Honestly, dealing with the Bush presidency has been a lot easier then it’d otherwise be by the Daily Show. It’s been especially great for the last few months, when the shows are uploaded nightly to their Hulu page, available for convenient and legal watching the next morning, no cable required. The show has been on the air with Jon Stewart since 1998, picking up Emmys, accolades, and scads of viewers — it’s indispensable.
So why the 4-days-a-week, when-we-feel-like-it schedule? Wouldn’t the show benefit from borrowing a slightly less anchor-centric approach from the real news shows, and go on a 7-days a week rotation? It’d give some of the other folks on the show a chance to host once in awhile, which would be interesting in any case. (“John Oliver, sitting in for Jon Stewart.”) A recent New York Times profile reveals that Stewart, “functions as the show’s managing editor and says he thinks of hosting as almost an afterthought,” which is a clue. But come on, after 10 years, there have got to be other folks on staff that can do this stuff. The Daily Show is Comedy Central’s cash cow, so they sure could afford to bring on more writers, put them on 7-day rotations, and get this going. The result would be maybe a little less consistency, but I actually think that would be a cool thing.
It’s interesting that Stewart has been making occasional comments about their scheduling on the air lately. During the crash, he said something about how the show was scheduled to be off the next week, but they decided (graciously) to come in and do it anyway. When Congress was off for Rosh Hashanah, he again pointed out “We’re here — I guarantee you the Daily Show has more Jews then Congress!” Well, I say that the Daily Show has gotten big enough for them to figure out how to do it every day. They need to abandon their fears of being less then perfect without every member of some imagined indispensable core team, and give some other folks a crack.