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‘Daily Show’ moments that mattered

A list of important dates in the program's history

“The Daily Show” has had an impact on how politics is covered and reported on television. Here are some key dates and events that signify how the program continues to gain traction.


  • January: Jon Stewart takes his place as host, co-exec producer and writer for Comedy Central’s hit nightly news parody “The Daily Show” that assumes the new title “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”


  • July: “The Daily Show” travels to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia to broadcast a week of shows as part of its “Indecision 2000” coverage. A month later it heads to Los Angeles for the Democratic Convention.

  • November: The show goes live for the first time. “Indecision 2000: Election Night: Choose and Lose” enjoys a 44% increase over ratings for election night coverage in 1996.


  • July: “The Daily Show: Global Edition,” a latenight international weekend edition of his program to intended to reach more than 161 million households, is announced and will begin airing in September.


  • May: Net airs “Iraq: A Look Baq (or, How We Learned to Stop Reporting and Love the War),” a special primetime episode of the nightly news satire’s regular segment that features highlights of “The Daily Show’s” authentic-seeming war coverage.

  • September: Fulfilling a promise made during “The Daily Show’s” trip to Washington, D.C., Sen. John Edwards, via satellite from Raleigh, N.C., formally announces that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president.


  • July: Coverage of the Democratic Convention beats all the cable news networks.

  • August: Bill Clinton makes his first appearance, marking the first time a president appears on the show.

  • August: “The Daily Show” averages more than 1.4 million viewers per episode during the Republican Convention, making it the most-watched week in the show’s history to date.

  • September: “America (the Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction,” written by Stewart and “The Daily Show” staff, tops the New York Times bestseller list, staying at No. 1 for 18 consecutive weeks.

  • December: Stewart is selected by Entertainment Weekly as 2004 entertainer of the year.


  • February: Comedy Central reaches an agreement with Stewart to finance his shingle, Busboy Prods., in return for a first-look arrangement for all of the company’s TV projects.

  • October: “Daily Show” shingle Busboy Prods. spawns “The Colbert Report.”

  • December: The White Stripes is the first band to perform on the show. Only Tom Waits and Coldplay have performed since.


  • April: Sen. Edward Kennedy appears as a guest, marking the first time he has ever appeared on a latenight series.

  • November: “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” team up for a special joint presentation with a one-hour, live Election Night special.


  • August: “The Daily Show” presents “Operation Silent Thunder: The Daily Show in Iraq,” a week of special reports filed from Iraq. Yes, actual Iraq, not greenscreen Iraq.

  • October: Online TheDailyShow.com launches, providing video clips from every episode dating back to 1999.


  • October: Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s appearance lifts the show to record levels as the series posts its most-watched and highest-rated edition ever with 3.6 million viewers.

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