I don’t want to think about The Daily Show without Jon Stewart, but as with all good things (in this case a great thing), it had to come to an end sometime. When Stewart announced that he’d be stepping down from the late night Comedy Central series sometime this year, he left the window of his departure fairly open—he said he could leave in July, he could leave in October, or he could leave sometime in between. Likely he wants to ensure that a solid replacement has been found before he departs, and it looks as though Comedy Central has begun to narrow its search as the first genuine candidate has surfaced.
Variety reports that South African comedian Trevor Noah is “gaining consideration” as a potential successor to Stewart as host of The Daily Show. Noah only became a correspondent for the show in December 2014, but the couple of segments on which he’s appeared have been solid, and he’s shown the confidence necessary to handle holding the audience’s attention while being intelligent, funny, and likable.
Noah has apparently moved to a short list of candidates that executives at Comedy Central are considering for Stewart’s replacement, but Stewart is said to have a strong hand in choosing his successor as well. I’m personally hoping a woman lands the job—The Daily Show seems like a prime opportunity to launch the first major female-led late night program—but I’ve liked what I’ve seen of Noah so far.
What’s clear is that this won’t be The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 2.0. Most of the show’s longtime correspondents have already made plans to leave the series, with Jason Jones and Samantha Bee departing to work on their own TBS shows and John Oliver currently killing it with his own HBO program Last Week Tonight. My top choice was Jessica Williams, but the 25-year-old made it known that she doesn’t think she’s ready to take on the desk just yet.
Whoever takes over, Stewart wants them to make the series their own, just as he did when he replaced Craig Kilborn’s more comedy-centric iteration. We’ll likely hear a number of other different names shortlisted before the choice is finally made, but I do hope the next iteration of the show maintains a sharp political focus and a willingness to leave no stone unturned when it comes to pointing out hypocrisy and irony in the world of politics.
Watch a few examples of Noah’s talent below, ranging from appearances on Late Night with David Letterman to his own The Daily Show segments.