated by nothing more than casual sexism, but the point is that a well-functioning show wouldn’t make it quite so easy for casual sexism to reach the audience.

Technically, Jessica Williams’ decision to leave “The Daily Show” this week has nothing to do with that tweet. The well-liked correspondent is leaving the show to work on a scripted comedy for Comedy Central. Williams is moving from the late-night format to the scripted format, joining the ranks of Amy Schumer, Ilana Glazer, and Abbi Jacobson — three other female comedians who have found success at the network. After losing the likes of Bee, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, Comedy Central is eager to keep talent in-house.

But it’s worth noting that “The Daily Show,” once a vaunted institution, is losing its most well-known correspondent, just a few months after a comedian with a history of bad jokes about women ascends to the host’s chair. Reading through Williams’ comments to Entertainment Weekly about her departure is an exercise in reading between the lines; when asked about her favorite memories, she reminisces exclusively about working with Stewart. And when asked about leaving during an election year, Williams says: “We’re in good hands as long as we have Sam and Oliver and Trevor. I think they got it covered.” She cites Bee and Oliver, “The Daily Show”‘s rivals, before citing her own boss.

Often, a story about a show’s apparent missteps is a story about a management issue or a human resources problem. These glimpses into the inner workings of “The Daily Show” do not suggest an environment where a person as talented as Williams would want to stick around. “The Daily Show,” as an organization, is struggling. Williams is not wasting any time, either: Her final outing with “The Daily Show” is tonight.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the TBS weekly series “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” has twice the viewership of “The Daily Show,” which airs originals Monday-Thursday. For the second quarter, “Daily Show” averaged 1.3 million viewers in Nielsen’s live-plus-7 ratings while “Full Frontal” averaged 1.2 million in L7s.

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  1. SN says:

    Trevor Noah was a poor choice for this iconic programme. Jon Stewart was naturally funny, but vitally he is American and has formed his opinions over the years. How could Trevor Noah have/develop such strong anti-republican and pro-liberal sentiments in a year or so and be so rabid about them? That is what makes him sound so fake. And yes, he is rabid in his anti-conservatism. And not funny. Too contrived, and if it were not for the writers, his contract would never have been renewed after the first season. Samantha Bee, although equally rabid, is at least funny and can deliver a line. And although CC is not mainstream media, you can’t help feeling that MSM have buried their reputation for a long time to come, by doing exactly what Fox was doing, with people like Noah. Now, Fox looks positively good by comparison!

  2. Jack Smith says:

    I am from South Africa and I find it strange that Trevor Noah should be commenting about Trump and American politics when the politicians in his own country are so terrible and running it to the ground whilst at the same time promoting racism. He really is not funny. He seems awkward and out of place. I thought over time he would adjust and find his own way and do something original but now he is only copying what others before him have already done and brings nothing new to the table. If anything the show is actually getting worse instead of bringing people together with humor and entertainment he uses it as a tool to deflect when confronted and has more of a polarizing effect. How can he comment on things in America when it does not affect him and never has since he hasn’t grown up there.

  3. Johnny R says:

    i came here just to find out why jessica williams left, shame it had to turn into “the show sucks since trevor noah”

    if they replace trevor i for one will lose interest, and i doubt im the only one who feels this way.

  4. oh my gosh…would someone please put us out of our misery and replace Trevor. I’m sorry but this is not a good venue for him. He’s not funny, the show’s not funny, now it’s just tedious. I don’t expect Jon Stewart part deux but why couldn’t they have put Samantha Bee in there. Sorry, Trevor, TV ain’t for you. Or at least this format isn’t.

  5. sam says:

    i grew up watching the daily show in high school and i enjoyed it but i definitely wasn’t a die hard fan like my best friend, or other folks in the comments. perhaps that’s why i was far more open to trevor taking over the show. that being said i really do enjoy trevor’s take on the daily show. i’ve watched every episode from about february onward i can say for sure that he, his correspondents and their jokes/commentary have definitely improved over the past few months. i’ve never been much into comedy cuz it’s hard to make me laugh but the daily show with trevor has routinely made me cry from laughing! especially in recent episodes. idk, i think he’s doing a good job!!

  6. markasdwitt says:

    she is better than this show now. it used to be a good fit – she doesn’t like where the kid is taking it… non stop hate for Trump. shows over in this house – gave him a shot but immediately knew this was not the kid for the job. Williams will do better things away from that platform..

  7. I love Jon & I felt his pain for leaving, but gawd damn I’m so exhausted by the triviality of matters of ‘importance’ in the American landscape – both that covered in the media & the global knowledge base of the American public as a whole.

    Trevor’s angle is setting America against a backdrop of Africa, which in many cases continues to be a basketcase. Yet, it pales in comparison to the US. At least the majority of the African population wants better for itself even though it struggles to get there. The US doesn’t even struggle anymore, it just continues down its path of self-importance.

    I loved Colbert, yet I’ve watched him less than 5 times since his move. Did he ‘sell out’? I don’t know, but he did increase his viewers vs the Colbert Report, but I wouldn’t consider those viewers as activists.

    Larry Wilmore was painful to watch – I watched it more than Colbert. The only saving grace to those 23 minutes was Grace Para – otherwise shoot me in the face, American-style racism, which is straight line black against white, not blacks against blacks against whites (tribalism or xenophobia) which is what racism is outside the US, and again Trevor’s unique experience to bring to the fore in his satire while highlighting how trivial ‘concerns’ are in & within the US landscape.

    Any maybe, just maybe, that’s what Jon knew…. The US & its populace (& his viewers) needed an outside perspective at the helm of the show, not just occasional ‘correspondents’.

  8. Jon Peterson says:

    I am a long-time fan of The Daily Show. Jon Stewart is a comic genius. I doubted it could ever be as good without him, and unfortunately, that is even far more true than I anticipated. I gave Noah a fair chance, I think. I even went to the show (far easier to get tickets than it used to be). But it just isn’t close to being as good. The reason why is obvious to me. Jon Stewart never forgot that the main thing was to be funny. There was never any doubt about his political perspective, but if he could find something humorous in Anthony Weiner or Nancy Pelosi, they got skewered as well. With Noah, politics is paramount. As a man who grew up in apartheid South Africa, he can hardly be blamed for that. And he can be funny. But it is “All Trump all the time” now. Not that the Donald doesn’t deserve it, but night after night of watching a one-trick pony has gotten old.

    I’m not sure if they have the same writers. It wouldn’t seem so. And while Jon Stewart always seemed to attract amazing contributors, the current cast is so-so at best.

    I still DVR the show, but where I used to faithfully watch it the next day, I no longer care if I see it or not and often end up deleting the shows without watching.

  9. Arty Kraft says:

    The choice of Noah at the time was baffling and even more so today. What in the world were they thinking? Aside from the fact that as a non-American he’s obviously unaware of the many intricacies associated with political and socioeconomic issues, his rather brash approach signifies profound confidence yet unfortunately his inadequacies as both a comedian and satirist are glaring. In that role, he just doesn’t add up. Sheer enthusiasm and cute gimmicks ring hollow on a show once known for its profundity. And the awkward giggling and laughing at his own jokes are in clear violation of Basic Comedy 101.

    As an interviewer, he fawns over the top celebrities, often acting giddy and superficial. The time for guests is so truncated that only rarely are the conversations meaningful and trenchant. It seems the producers, realizing his inability to routinely conduct engaging interviews, have decided to present the talk show equivalent of Minute Rice. At least Jon Stewart’s meaningless interviews were funny. Noah doesn’t have the intellectual dexterity to turn on a dime and seize those fleeting moments of chatter and turn them into uproarious releases.

    He plays loose, but his weaknesses tighten him up and limit the full potentiality for belly laughs. Consequently, the burden remains on the writers who do produce sharp and comedic material, though at times the themes tend toward self-righteous indignation as opposed to inspiring satiric characterizations. The failure here is that the former is an act of preaching to the choir whereas the latter assigns the world’s culprits to Comedic Hell where they deserve to burn forever. Why accentuate the transgressions as if providing a lecture on Ethics when the audience already realizes the insidious nature of a corrupt political system? What we’re looking for, which Stewart and Colbert delivered in aces, is for the transgressors to be figuratively whipped and shamed, not simply embarrassed and reprimanded.

    In the end, a show that once presented a rare, unique sensibility that reinforced the notions we had about our bizarre state of affairs, has become trite and, frequently lifeless, which are, ironically traits within the monolithic corporate oriented world we find so disgusting. Despite the many efforts to conjure up a new kind of Hip Humor, The Daily Show is now, like many public offerings, an exercise in show over substance, appearance over being, and perception over understanding.

    • Marke says:

      Pretty good analysis. I’d say you’ve pretty much hit it.

      Stewart spent over a decade focusing the show toward news satire, which on a national level is mostly political.

      Noah may be an ok stand-up guy. But his African/European perspective on American politics doesn’t lend itself to the kind insight needed for clever sarcasm. I suspect his final advise was – just ridicule the right and don’t risk alienating the core audience.

  10. A Concerned Citizen says:

    Trevor Noah is the worst. I don’t watch The Daily Show anymore.

  11. Savage Likeness says:

    But Jessica Williams isn’t funny.

  12. ShortHand says:

    Pre Noah Williams was possibly the strongest correspondent on the show…. Williams performance seems to have taken a huge dive after Noah took over… She just did not seem to have her heart in it.. (You could also note her appearances as a correspondent became more infrequent….)

  13. Jessica Williams is terrible..she is so awkward on camera and everything seems forced. He comedic timing is non existent.

    They should have gone with Samantha Bee, I know she didn’t want the job, but man she would have killed it.

    As for Noah, you can NOT have political satire from an outsider. It requires passion, which a foreigner can not have or fake.

  14. Jessica says:

    I watched the new Daily Show for six months in an attempt to give it a chance and ended up stopping. The amount of times he laughs at his own jokes when the audience doesn’t is cringe inducing. He’s not good or charming and he has no perspective. I gave him as much time as I could bear. The show is bad. Thank goodness the TDS alums went on to their own things so this format isn’t lost to the ages.

  15. Mark Behringer says:

    “CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the TBS weekly series “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” has twice the viewership of “The Daily Show,” which airs originals Monday-Thursday. For the second quarter, “Daily Show” averaged 1.3 million viewers in Nielsen’s live-plus-7 ratings while “Full Frontal” averaged 1.2 million in L7s.”

    And you reported that she had TWICE as many?

    Your anti-Noah bias has never shown as much as it is now. Hopefully, Variety readers will be able to spot it more easily going forward.

  16. This article was trying a little too hard methinks. The show is doing well, considering and it will take time get better.
    The real problem is that it’s viewership are millennials who support bernie sanders, meanwhile the show appears to be staunchly establishment -I’m sure this is pressure from viacom executives. This is especially tragic since more positive bernie coverage would gain more viewers who would be very loyal.

  17. BillUSA says:

    The show is paying the price of unchecked liberalism. Like a dog chasing its tail, they cannot fathom that they are the cause.

    • jesuslouiseus says:

      Another “genius” at work. Unchecked liberalism? You sir, are a nitwit. Stewart was a cultural steward and Noah is a hack-y comic who condescends to his audience. That’s why the ratings are dipping, not some Fox News conspiracy comeuppance. But you go on and keep believing your ridiculous and completely unfounded propaganda. Whatever helps you keep your hate fires warm!

    • No thats not why, smh. The article actually argued the opposite

  18. peisley1 says:

    Even my favorite segment Your Moment of Zen isn’t the same anymore.

  19. come on says:

    This is definitely a hatchet job on the show. Written by someone who obviously has an agenda. The writer seems to have taken classes in “Cattiness101” from a fine American university. BY the way, Mentioning, Sam B, Oliver and Trevor in that order has nothing to do with the importance that she feels towards them. It comes off as you are trying to marginalize Trevor at every angle. Could it be that the order (why do we even have to read into this at all is my question?) she mentioned the names was due to the length of time working together and how close they are to each other?? Seems like that’s much more likely than what you are dishing out.

  20. thequipsters says:

    This is just plain irresponsible journalism. The use of phrases like “Technically” and “an exercise in reading between the lines” implies that you don’t have much of anything to back up your claim that the show is failing other than Jessica Williams has left the show. Personally, I don’t that indicates anything beyond the fact that someone in Comedy Central gave her a very deserved opportunity to expand her own brand and continue her career. I’d rather see an article about why shows like Trevor Noah’s Daily Show are pushed to cancel segments like the Chris Brown segment than vague, unfounded slam pieces on a show that is doing great things.

  21. bob lassiter says:

    The show has become unwatchable under Noah, so I don’t watch it.

  22. Tim says:

    I haven’t watched the show since Craig Kilborn left.

  23. Zack Woodson says:

    Variety, if you’re going to hire people from Salon, you’re going to need to double your fact-checking staff.

  24. nate says:

    She was by far the least funny person on there. If I want to here a black person complain about racism I’ll go everywhere

  25. Trevor is horrible says:

    bad hire…excellent talent in house especially in the female department. so they bypass this talent which has shown to be outstanding as they move on and bring in a man from south africa that knows little about american culture. the show is not the same and the move to an inhouse female would have been a much better move. trevor has continued to disappoint. anyone who thinks there isn’t a behind the scene issue is just blinded. sam bee has the same amount of views in her first year…go sam

  26. Feminism is disease says:

    Third wave feminist tempest in a teapot drivel as always.

  27. Tell It says:

    The author of this largely substance-free article takes an issue (Williams’ departure) that admittedly has nothing to do with the quality of the show, and tries to use it as a platform for bashing Noah and his staff. With very few actual incidents to cite, she flimsily attempts to make a sweeping indictment, using overblown adjectives (“troubling,” “extraordinary,” “startling,” “worrying”). And the glaring error about audience size was significant.

  28. Louise says:

    The article criticizes the show for things that are t actually in the show… Tweets, episodes that didn’t air etc. I was a huge Stewart fan and wasn’t expecting much from Noah. Yet, I’m really enjoying the new show. It’s a bit uneven, and of course different than Stewart’s show, but it’s very good TV. I’m definitely sorry to see Williams go, but she deserves a bigger stage on which to shine. Let’s give Noah a chance to hire a replacement and get through his first season.

  29. Amy says:

    I am long time fan of Jon and The Daily Show and I thought I would never adapt, but I think Trevor is doing a very good job. Comedy Central had to realize since he was not raised in America and considerably younger that Trevor could not possibly have Jons passion on issues which developed over the years, but don’t let that detract from his talent. Trevor and the writers are still producing an excellent show, one I rarely miss and still thoroughly enjoy. Keep up the good work!!!

  30. Richard Sanchez says:

    Since the departure of Jon, the show has veered hard left. it was always a little left leaning, but it was balanced and was not afraid to criticize or compliment either side of an issue if Stewart took issue with anything. Now, it presents an extreme liberal agenda, and there is nothing wrong with that btw, BUT, when you are dealing with hardcore liberals it’s just a matter of time until you say something that offends and angers them. Then you get into a vicious cycle where you are constantly trying to appease them and with each new faux-offence, like the “sexism” angle that this article is trying to pursue for example, you end up diluting the quality of the comedy until eventually you become a parody of your former self, at which point even your perpetually offended liberal audience will abandon you because you have simply become boring.

    • Irfan Shamsuddin says:

      That’s fair but you need to remember that these people are still comedians. Some of them might be hardcore liberals but ultimately they are comedians. If a joke gets a laugh, they’re probably going to tell it, regardless of whether it offends people. I mean I would consider Trevor as someone who is quite progressive thinking but he’s a comedian first and foremost. If it’s a joke that’s quite conservative in nature, he’ll just play it off as what it is: a joke.

  31. Mark says:

    The problem is Trevor Noah is kind of a hipster while Jon Stewart was normal and connected with a wider audience which is normal people. He proves time and again that he still doesn’t understand American culture. To have a successful talk show in America you need to understand the culture and not question it as he does most of the time with jokes like “Why do Americans call football soccer?” and all that crap. We are not here to listen to someone who keeps making fun of the way Americans live. This kind of comedy is more suited to a comedian rather than a talk show host. Thats why he got so much success as a comedian.

  32. Zoe says:

    Give the host more time. Not a regular viewer, I have seen some good pieces that held up even in comparison to Stewart.

  33. Noj says:

    I hope Variety pulls this from the News section and puts this in the Opinion section. Fact-free statements loaded with conjecture do not qualify as responsible journnalism.

    Also, like this author, most people forget that Stewart was AWEFUL when he first took over TDS from Kilbourne. I stopped watching the show for awhile because of how bad he initially made the show. However, he eventually hit his groove around year two and became the John Stewart that we all loved. Trevor hasn’t been given enough time to adjust, but he is doing better than Stewart did at the same time in his career. In short, shut up and give the man a chance before crying that the sky is falling..,

  34. Divain Douglas says:

    Xenophobia in America continues. Anything that is not American is hated. Stop comparing a child to his father. Trevor is a great host and doing a great job. Stewart is not to be compared with. Talent left the show under Stewart as well. Remember Stephen Colbert, Michael Che… You simply hate Trevor cuz one he’s black, and has a job no one in your generation will ever dream of. Btw he’s still richer than you. 😊. Compare apples to apples. Sam Bee n Oliver are great but remember their shows are once a week compared to daily. You can’t compare the nightly show with Larry to the former Colbert report.

    • Richard Sanchez says:

      race baiters will never rest until EVERYTHING becomes about race.

      • A.C. Doyle says:

        Um, I think you need to consult a dictionary. That’s not what race-baiting means. But trolls gotta troll, I guess.

  35. Just because a journalist doesn’t like Noah doesn’t mean the entire viewer base doesn’t. I honestly thought that The Daily Show was over when Stewart announced his retirement…. but it was only a couple weeks into Noah that I realized it truly was mostly the same show. I do miss Stewart but Noah has taken the reigns quite well. What’s even more odd is when Jordan joined under Stewart I wasn’t a fan but he quickly has become one of my favorite correspondents allong with Roy Wood Jr. There is nothing wrong with the show at all…. and I honestly can’t see how Full Frontal has twice the ratings (It would be nice if the article would quote sources and figures on this). I do like Full Frontal but it is nowhere near The Daily Show in my book. You say you have to read between the lines that Jessica wasn’t happy but you really don’t show any real evidence for what you are talking about…. Saying that working with Stewart was her best memories is not evidence that she was unhappy under Noah and twisting her words like that is horrible journalism…. if you spend many years working with one person and a shorter time working with another it’s obvious that you’re going to miss the former more. And quoting Noah last? Come on! Couldn’t she have been saving the best for last? Truthfully the only thing that is irritating me about The Daily Show right now is that they are complaining about not having any option other than Clinton and Trump without even so much as mentioning Gary Johnson — That is something that Full Frontal does have…..

  36. steve angus says:

    you forget Jon Stewart said the same thing about America getting it’s news from a comedy show on a number of occasions. Also “reading between the lines” sounds like you assigning a different meaning to someone elses statements. It’s not your place to report on what you THINK someone meant. By your style of writing I can see that if you stuck to the facts , then you would have nothing to say. Also if you are going to call someone sexist like you implied Noah is, maybe you should include some evidence of this. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but I won’t be taking your factless word for it.

  37. Ida says:

    Personally, Noah won me over quite early on, and I definitely do prefer him to Stewart. The last couple of years after Stewart came back from his movie definitely did start to drag on, and his near-monthly “everyone lets emulate orgasm noises” did get old _very_ quickly. The absence of that alone is already a plus in my book. The second segment is (generally) significantly improved as well, I used to dread those half the time, and interviews I ever hardly watch anyway.
    Bee is great and Oliver is amazing, and both of those shows are significantly better than the Daily Show, but what else is new. They do have an advantage of airing only once a week, so they do not have to get out a new script every single day, which does improve the level of research and humor (and funding) put into each and every episode.

  38. Hildie says:

    The show stinks. It’s simple. One-sided talking points that are tiresome and nonfunny. Crap

  39. Brad Root says:

    I think this article is stretching. Sam Bee likely has double the ratings of Daily Show because she’s not on a cable network, right? Her show is also weekly, not daily, so the fact that an episode of her show is generally better than an episode of the Daily Show is likely due to that alone.

    And I agree Full Frontal seems to be a better show for people who liked Stewart’s Daily Show, and maybe I do like it more as well, myself. But I like Trevor Noah’s Daily Show more than Stewart’s ultimately for the same reason I love Full Frontal: both shows are more directly confrontational. Stewart only seemed to get genuinely angry about 9/11 first responders, while Sam Bee seems angry about everything, and Trevor has some level of incredulous frustration in a lot of the bits.

    Daily Show has always had a signature level of awkwardness to it, and it is back in spades with Trevor’s take. That handshake bit in this episode at the start… They’re willing to play jokes that get almost no laughs at all, and sometimes for me that’s even funnier. So, to each their own.

  40. This guy doesnt like Tevor Noah. He was questioning him even before the show started. Like him or hate him, Trevor is just so talented, he will match John Stewart over time. In fact i think he will do better- in his own way, which was a clever move by CC. What trevor is doing is making the daily show international, world wide. I never cared about the show, but i cant wait for the next post on the internet. Go Trevor.

  41. Eric Breslauer says:

    This is just silly, I stopped reading after the supposed takedown of the SCOTUS joke, seriously? Also, well done to Samantha Bee I really respect and admire her, but she has about half the charisma and comedic talent of Trevor Noah. Better ratings can be attributed to a lot of things (one of them perhaps that she’s a white American) but he’s just a lot funnier.

  42. Is this article a joke? Wow. First of all, “Celebrate the #SCOTUS ruling! Go knock someone up in Texas!”…. this is funny. Second of all, even though Noah lamented that he has to do so much journalism, and that people go to The Daily Show for their news, (I do), those weren’t negative comments. Your article is so obviously biased. Yuck. You’re a journalist? Do you even watch the show? Noah is funny, smart and sophisticated. He can interview a punk rapper or a serious intellect and stay in the conversation, asking pointed questions, and getting real answers. In fact, he’s one of the best interviewers on t.v. today. He’s obviously respected by everyone who comes on his show, as well as the staff. If you look at the body of Noah’s work, you find he was raised by a single mother, is extremely respectful of women, advances feminist and progressive causes, and his a thoughtful, sweet, funny and brilliant young comic. For you to ignore his accomplishments and make so many wrongful assumptions in this article qualifies you to grow up, and stop being such a whiner if you are to be a meaningful journalist. The fact that your write for Variety is impressive, but your article is babyish and lacks respect for the truth.

  43. Sil says:

    After the first few shows, I had high hopes for Noah.

    But it appeared quickly that they were misplaced as his range proved limited.

  44. Oscar says:

    Noah Trevor is right, though; it is sad that a comedy show provide better news service than a news outlet. The trouble with Noah, IMHO, is that he hasn’t lived in the US long enough, and thus still doesn’t quite understand the place and the people.

  45. irrelevant to the article, but “great job” with the outbrain promoted stories menu on top taking half the screen. it’s “really helpful” when trying to see content in the article.

    • Sterling Archer says:

      Stewart used to say that was an indictment of the legit media, and how they abdicated their responsibility to report the news. Trevor Noah doesn’t seem to understand that the reason why so many looked to the Daily Show,, was because of the failure of the legit media. Under Stewart it was “We’re a comedy show, why should be doing more”. Under Trevor Noah, the mantra seems to be “We’re a comedy show, don’t expect too much from us”.

  46. One of the International audience. says:

    Noah has stated* frequently that he is not trying to emulate Jon Stewart. He seems to want it to be more about pop culture and light entertainment and less about hard journalism. Every time the host of TDS changes, the show changes. If all this disappoints, then there are other options available. Or, stick with TDS and watch it for what it now is.


    • Sterling Archer says:

      Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp has taken the ball and run with. They do the Daily Show format now, better than the Daily Show does it.

  47. John says:

    Trevor unfortunately is very sophomoric, he doesn’t bring the gravitas that Stewart had. Like many people have already said, you can see jokes a mile away. It’s like he’s some younger version of Jay Leno. I first felt that because he is born in South Africa he has no “skin” in the US political game, but that can’t be true. Oliver and Bee who shows I love are British and Canadian respectively. I really wished Williams took over the show, even though she is young, she has an edge to her that Noah lacks(Leno comparison again).

  48. loco73 says:

    Trevor Noah is an unfunny talentless hack. Been watching him in the stand-up circuit for years now, and I never found him up to par. You would think that someone of mixed heritage, being born in South Africa, would have a more unique and interesting point of view and way of looking at the world and incorporate that into the show.. But what I’ve seen instead is someone who is trying too hard and accomplishing nothing in the process. I always thought that since John Oliver and Stephen Colbert were out of contention, that Jessica Williams or Samant Bee should take over the show. They didn’t and in a way I’m glad. John Oliver and Samantha Bee are the perfect one-two weekly comedic punch. And I am sure that wherever Jessica Williams lands, she will do quite well. Since Jon Stewart left, I never watched a single episode of “The Daily Show”. Whatever that show was, its gone for good, and left in its wake is this pale, watered down, declawed, spayed and neutered version…

  49. David says:

    The Daily Show is different than when it had Job Stewart but still very good. It is more comedy than news, but that is not bad. Stewart did not start out the way he was near the end.

  50. Sue says:

    We all remember Jon & the show when he left. Go back to his first year or two. Not at all the same as when he left. He grew into the Jon we love. Give Trevor a chance. Maybe they need better writers. Who knows. I watch it every night. It is not the same, but it is not terrible. I enjoy it and won’t give up yet. Yes it needs to be a bit edgier, but I have faith it will get there. I will miss Jessica very much.

    • Sterling Archer says:

      The difference is that you don’t have the luxury of comparing Trevor Noah to the 1999 version of the Daily Show. You compare him to the 2015 version. The Daily Show has been built into a brand, and with that brand is an expectation, and now that expectation isn’t being met. Trevor Noah is not an “edgy” comedian by any stretch, and quite frankly he always looks awkward when doing this type of humor. There’s a shallowness to his humor, even his stand up which is dated, and far too specific.

      We kept hearing the excuse of “give him time, give him time”. He’s had a almost a year now. How much more time does he need? How much more time does network allow him, while the show continues to tank? They’re running out of excuses, and the clock is ticking.

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