The Daily Show officially started its post-Trevor Noah era on Tuesday and things got started with a bang, as former SNL cast member Leslie Jones took over hosting duties. The outspoken comedian wasted no time getting into what everyone wanted to talk about: that wild MLK statue. After noting that it looked like Dr. King was enjoying a very specific sexual act with his wife, she had a few words for the white viewers.
“White people, you don’t need to say shit about this statue,” she said. “You need to sit your ass in the back of the bus for this one.”
She also went off on President Biden’s classified documents scandal and had some hilarious thoughts on the fact that a man his age owns a Corvette. Ahead of her hosting gig, Leslie vowed to be herself, and she definitely lived up to that promise.
Jones will host through Thursday, Jan. 19, then is followed by Wanda Sykes during the week of Jan. 23 and D.L. Hughley the week of Jan. 30. Along with The Daily Show correspondents, other upcoming guest hosts include actor/comedian John Leguizamo, former correspondent Hasan Minhaj, actor Kal Penn, and Bel-Air standout Marlon Wayans.
While these performers will probably be very funny and bring their own brand of comedy to the series’ political satire, producers didn’t exactly go out on a limb with these choices. As this process continues, maybe producers will get more adventurous with their choices for guest hosts. But for some reason, I have a feeling they’re going to continue to play it safe. And in speaking to The Root, critically-acclaimed author and journalist, Shanita Hubbard, expressed similar concerns.
“The Daily Show once helped introduce the world to Trevor Noah—who grew to become one of comedy’s most successful and popular treasures,” she told The Root. “This current opening would be a great opportunity to do something similar for an equally talented and lesser known non-traditional talent. I’d love it if The Daily Show would platform a Black woman or a non-Non Binary POC.”
LA Times TV critic Lorraine Ali noted that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was completely different from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. She explained how Trevor’s background gave him a more worldly view on the topics the show often covered. He was able to speak to race, immigration and global politics in a way that Stewart couldn’t. She said it basically became a new show, a reinvention that the series will need to once again tackle for a new generation of viewers.
“All these things he hit on were uniquely him,” Ali told The Root. “These don’t seem like daring choices. Trevor Noah was a daring choice.”
Some names we’d like to see in the guest host rotation include former contributor Jaboukie Young-White, Pause host Sam Jay and Insecure star Yvonne Orji.
“I’m especially looking forward to the correspondents hosting. I hope that when it comes time to select a new host, [that] they promote from within,” writer/producer Shane Paul Neil told The Root. “I’m pulling for Roy Wood Jr. and Dulcé Sloan in particular.”
“The Daily Show has been a show of class, realness, and satire,” Oscar award-winning producer Nic Maye told The Root. “While I understand the need to be sure of the next full time host as it is a huge job to fill, in my opinion, there is only one person for the job at the moment—and that person is Roy Wood Jr.”
During an appearance in October on The Daily Beast’s The Last Laugh podcast, Roy admitted that he would have to give the job real consideration if it were offered to him.
“If you’re asked, you have to at least consider it. You can’t say no to an opportunity like that,” he said. “You can’t turn your nose up at it, at least. I think you have to sit and assess what you want to do creatively, and that’s something I haven’t thought about yet.”
While I appreciate the fact that using different hosts will bring viewers and interest back to the show, this process didn’t work out very well for Jeopardy. Maybe producers can try something new and think outside the box for a change.
The Daily Show airs weeknights at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central and is available to stream on Paramount+.