The Daily Show

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"When news breaks, we fix it!"

Long-running satirical news program on Comedy Central.

Instead of a straight-up News Parody, a la Weekend Update, the program merely relates the actual news in a humorous tone, with special attention paid to the hypocrisy and gaffes of politicians and public figures, as well as the reactions of major news shows (particularly 24hr news channels) which range from the theatrical to the absurd. Because it relates actual news, it can pass for an actual news program -- though you don't want to take the special correspondents seriously.

The main anchor is currently Jon Stewart (who took over in 1999, replacing Craig Kilborn), but it's launched a few careers among its correspondents. Steve Carell, Lewis Black and Ed Helms are successful alums, and Stephen Colbert has gotten his own spinoff program called The Colbert Report (a parody of confrontational talk programs such as The O'Reilly Factor) which became a runaway success. Two more Daily Show alums have since been given their own Comedy Central shows, Lewis Black's The Root of All Evil and the critically acclaimed Important Things with Demetri Martin (hosted by former contributor Demetri Martin). The show's writing staff has also published two books in connection to the show, both parodies of high-school textbooks; they are America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction from 2004 and Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide To The Human Race from 2010.

Before you dismiss it as silliness, they get some astonishingly important guests--Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Senator (and current Secretary of State) Hillary Rodham Clinton (also D-NY), Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) (three times, most recently in 2011), former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) (when he was running for the U.S. Presidency in 2004), Barack Obama (ditto, 2008, and again in 2010 while sitting President), Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (many, many times, including 2008), Vice President Joe Biden (in 2009), and even former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf while he was still president (who is not even the first sitting head of state to be interviewed), to name a few. Stewart himself has to constantly remind viewers that it's still just a "joke news show" whose information is one day out of date.

It can be watched online for free (if you're lucky). In Canada, it is available at the Comedy Network's site. Just beware of Archive Panic.

Not to be confused with The Daly Show.

Tropes used in The Daily Show include:

Tropes A - B[edit | hide | hide all]

"Have you read this book?"

Oliver: "I'm likely to try to put this in a ludicrously fabricated historical context, the Broad Strokes of which I will have derived from a cursory reading of Wikipedia literally moments before going on air."

  • Big No: Just one example.
    • Subverted on 8/23/2010, where Jon starts going into the Big No, but the view doesn't change to the dramatic camera angle. He turns to a different camera to try again... and another... and another...
  • Bodyguard Babes: After she defended her much older husband, Rupert Murdoch, from a pie-throwing prankster, Jon treated Wendi Murdoch like this.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Um, how was your weekend? Let's see... on Friday, I... got a haircut. Uh...(Beat) called a guy a dick on national television..." Found here.
  • Breakout Character: Stephen Colbert started off as a Correspondent here.
  • Brick Joke: While anything that can be used as such, IS used as such, on August 16, 2010, Jon Stewart told John Oliver that his "F*** ing Stupid English Accent" was offensive. No points for guessing what the first thing out of Emma Thompson's mouth was when she came on for the interview at the end of the show.
  • Butt Monkey: Stewart is routinely insulted and abused by correspondents (and occasionally guests).
    • John Oliver (of The Bugle fame) gets this as well (usually when Stewart reminds him about his visa expiring). See the example under Pirates.
      • Oliver himself thinks of the US Soccer team as this ("I'm here with the US pffft hahahahah! No, no, I've got it... Sudan, Sudan, Sudan. Hi, I'm HAHAHAHA!"), but when he sees they're not as bad as he expected he gives them "helpful vacation tips" for visiting South Africa like "Go on a nighttime stroll in Soweto in all your fanciest jewelry."
    • Wyatt Cenac, as the youngest member of the team, often gets this as well: for instance, while everybody else was given their own promotional advertisements, Wyatt was forced to make his own (with things like Wyatt saying "laser sounds" in place of actual laser sounds), and is forced to stop at the end to allow Jason Jones to shoot additional footage for his own ad atop a horse surrounded by models.
    • Steve Carell usually filled this role when paired with Stephen Colbert. Aside from their memorable Even Stevphen segments, there was an episode where Colbert took him out drinking and got him so drunk he admitted that he thought Antonio Banderas was very sexy.
    • New correspondent and Twofer Token Minority (black and female) Jessica Williams was sent into a disaster zone for her first assignment, then became a hobo, and was ignored by a Fifties-style panel of all-male correspondents until she put on a mustache.
      • Later, she revealed that she used to be white before she went to college and, as Rick Santorum put it: "Was remade in President Obama's image."

C - D[edit | hide]

  • Call Back: Jon takes appropriate safety precautions after his previous unfortunate encounters with broken glass.
    • Months after taking Donald Trump to task for serving chain pizza to a non-New Yorker (Sarah Palin) and eating his with a fork, he offers to eat pizza with a fork alongside Trump if he, Trump, agrees to reenter the Presidential race for the benefit of bored comedians.
  • Canada, Eh?: Samantha Bee, whose Canadian-ness has often been fodder for jokes. Her equally-Canadian husband, Jason Jones, doesn't get anywhere near this kind of treatment.
    • Sam's entries in America (The Book) are parodies of excessive Canadian politeness, usually prefaced by the header "Would You Mind If I Told You How We Do It In Canada?" and full of apologies.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: During a week where Jon Stewart was out sick, Stephen Colbert and Steven Carell took over hosting duty and showed the audience a video of the two at a bar where Carell is so drunk he starts making comments on how sexy Antonio Banderas is.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Political commentator Bernie Goldberg of Fox News was called out on this after stating that the show was not just a comedy show; it was also providing social commentary. Jon responded that comedians have been providing social commentary for literally thousands of years.
    • Regarding the STOCK Act: "Yes, Congress should obey the same laws as everyone else. I believe that was in the 'No Shit, Sherlock' Act of 2000 and always."
  • Cast Herd: Up until about the 2008 presidential election, correspondents and contributors tended to come and go at the rate of + /-1 a year. Since then, the five main correspondents jobs have been consistently held by Aasif Mandi, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, and John Oliver. This trope still applies to the less frequent contributors, however.
  • Catch Phrase: "BOOM!" when Jon makes a Take That joke.
    • "CNN slaaam!"
      • Don't forget the air guitar!
    • "My point is this!"
  • Censorship by Spelling: Subverted in a segment, when Samantha Bee has her young son standing right next to her (Take Your Child to Work Day) while talking about torture methods:

Sam: When a bound and naked prisoner has electrodes attached to...
'Jon: (interrupting) Okay, Sam, Sam, Sam...
Sam: Oh, I'm sorry. To his T-E-S-T-I-C-L-E-S... testicles.

The show you are about to see is a news parody. Its stories are not fact checked. Its reporters are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.

  • Continuity Nod: You know how Jon made Kristen Schaal depressed by revealing that the Chinese "one baby" rule had some bad consequences to female babies? Well, apparently he learned his lesson when she expressed how nice it was that Hugh Hefner "lives with his three grand-daughters."

Kristen: Why, what do you mean?
Jon: ...nothing.

I think it was perhaps Hunting Accident. Or Maybe Nemtsov, I don't know, tripped and fell on, bullet real hard. Or time traveling cyborg sent from future to kill Nemtsov so he could not grow into leader of human resistance.
—John Stewart,  Putin on the Hits

Jon: Sometimes I can be unexpectedly confrontational, and other’s almost as though I don’t know what the f**k I’m talking about at all.

"The bottom line: don't pick a fight with Jon Stewart. Do not do it. You cannot win."

Jon: Very cute. The kittens lack the capacity to understand the horror of this story.

Jon: Aw, now the baby otter is playing with a kitten.

Jason Jones: Plus, what is with that ridiculous disguise? I mean, come on. I'm surprised he didn't put on a cape and tie [Anna Nicole Smith] to a railroad track!

CNN Anchor: [Al-Zawahiri] is more of a no. 2 than a no. 1
Black: I dunno, Al Qaeda's former no. 1 seemed like more of a no. 2 to me. (Beat) I'm talking about poop, Jon.
Stewart: Yes, I know.

E - F[edit | hide]

"C'mon, guys, we should be doing better than this!"

G - H[edit | hide]

Lewis Black: It's "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", except there's just one degree, and Kevin Bacon is Hitler!

PF Rep: All the animals [the bodybuilders] can go in their cages and the rest of the people can come here."
Jason Jones: You know how else said that?
PF Rep: ...Hitler?
Jason Jones: What?? No! I was going to say Thomas Jefferson!

Stewart: "If there's not a hip indie band named Lesbian Bondage Fiasco by next week..."

I - J[edit | hide]

Jon: You can't be a dick to (Newt) Gingrich. He's a master of dick fu. He will use his opponents' dickishness against... Newt studied it in the mountains of Tibet with the Dicky Lama.

Jon Stewart: I'm sorry Kristen, I... why, why, why is that?
Kristen: Well Jon, you might just say... I'm "bear-en".

"I'm going to say it right now, Jon Stewart is a racist. I don't believe that to be true, but I'm saying it."

Jon Stewart: Uh, Aasif, how did you do that?
Aasif: I'm Asian, Jon. I'm a ninja!

"What if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?"

K - L[edit | hide]

Like mis hermanos, the Dead Kennedys say, "Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill the poor!"

Teacher: I'd say there is a 50/50 chance. It will either destroy us or it won't.
John Oliver: I'm not sure statistics work that way.
John: After the apocalypse, we should try breeding. (the teacher is male)
Teacher: I don't think that will work.
John: It either could happen or it won't.

M - N[edit | hide]

"Real" Michael Steele: Take a hike, Dick van Dyke.
Puppet Steele: ...I can take that he's better looking than me, but rhyming's my thing, Gordon Sumner - also known as Sting!

Jon: Isn't that the whole thing, if you lick a frog you get crazy thoughts?
Kermit: If you lick a frog, you're crazy before you started!
Jon: I can't believe it, the frog's running circles around me!

O - P[edit | hide]

Wyatt Cenac: Bum-bum-bum! That's some evil shit! It's a level of knowing obfuscation that can only come with having a heart filled with pure evil!


Guy's name is Tony Bologna
Favorite pasta, rigatoni
Favorite island, Coney
Favorite Italian prime minister, Berlusconi
Favorite southern buffet restaurant, Shoney's
Favorite dessert, fresh mixed berries


You thought I'd say spumoni or tortoni

No, he's lactose intoleroni

The theme music to that done by Tony! Toni! Toné!
Sponsored by Rice-A-Roni
The lead-in program: My Little Pony

In the bedroom you'll find a box marked porn... it's not porn, Jon, it's erotica! It's my legacy! That has to go to a library!

"I've said this before, and I'll say it again... Go fuck yourself!"

R - S[edit | hide]

Jon Stewart: You're going Richard II on us?
John Oliver: F--k yeah, strap in!

Stewart: You known it's bad when the camera guy goes, "Fuck this! I'm outta here!"

Stephen: Yeah, you know what "z" stands for, Jon: zrevenge!

Jon: See you in a minute, Stephen!

Stephen: I will have my zvengeance!

(In high pitched voice) "...Holy S**t! They're gonna air this!? This is gonna be awesome!"

"Strawman slippery slope dumb guy may have a point."

T - V[edit | hide]

And no, this teleprompter is not stuck!

Jon: When we left the world's two biggest trouble spots were Wisconsin and the set of Two and A Half Men. And then suddenly ALL HOLY HELL BREAKS LOOSE! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO LOOK AT!

Samantha Bee: Man, this stuff is wizard!
Jon Stewart: Is that a new word for "good"?
Samantha Bee: Probably.

W - X[edit | hide]

Stephen Colbert: ...did you set fire to Dick Gephardt?
Jon Stewart: That's right, Stephen, we lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire... and then we blew him up.
Stephen Colbert: ...kudos.

Jon Stewart: In a segment we like to call "Jon Stewart's Story Hole". Remember, it's our little secr-who wrote this?

Jon: *chuckles* I'm a bad writer.

Y - Z[edit | hide]

Stewart: What's with the Yiddish tonight? What's with the -- "shmaltzy", and the "just gave me a little schpilkis, but" -- "I took my punim over there", bing bang boom --
Williams: Joey Bishop, ladies and gentlemen.

Dana Perino: I don't know all the particulars of the bill, *stammers* the point of it... I have no idea what Anthony Weiner's even talking about! He's just screaming and it is such a turn-off.
Jon Stewart: Is it? Is it a turn-off? Is that from your Playboy profile? "My turn-offs include Weiner screaming, and in any way justifying my being treated as an expert"?!

Waldorf: Hey, do you think we could get on this show?
Statler: Hm. They only let Muppets on if they're in Guantatamo Bay... or Republicans!
Waldorf: Uh... well, I best start packing for Cuba then!

Both: Doh-ho-ho-ho-ho!

  1. i.e. the limited government oversight on hired contractors in the Middle East.
  2. Al-Jazeera means "The Peninsula" in Arabic, in reference to the Arabian Peninsula.
  3. Because Jon, the manager of the building (Adriane Truex), and much of the staff, share a love of dogs.
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