‘The Daily Show’ Correspondents On Series’ “Expanding Universe” And Emmy Success – Deadline

Last month, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah hit on an Emmys breakthrough, with the Comedy Central franchise landing seven nominations—the most it’s attained in a single year since Noah took over as host in 2015, and the most earned by any late-night franchise in 2022.

Ronny Chieng, who joined the long-running late-night series as a correspondent in 2015, admits that “day to day,” award nominations aren’t something to which the team gives much thought. “We’re just trying to do the funniest thing we can do on the day,” he told Deadline recently. “But I think the seven nominations does reflect that the show has been doing this for a while now. I think everyone here has kind of hit a really good groove. Everyone knows how to do their job really well, and I think the nominations is a reflection of that.”

Chieng’s comments came during a Daily Show panel with his fellow correspondents Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan and Roy Wood Jr., as part of Deadline’s Virtual House screening series. Coming to the late-night talk series in the same year as Chieng, Wood attributes the show’s increasing recognition at the Emmys and elsewhere, in part, to its “expanding universe.”

While the flagship series The Daily Show earned four Emmy noms this year—including Outstanding Variety Talk Series—others notably recognized such offshoot projects as the short-form series Between the Scenes and Desi Lydic Foxsplainsand the variety special, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Globe – Hungary for Democracy.

“I think during the pandemic, when we were able to shift to remote, it forced the show to come up with different ways to do things. Foxsplains, when you look at that piece, that is a byproduct of the Covid era,” said Wood. “It’s something that was created under a different set of circumstances, and now it’s something that’s able to flourish. I think the show is as good as ever, but probably because the world is [as] crazy as ever.”

Wood adds that offshoot projects like his podcast Beyond the Scenes and the recently-launched pod Hold Up from Sloan and writer Josh Johnson have afforded Daily Show creatives the opportunity to be “super specific” when they want to be. “With the [podcasts]… it’s an opportunity to have conversations that back in 2015, were strictly confined to the show. If you couldn’t figure out a way to put this on the show, it was hard to get it on air,” he says. “So, we have all of these different places where we’re able to do things, and also what happens since the show started is, the way people consume their news is a little bit different. Also, the news cycle has gone from 24 hours to, what are we on? What would you guys say? Like a 40-minute news cycle now? So, we’re able to keep up a little bit faster with things, as well.”

Part of what Sloan has most enjoyed about her Daily Show-affiliated podcasts Hold Up is the chance it’s offered for her to delve into “silly,” everyday topics set apart from the flagship show. “That podcast is interesting, because it’s in the Daily Show space… but… the whole point of that is, we’re not talking about all of the things he will talk about on the show. It’s actually a way to decompress from the things that we talk about on the show,” she says. “As much as we’re working in the news, and writing comedy from the news, and all kinds of creative outlets, [Daily Show producers] also recognize that we need to have these spaces where we can just talk about… eaters versus waffles [houses], or just exercise bikes versus regular bikes. The fact that they could recognize that there could be comedy in the mundane, and then comedy in these scary political things, I think is a great asset.”

Still, even if The Daily Show has been greatly expanding its universe of projects in more recent years, multitasking had been a core expectation of the show’s correspondents long before the pandemic era. “You’re going to do a lot of stuff as a correspondent on The Daily Show. That is absolutely one of the best parts about this job, and also what sets us apart from all the other late-night shows,” said Kosta. “We’re doing man-on-the-street, same day. Then, you get dressed and do a sketch and play somebody else.”

In addition to his role as host, Noah serves as a writer on The Daily Show and exec produces alongside writer-showrunner Jen Flanz and Jill Katz. Justin Melkmann serves as co-executive producer, with Ian Berger, Max Browning, Pam DePace, Ramin Hedayati, David Kibuuka, David Paul Meyer, Zhubin Parang and Elise Terrell as supervising producers, and Jocelyn Conn, Jeff Gussow, Brittany Radocha, Shawna Shepherd , Beth Shorr and Head Writer Dan Amira as producers. Lauren Sarver Means and Daniel Radosh serve as senior writers, with David Paul Meyer as director. Ari Pearce and Matthew Parillo are the Executives in Charge of Production for Comedy Central.

Comedy Central just announced earlier today today that The Daily Show will record full shows from Tabernacle in Downtown Atlanta from October 31st through November 3rd, as part of its on-the-ground midterm election coverage from Georgia, with fans having the opportunity to attend tapings in-person. Watch our conversation with the show’s correspondents above.

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