‘The Daily Show’ team discusses media’s effects on late night comedy

Tiana Woodard

In one of Saturday’s largest featured sessions, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah and correspondents Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan, Roy Wood Jr. and Jaboukie Young-White spoke with Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent, about how today’s media cycle impacts late night comedy.

Tapper kicked off the session with a conversation over how the media’s major news alerts impact the news team’s comedy scripts. While admitting today’s news has lost its predictable “rhythm,” Noah said the team has come to embrace breaking news as a challenge.

“We create the show for the day knowing full well we’re going to have to throw out most of the show to create something that’s based on what’s happening the day of,” Noah said.

Because “The Daily Show” is a comedy show that creates field pieces on political, social and racial issues, Tapper swayed the panel into a conversation on how it allows the group to vent about topics that frustrate them. Despite potential backlash from viewers, Sloan said she puts her initial, unfiltered thoughts into her pieces.

“I feel like a lot of times, the first thing you’re trained not the say is your truest response to something,” Sloan said.

The team also spoke on the power their show has had in shedding light on issues mass media often fails to cover. Reflecting on his most impactful field piece, Wood recounted his experiences reporting on Chicago’s crime.

“Being able to have that type of access and still go in and make jokes on an issue without disrespecting the people involved — that’s a very difficult needle to thread,” Wood said.

When talking about future plans for the show, Noah brought up more accurate political coverage. As the 2020 presidential elections inch closer, the news team plans on providing stories wherever they could gain access.

“We’re not afraid to say thing that rattle the cage a little bit,” Noah said. “That’s what (the news team) feels needs to be done.”

The panel’s discussion on 2020 presidential election coverage then transitioned into commentary on America’s changing political landscape, more specifically that of the Democratic party. Jaboukie Young-White, the group’s youngest correspondent, said he’s most interested in viewing how political candidates “short circuit” in appealing to old and younger demographics.

“If you put young people in a position where we feel like we have no future, we’re just going to become more radicalized,” Young-White said. “We have nothing to lose.”

While striving to provide news to its viewers for the upcoming elections, Noah said their main objective to help citizens cope with the world’s harsh realities.

“If you’re not laughing at what’s happening right now, you will go crazy,” Noah said. “We use the comedy to try and cope with it all.”