Chelsea Handler, Comedy Central, Desi Lydic, Jordan Klepper, Kal Penn, Late-Night TV, News, Sarah Silverman, Television, The Daily Show

‘The Daily Show’: Inside The Search For A New Host As Duos Behind The Desk Take Center Stage

Chris McCarthy has a big decision to make.

Nearly twelve months on to the day that Trevor Noah said goodbye to The Daily Show, the Comedy Central series still does not have a permanent host.

But a decision is expected soon with sources telling Deadline that Paramount is facing pressure to name a new host by the end of the year.

There have been a number of shortlists and stars mentioned throughout the process, which was hampered by the writers and actors strike, and obviously there was the Hasan Minhaj situation, where the Patriot Act star basically had the job before that New Yorker article came out.

But many in the late-night and comedy community believe that McCarthy and his team already have viable options right under their noses and with it the opportunity to shake-up the talk show landscape with a fresh take and in the process bolster diversity by becoming the only show in late-night to have a woman behind the desk of a traditional nightly show.

Jordan Klepper and Desi Lydic co-hosted the show on November 22 as part of The Daily Show’s plan to test a combination model, bringing two of the show’s most well-known faces together in a new twist.

The pair were lauded on social media for their turn behind the desk together and there was evidently a chemistry between them (see clip above). A number of late-night sources told Deadline that it felt like a “reinvention” and a “new chapter” in the genre.

Lydic and Klepper have also already been recognized by their peers; Lydic, who has been a correspondent on the show since 2015, was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her Foxsplains shorts, where she watched a lot of Fox News, and Klepper has been Emmy nominated twice for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for his Fingers The Pulse: Into the MAGAverse and Fingers The Globe: Hungary For Democracy specials.

If Lydic gets the job, she would be one of the only women in late-night after the cancelation of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Taylor Tomlinson is set to host After Midnight on Comedy Central’s sister network CBS but The Late Late Show with James Corden replacement is more of a game show format than a traditional late-night show. Given that CBS has yet to reveal when that show will air, Comedy Central could also get a job on its sibling.

The pair, however, weren’t the first to co-host the show; Michael Kosta and Ronny Chieng co-hosted on October 19 and Leslie Jones and Klepper co-hosted on November 16.

It’s a model that is clearly working for the show.

There are obviously other options and McCarthy has been keeping his process close to his chest, according to insiders.

One interesting idea that was presented was to bring in a major A-list star in to host the show in the run up to the 2024 election. Given that it appears Donald Trump will be once again challenging President Joe Biden for the presidency in November, the idea was to have a star comedian come in as a stop-gap, which would have brought a lot of buzz to the franchise. However, it seems this has not to have come to fruition.

Then there’s the other guest hosts; since January, the show has been hosted by Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, DL Hughley, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Hasan Minhaj, Marlon Wayans, Kal Penn, Al Franken, John Leguizamo, Desus Nice, Charlamagne Tha God and Michelle Wolf.

Jones and Silverman have returned for second stints and Charlamagne Tha God and Penn are returning for second runs in December.

All four are understood to have impressed Paramount bosses and are in line for a potential permanent job alongside the likes of Chelsea Handler. Charlamagne, whose own Comedy Central late-night show Hell of a Week was canceled earlier this year, has complications given the success of The Breakfast Club, the morning show that he hosts, and it would be tough to pull double-duty.

Penn is also thought to be a leading candidate and, similarly, he would add some diversity to a somewhat white field.

Roy Wood Jr., arguably the most high-profile of the show’s correspondents, was considered one of the favorites as well, either solo or as part of a tandem, but he revealed he was leaving the show earlier this year after an eight-year run.

He told NPR he couldn’t “come up with plan B while still working with plan A” and exited, all but ruining his chances of landing the top job. “If you’re offered the chance to host The Daily Show at any point in your life… you have to stop for a second and consider that,” he added. “The next question becomes: ‘What does The Daily Show look like in 2024? And what does late night look like in 2024?’”

Comedy Central said that a permanent host will take over in 2024. So, as the television industry skates towards the end of the year, expect McCarthy to make a decision soon.

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