Jon Stewart stable: 'Daily Show' correspondents who rocked the comedy world
Correspondents have a long history of doing additional heavy duties on the show. Many correspondents, in fact, have gone on to make an even bigger impact on the comedy and entertainment realm.
Below, we highlight 16 of Stewart's core and crack on-camera team members from "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," one for each of the 16 years it's been around.
Before "The Daily Show": Carell's star was already rising with acclaim for his stint on ill-fated "The Dana Carvey Show," and as the voice of one-half of "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" on "Saturday Night Live." It was an auspicious sign that Stephen Colbert was his understudy at Second City, too.
What happened from there: Carell's perfectly square performances on "Daily Show" earned him regular segments like "Even Stevphen" and numerous field assignments. First he showed up to support in "Bruce Almighty" and then held down a desk job in smash success "Anchorman"; the year he left Jon Stewart's show, he started up his long stint in the American sitcom redux of "The Office" and into marqueeing comedies like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Despicable Me" and "Crazy Stupid Love" (plus a standout role in drama "Foxcatcher"), making him one of the show's biggest success stories to date.
- Katie Hasty
Before "The Daily Show": Rocca worked as a writer on the beloved PBS kids series "Wishbone."
What happened from there: Though he wasn't one of the original four correspondents on "The Daily Show," Mo Rocca was still one of the first new hires after the show got rolling with Craig Kilborn. (In MTV terms, he's a Downtown Julie Brown, not a Nina Blackwood.) Rocca's bookish, sarcastic style was a perfect fit for his strange feature stories, and since he left the show in 2003, he's been a correspondent on "Larry King Live," "CBS This Morning," and "The Tonight Show." Perhaps he's most known for wryly answering questions about the week's news on NPR's "Wait! Wait!.. Don't Tell Me!", but he was also one of the best and drollest contributors to VH1's "I Love the '80s/'90s/'00s" series. In 2011, Rocca earned an Emmy for co-writing The Tony Awards.
- Louis Virtel
Before "The Daily Show": Littleford's first TV appearances were on "The Daily Show." During her time there, she costarred in movies like "A Cool, Dry Place" and "Mystery, Alaska."
What happened from there: One of the original correspondents on "The Daily Show," Littleford served up some of the cheekiest interviews in the show's history. Her talk with David Cassidy? Legendary. Barry Williams? More legendary. Boy George? Joycelyn Elders? The list goes on. Since then, she guest-starred frequently on "Spin City" as well as "The West Wing," "Frasier," and "Family Guy," and now she has a starring role on the Disney Channel series "Dog With a Blog."
- Louis Virtel
Larry WilmorePhoto Credit: AP Photo
Before the Daily Show: Wilmore was a writer and producer on several hit TV shows including "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "The Office" and co-created shows like animated "The PJs" and "The Bernie Mac Show'
What Happened From There: Wilmore paved a road for more diversity on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" as a Senior Black Correspondent. He got his own Showtime special in 2012 and after many years with "Daily Show," he got his own Comedy Central show "The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore" after "The Colbert Report" ended and the slot opened up.
Before "The Daily Show": Like Carell, Colbert worked on the short-lived "The Dana Carvey Show" (as a writer) and was part of the Second City tour company. He also worked on sketch comedy show "Exit 57" for Comedy Central and wrote for "SNL."
What happened from there: After a couple years at "The Daily Show," Colbert started work on "Strangers With Candy," as he honed in on his Colbert "character" for Stewart's show. That character obviously had legs, as he went on to score his own show "The Colbert Report" in 2005, pocketing Emmys all along the way. Colbert will be sitting at David Letterman's old desk at "The Late Show" starting this fall. (Also, he's proven his chops as the J.R.R. Tolkien trivia master of the universe.)
- Katie Hasty
Years: 2008 - Present
Before "The Daily Show": As far back as 2005, Kristen Schaal was on the radar when she was named one of New York magazine's "10 Funniest New Yorkers You've Never Heard Of," which is kind of a passive-aggressive award yeah? After several cameos on shows from perennial career starter "Law & Order: SUV" to "Mad Men" she got her breakout role playing Mel on "Flight of The Conchords."
What happened from there: Picked up by "The Daily Show" as a 'special correspondent' Schaal pops in mostly as the Senior Women's Issues Correspondent to lay the smack down on gender inequality. The high profile of the show may have played a part in her landing plum roles like quirky sweater lover Mabel on 'Gravity Falls' (seriously a fantastic show), Louise on "Bob's Burgers," Sarah Lynn on "Bojack Horseman" and starring alongside Will Forte in "The Last Man On Earth."
- Donna Dickens
Before "The Daily Show": Helms was an Oberlin grad who studied with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and got a talent agent's attention with his voiceover work.
What happened from there: Ed Helms has been such a visible TV and movie presence since his time on "The Daily Show" that it seems inconceivable he auditioned for the show at an open casting call. And yet, only three years after he earned his spot on the show in an ordinary tryout in 2002, Helms joined "The Office" as Andy Bernard and racked up major film credits with "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," "Cedar Rapids," the "Hangover" series and, more recently, the "Vacation" reboot. It wasn't until '09 that Helms officially left "The Daily Show," and thus it's no surprise he has one of the most impressive correspondent records in the show's history: 209 episodes.
- Louis Virtel
Years: 2012 - Present
Before "The Daily Show": Jessica Williams grew up as a native Los Angelino and — as is required by local law — got her start on Nickelodeon playing Vida Atwood in 'Just For Kicks' in 2006.
What happened from there: In 2012, 'The Daily Show' was having a bit of diversity problem. Some feared Williams' addition to the cast was merely to placate viewers but she quickly showed herself to able to throw down with the best of them. As the youngest of the regular correspondents, Williams gives plenty of voice to minority women as a senior correspondent. She starred in season 3 of HBO's "Girls" and co-stars with Jemaine Clement in comedy "People Places Things."
- Donna Dickens
Josh GadPhoto Credit: Comedy Central
Years: 2009, 2011
Clip of his "Daily Show" work: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/qst60i/bank-stress-tests
Before "The Daily Show": A major role on the short-lived FOX sitcom "Back to You" landed him small roles in films like "21" and "The Rocker."
What happened from there: After appearing in several "Daily Show" segments throughout 2009, Gad garnered a Tony nomination for his role as Elder Cunningham in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway smash "The Book of Mormon." He's since showcased his writing skills on NBC's "1600 Penn," and was heard loudly in Disney's "Frozen" as the voice of Olaf the Snowman. His show "Comedians" with Billy Crystal was canceled and "Pixels" maybe didn't have big box office impact, but he's also got big roles coming up for the "Beauty and the Beast" live-action remake and "The Angry Birds Movie."
- Dave Lewis
John OliverPhoto Credit: Comedy Central
Years: 2006 - 2014
Clip of his "Daily Show" work: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/t5o6kl/on-her-majesty-s-secret-cervix---don-t-wake-the-queen
Before "The Daily Show": John Oliver is younger than you think he is. As this entry is being written, it's Oliver's 37th birthday. Starting in 2001, Oliver was a British comedy circuit regular and co-hosted the radio program "Political Animal." He also appeared as a panelist on the British news quiz "Mock the Week."
What happened from there: Oliver was recruited to "The Daily Show" in 2006 as Senior British Correspondent, but he rapidly became one of the show's most reliable outsider observer on the absurdities of American life and the American political process. Oliver subsequently became a Comedy Central favorite, hosting "John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show" and earning rave reviews in the summer of 2013 as Jon Stewart's fill-in. We were all blessed that he was on the "Daily Show" desk when the Royal Baby was born. Oliver was a recurring co-star on NBC's "Community" and has been enjoyed great critical acclaim as host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight."
- Daniel Fienberg
Years: 2003 - 2015
Before "The Daily Show": After studying theatre at the University of Ottawa, McGill University, and George Brown Theatre School, Bee moved to L.A. and starred in several TV movies no one has ever heard of…but feel free to IMDB them.
What happened from there: Bee was tapped to be the Female Correspondent and the rest is history. Over her tenure on the show, she's worn many hats from Senior Financial Correspondent to Senior Zionist Billionaire Correspondent. In 2012, she surpassed Stephen Colbert as having the longest reign on the show. She left the show earlier in 2015 to start her own satirical show at TBS.
- Donna Dickens
Before "The Daily Show": Small supporting roles in a few films ("Hannah and Her Sisters," "Jacob's Ladder") and an up-and-coming standup career.
What happened from there: Black has been a "Daily Show" presence from its very early days, beginning his contributor role during Craig Kilborn's tenure and continuing on to present day. The show served as the perfect launching pad for his politically-minded brand of angry humor, and he's now one of the most popular stand-ups around and a perennial "talking head" on cable talk shows. He also hosted his own Comedy Central series, "Lewis Black's The Root of All Evil," from 2006 to 2008, and made for the perfect "Anger" voice in Pixar's "Inside Out."
- Chris Eggertsen
Before "The Daily Show": Walsh was a founding member of improv troupe the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) and played "Trotter" in the UCB TV series that ran on Comedy Central for three seasons.
What happened from there: Though his "Daily Show" run was brief, Walsh went on to a number of supporting parts in films like "Old School," "The Hangover" and "Role Models" before reaching perhaps his greatest career success as bumbling communications director Mike McLintock on HBO's beloved "Veep."
- Chris Eggertsen
Rob CorddryPhoto Credit:
Before The Daily Show: Like others on this list, Comedy Central gave Corddry a leg up with the "Upright Citizens Brigade" show in the late '90s after performing with the New York troupe on stage.
What happened from there: Thank God for "poop jokes," the Emmy Award-winning actor/writer led popular segments like "This Week in God" and sketches where he'd essentially bust his brother Nate's chops. He's dropped by "The Daily Show" studio a few times since leaving, in between the boatloads of comedy films and TV shows like "Hot Tub Time Machine," "Arrested Development," "Community," "Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story," "In a World...", "Hell Baby" and even the recent "Muppets" movie. He's also been knocking it out of the park (hospital?) by co-writing, developing and starring in Adult Swim's "Children's Hospital." - Katie Hasty
Rob RigglePhoto Credit:
Before The Daily Show: Riggle was "The Daily Show's" Senior Military Affairs Correspondent for a reason: he's an actual Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines, enlisting in 1990. After that he launched into comedy on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and with Upright Citizens Brigade -- the theater and the TV Show -- linking him up with longtime collaborator Rob Huebel. He did a year as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live."
What happened from there: Riggle joined "The Daily Show" to replace departing Rob Corddry; while his stint was short, and he'd already landed some high profile comedy gigs before joining Stewart, Riggle's movie roles really took off. He was essential to the comedy mix of flicks like "Step Brothers," "The Hangover" and "21 Jump Street." - Katie Hasty
Trevor NoahPhoto Credit: AP Photo
Before "The Daily Show": Noah had his start in South Africa, as an actor, a radio and television show host and standup comedian. He took his routines to America in 2011.
What happened from there: Well, he's replacing Jon Stewart as host of "The Daily Show." So, there's that.
- Katie Hasty