Variety Streaming Room TV
For two years, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” was in a state of heavy flux. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the show spent two years in a new, socially distanced format, with the staff…
For two years, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” was in a state of heavy flux. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the show spent two years in a new, socially distanced format, with the staff only recently returning to the offices. According to correspondent Roy Wood Jr., a remote version of “The Daily Show” presented unique challenges for those who report the field pieces for the show.
“The strength of the show is that we have all these correspondents who can go cover all these things. And we couldn’t go cover the things, and now we can, which is perfect when you look at where we are with midterms and everything,” Wood said in the Variety Streaming Room presented by Comedy Central. “And so, now to have our sea legs back under us and remembering, ‘Okay, you’re out, you’re doing a field piece.’ And now, we’re able to go out and hopefully, start kicking ass in the fall.”
Wood Jr. was joined on the panel by three of his fellow correspondents from the show: Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta and Desi Lydic. In a conversation with Variety television editor Michael Schneider, they discussed the challenges of doing “The Daily Show” during a pandemic, working with host Noah and reporting on the intense news of the last few years in a comedic manner.
During the conversation, the correspondents discussed how new ideas for field pieces are developed and pitched. According to Chieng, the process isn’t wildly different from pitching a story in a news organization, where the focus is on crafting interesting angles on an important topic.
“You, unfortunately, look at your phone during the day, some news article will pop up, depending on your own personal algorithm and how messed up your own life is. And then, you see a news article that interests you, and then you stupidly pitch it to the show. And then, next thing you know, you are flying to Bend, Ore., and then driving for 12 hours to Idaho, interviewing two groups of people who hate each other. And then, that’s what happens,” Chieng said. “I always tell the interns at ‘The Daily Show’ that the money maker at ‘The Daily Show’ isn’t finding just interesting, or funny stories. It’s having a really funny take on it. A story that has enough depth for us to do a field piece about, because just a funny headline, isn’t enough to do a field piece about. It might not even be enough to talk on the show about. So, where you make your money metaphorically, and literally speaking, is having a really cool angle on a new story.”