The Daily Show still needs a host. The Comedy Central series has been hunting for a permanent replacement for Trevor Noah for most of 2023 to no avail, hiring a long list of guests hosts instead. Former and current correspondents, famous comedians, and more have sat behind The Daily Show desk as the host search presses on, and fans have been noting their ideal permanent host online.
Roy Wood Jr. was a lot of Daily Show fans’ choice. The longtime correspondent was interested in the gig himself, telling Vulture in April 2023 that his future on the show hinged on him being chosen as Noah’s successor. “If they are not choosing me as host,” he said, “I have to also assume I’m not going to be a part of the show in any other capacity.”
Wood ultimately left the series in October 2023 after an eight-year run, making clear that he was not offered the full-time hosting job. He told Variety that Comedy Central “choosing a host is going to take a lot longer than the time I need to get answers.”
With that front-runner off the table, who’s the most likely new host? Noah was an unexpected choice for Jon Stewart‘s successor (the South African comedian took over hosting duties in September 2015 after Stewart concluded his 16-year run in August 2015). It’s possible Comedy Central could choose someone who isn’t already connected to the series again, but we think it’s more likely that they’ll choose someone from the current pool of guest hosts, especially now that a small handful of them have been asked to take up the mantle a second time (Kal Penn and Charlamagne Tha God will return as guest hosts in December).
The guest host model has proven positive for Comedy Central. With stars like Penn, Charlamagne, Wanda Sykes, Chelsea Handler, Leslie Jones, D.L. Hughley, Sarah Silverman, Hasan Minhaj, Marlon Wayans, Al Franken, and John Leguizamo on the roster, the show saw a 13 percent ratings increase in the first quarter of 2023 and a 16 percent increase in social views (per The Wrap).
A familiar face will help keep fans watching, and let’s be real, every new guest host is auditioning for the full-time gig in the eyes of fans. Whether the talent wants the job or not, part of the guest host viewing experience is considering what it would be like to seem them on the show indefinitely.
Here’s a collection of recent Daily Show guest hosts and correspondents, ranked from who we think is least to most likely to become the new permanent host.
The Daily Show, Weeknights, 11/10c, Comedy Central