Well, maybe not the show itself... but it definitely feels like the end of an era!
It was bad enough that Jon Stewart was leaving! That was a heck of a gut punch, especially coming so soon after the loss of The Colbert Report. But is it just me, or are a lot of the long time correspondents jumping ship, too?
John Oliver and Larry Wilmore, of course, both left for their own other similar shows. (Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO, and Wilmore’s The Nightly Show which took over the post-Daily Show spot vacated by Colbert.) But then about a month ago Jason Jones departed the program, and last night he was joined by his wife, the excellent Samantha Bee, who holds the distinction of being The Daily Show’s longest running correspondent.
(Heck, even John Hodgman’s latest appearance hinted that it may have been his last. Of course, it was done as an in-character bit, so that may need to be taken with a grain of salt.)
Don’t get me wrong, the show has always had correspondents and contributors come and go. But to loose some of the biggest and most well known ones right before also changing hosts? Well, there is a reason that (usually) the Doctor keeps the same companion for at least a little while after a regeneration: to help maintain a sense of continuity for the viewer during the transition.
Trever Noah is already going to have some big shoes to fill. But I had felt more assured knowing that he would have more familiar faces along side him as he settled into his new role as host. And don’t get me wrong, we will still have some familiar faces... unless, of course, in the weeks ahead we suddenly get departure announcements regarding Jessica Williams, Aasif Mandvi, or the other few remaining correspondents! (I shall be keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t!) Still, with the departures we have had and the rather big one we know is coming (Stewart himself) it feels like we are loosing more then we are keeping.
I hope Noah will be great, and I will certainly give him every chance to be. And Wilmore’s The Nightly Show, despite a shaky start with a rather rigid formula that didn’t seem sustainable, is starting to loosen up and find its voice. So I do have hope that my Monday through Thursday nightly dose of “fake” news will continue. Yet I cannot help but lament what we have lost.
To try and end on a positive note, however, to all those who have departed the show (and to the big one about to), thank you for years of keeping me informed, and even in the darkest times finding a way to bring truth and amusement. And to Trevor Noah, the remaining correspondents, and any other new correspondents who may come on board: Welcome! Now, show us what you’ve got!