12 Women Who Would Make Great ‘Daily Show’ Hosts in Jon Stewart’s Absence


As we reported yesterday, Jon Stewart is taking a three-month sabbatical from The Daily Show to write and direct a feature adaptation of journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir. During his absence, in addition to the expected summer surplus of reruns, Senior British Correspondent John Oliver will sit in as guest host — and don’t get us wrong for a second, we love us some John Oliver. But we do also wonder if the show might’ve missed an opportunity to address its controversial “woman problem” (and dramatize the staff’s response to it) by placing a funny lady in the host chair. There’s no shortage of them! We’ve got a few suggestions after the jump.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Okay, duh. Obviously, after the bang-up job they did at the Golden Globes, everyone from the Oscars to the Tonys to the ESPYs would like Tina and Amy to host. But let’s remember, they honed that exquisite back-and-forth while sitting at a fake news desk, back in their “Weekend Update” days, and there’s a nice circularity to them taking over the best fake news show in the country. And to be clear, this is just a fantasy, best-case-scenario sorta thing; we’d take either of them solo as well, realizing that Poehler will start shooting the next season of Parks in the second half of the summer. (If it gets renewed, sob.) But Tina has no such conflicts. (Because 30 Rock is over, sob.)

Samantha Bee and Jessica Williams

Also worth noting: the Daily’s two regular female correspondents, long-timer Sam Bee and newbie Jessica Williams, have been filing some of the show’s funniest field reports lately. Bee’s wry wisdom and Williams’s hyperactive energy seem perfectly matched; they could be the best two-person anchor team since, well, Tina and Amy.

Kristen Schaal

If the show’s producers wanted to go a little deeper on the Daily Show bench, and let the show get a whole lot weirder, they could let Women’s Issues Commentator Kristen Schaal take over the anchor chair. Schaal is, as best we can tell, one of the more peculiar comics on the scene, but she’s unfailingly funny, and her segments are both uproarious and bitingly satirical.

Lizz Winstead

How’s about a little OG Daily Show? Political comic, writer, and radio personality Winstead was the co-creator of The Daily Show — back in its original, pre-Stewart, Craig Kilborn days. (She left the show after Kilborn’s notorious Esquire interview, in which he suggested that oral sex from Winstead was his for the asking. Classy guy!) Her wit and satirical chops are as biting as ever; we’d love to see her back at the show she started.

Wanda Sykes

The effortlessly funny Curb Your Enthusiasm/New Adventures of Old Christine alum’s Fox late-night comedy/talk/panel program, The Wanda Sykes Show, was cancelled after a single season due to low ratings, because people are dumb. But she proved herself adept at maintaining the difficult balance of comedy and commentary that has become The Daily Show’s trademark. And frankly, we’ll take any excuse for regular doses of Wanda these days.

Janeane Garafalo

If for no other reason than that it’d make the Breitbart people insane.

Sarah Haskins

Most viewers and writers focus on The Daily Show as political satire, but Stewart and company spend (thankfully) just as much time roasting the current, and rather tragic, media landscape. And if they’re looking to fill that role, they need look no further than Haskins, whose “Target: Women” segments for Current TV were some of the sharpest and funniest media satire in recent memory.

Julie Klausner

Klausner’s How Was Your Week podcast is one of the best in the whole wide world, and she can handle high and low culture with equal aplomb. She’s smart, wicked funny, and has a unique voice; she also wrote a book called I Don’t Care About Your Band, which means she should be able to have whatever job she wants, ever, for the rest of time.

Margaret Cho and Sarah Silverman

Not that they’d have to host it together, understand, but that each of them would presumably get thrown off the air within minutes of taking over the show, because their comedy is just that boundary-pushing. It’d be pretty entertaining though!