Since its debut in 1996, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has evolved into the most popular show on the Comedy Central network. The program attracts viewers by providing a humorous look at current events and politics.
Filmed in New York City, The Daily Show was initially hosted by comedian Craig Kilborn. Kilborn left the program in December 1998 to replace Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show, though it is believed that backstage friction with female staff also contributed to his departure. He was then relieved by Stewart and The Daily Show developed a noticeably stronger political undertone. Airing each Monday through Thursday, the self-proclaimed "fake news" program attracts a younger audience, with 80% of viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. The popularity of the show has resulted in an average of 1.5 million viewers for each broadcast and 16 Emmy Awards. Recent news stories, media organizations, political figures and even the show itself are the source of comedy and satire. The program is well-known for skits where correspondents conduct "expert" interviews among each other to poke fun at current news. Celebrity interviews on the show have featured well-known musicians, actors, authors, athletes and political figures, all prepared to handle jokes made at their own expense. Numerous presidential candidates including John McCain, John Kerry and Barack Obama have even appeared on the show during their campaigns. The not-so-serious nature of the interviews has drawn some criticism, but comedians on the show continue to emphasize that the show is for entertainment only. Viewers of the show are familiar with the slight liberal bias, which, according to Stewart, exists because Republicans supply more political fodder than Democrats.
Sixteen years after its inception, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the longest running program on Comedy Central. The show gives viewers information about current events and political news-with a twist of humor.