'The Daily Show' Recap: Trevor Noah Returns — New Set, Look & Feel

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TVLine 13 September, 2021 - 10:45pm 4 views

Is Trevor Noah back in the studio?

The Daily Social Distancing Show is over, and The Daily Show is back … with a bit of a twist. Host Trevor Noah will bring Comedy Central's late night comedy series back to the studio Monday night for the first time since March of 2020. ... Dr. Anthony Fauci will be Noah's first guest. Hollywood Reporter‘The Daily Show’ Moving to ViacomCBS Times Square HQ in Return to Studio

Trevor Noah on Biden’s vaccination mandates: ‘He’s not messing around’

The A.V. Club 14 September, 2021 - 10:50am

Last week, Biden revealed sweeping vaccination mandates for government workers and contractors, and announced all businesses with more than 100 employees must require vaccinations or weekly testing for their workers; failure to comply will result in fines of $14,000 per violation. “My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: what more is there to wait for?” Biden said. “What more do you need to see? We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.”

“Say what you want about Biden, he’s not messing around,” said Noah. “And if you ask me, it’s actually smart of Biden to do this mandate through people’s employers. It’s not the government coming for you, it’s your employer. Because Americans are already used to their employer having a ton of power over their lives.

Republicans have denounced the plan, and 19 GOP governors have vowed to defy the measure in their states; Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina promised to “fight them to the gates of hell”.

“Normally, that statement is hyperbole, but with Covid you might actually get the chance,” Noah quipped.

The outrage shouldn’t come as a surprise, said Noah as “any mandate, no matter how much it seems like common sense to some people, is gonna make other people really mad. And it’s not just the vaccine,” he added, pointing to fury over seatbelt requirements in the 1980s.

“Mandates by their nature build resistance,” he concluded. “And if Biden’s gonna be doing that, I hope he is ready for what’s going to happen, because mandates turn ‘I don’t knows’ into ‘fuck you’s.”

Biden’s new Covid vaccine mandates have “enraged the lunatic fringe of anti-vaxxers otherwise known as Republican governors”, said Stephen Colbert on Monday evening. Some have even threatened to sue, prompting Biden to respond on Friday: “have at it.”

Colbert broke out his Biden impression: “I went to Scranton School Bus-top Tussling, once gave a man a little elbow music for looking cross-eyed at my Buster Browns. You got a problem with that mandate you can stop by and meet my pals Empathy and Public Service.”

In other news, it remains to be seen whether California will recall its Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, pending a referendum on the complex election with 46 opposing candidates. Newsom’s opposition includes businessman John Cox, who has been holding campaign events with a live bear. “All that tells me is that John Cox is so bland even a bear won’t eat him,” said Colbert.

Another candidate is Patrick Kilpatrick, an actor who has appeared in such films as Under Siege 2, Free Willy 3, Angel 4 and the TV show Babylon 5. “And if you add all those numbers up, it’s more than the votes Patrick Kilpatrick will get,” said Colbert.

According to polls, 60% of California voters oppose the recall – “the other 40% said ‘I am running for governor,’” Colbert joked.

And on Late Night, Seth Meyers also tore into GOP opposition to Biden’s new Covid safety plan, from the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, to Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, who vowed to fight the administration’s vaccination mandates “to the gates of hell”.

“Take it easy, Henry, you’re not even going to fight somebody to the gates of your community,” Meyers retorted. “And I’m sorry, you’ll ‘fight them to the gates of hell?’ It’s a requirement to get vaccinated against a deadly respiratory virus and you sound like you’re writing a screenplay for a direct-to-VHS Steven Seagal movie called Strike Force One.

“But that’s what these people do!” Meyers continued on Republican blowback. “It’s all performance and manufactured outrage designed to gin up their base. They don’t seem to care about the toll of the virus itself and the immense loss and grief it’s wrought. They just care about mimicking Trump to pander to their voters.

“These guys are acting like mandates are tyranny when in reality, mandates exist everywhere, and we have to do all kinds of much more annoying things every day to live a in functional society with other people,” he added. “I mean, you think anyone likes waiting in line at the DMV in order to commute to work? No one likes that, but we do it.

“I can’t believe I still have to say this after 18 months, but you can spread Covid to other people,” he said. “It’s not just about yourself.”

Trevor Noah Brings ‘Daily Show’ to Times Square as TV’s Late-Night Crowd Starts to Shrink

Variety 13 September, 2021 - 10:00am

By Brian Steinberg

When Trevor Noah takes to a new stage Monday evening and re-starts Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” after a hiatus, he may look around and wonder where some of his competitors have gone.

In recent months, WarnerMedia decided to end its long-running “Conan” late-night program on TBS with Conan O’Brien. NBC and the late-night host Lilly Singh, a digital entertainment influencer who had launched a new show on the network in the wee hours of the morning, decided to part ways. Both Noah and ABC rival Jimmy Kimmel are coming back on the air after taking the entire summer off — a practice that would have been unheard of in the days of David Letterman and Jay Leno.

Noah resurfaces this evening in a new Times Square studio that is housed in the midtown headquarters of Comedy Central’s corporate owner ViacomCBS (it may be part of the same venue that also hosts the retooled “CBS Mornings” morning-news program; Comedy Central declined to make executives available to discuss changes at the show, which previously held forth in a studio on Manhattan’s west side). Comedy Central expects the program to feature some of the more intimate moments Noah featured when he did the program from his apartment under pandemic conditions, even as the new environment gives him access to a lively part of New York City.

Late-night programs gained new traction during the presidency of Donald Trump, offering up a nightly insta-referendum on that Commander-in-Chief’s norm-busting maneuvers and cultural offenses. But the pandemic sent all of the shows scurrying into new scaled-down models that were cheaper to produce. For months, viewers saw no live crowds cheering for Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon, and no celebrities clambering into James Corden’s “Late Late Show” studio or a seat next to Seth Meyers at NBCUniversal’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters. One thought that has been going around in late-night circles is that the networks might seek to preserve some of the lower production costs they discovered in the process.

Indeed, the networks have trimmed other parts of late-night, which had started to expand as networks sought to create bespoke programs for a bevy of different demographics. At various points in the past several years, Netflix and Hulu sought to get into the wee-hours game with shows led by Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman. BET launched a weekly show led by Robin Thede.

Only a few of the new shows have survived. Comedy Central, which once boasted of three late-night programs with some degree of critical acclaim — “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “@midnight — has put all of its backing into an expanded hour-long “Daily’ broadcast led by Noah. The network, which launched companion programs starring Larry Wilmore, Jordan Klepper and David Spade, seem to have abandoned all efforts to find something to pair with “Daily.” The recent merger between Viacom and CBS may have something to do with it: Why keep launching 11:30 programs on Comedy Central when there are two big-budget late-night shows on CBS that need to capture viewers?

Meanwhile, the shows are seeing new competition from unlikely places. Fox News Channel bills its 11 p.m. program “Gutfeld!” as a new take on the format for its viewers, who tend to skew older than the people who tune in to watch Noah, Kimmel, and the rest. Still, “Gutfeld!” has drawn bigger crowds than many of the late-night mainstays in recent weeks.

As the networks tamp down on the traditional concept of a five-nights-a-week program, they are giving new consideration to weekly programs that try to emulate the spirt of a late-night talk show. John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” on HBO lent the concept new momentum, followed by Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” on TBS. Now viewers can also pick Amber Ruffin’s program on NBCU’s Peacock or Showtime’s “Desus & Mero.” Conan O’Brien, who is at present the host who has served the longest in the late-night slot, is working on a new weekly program slated to run on HBO Max.

In an era when more late-night aficionados connect to the shows through viral clips and bits passed along via social media, the weekly format seems to have emerged as a popular solution. Some of the executive producers of the various shows have begun to focus more intently on YouTube views and other means of feedback other than Nielsen ratings, and perhaps with good reason.

At least one late-night regular has benefitted from the new trend. Bill Maher once jumped from Comedy Central to ABC, where he hosted a late-night roundtable program called “Politically Incorrect.” He went weekly years ago, launching HBO’s Friday-night “Real Time” in 2003 after backlash to some of his remarks about 9/11 spurred ABC to take him off the air. HBO, however, clearly sees more potential in his weekly format. Just last year, the WarnerMedia outlet renewed the show through 2022. And last week extended the program through 2024, even though its current contractual terms were nowhere near expiring.

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