Although “The Daily Show” is generally consumed as a once-a-day experience, the political offenses and media misdeeds it chronicles are a 24-hour phenomenon, as any glance at your Facebook or Twitter feed will tell you.
Now, as this Comedy Central news satire show prepares for its next incarnation after the departure of longtime host Jon Stewart, it plans to expand production on original content for digital platforms beyond its traditional television format.
To that end, Comedy Central announced recently that it has hired Baratunde Thurston, the author (“How to Be Black”), humorist and social activist, as a supervising producer at “The Daily Show” to oversee the digital content it will create under the incoming host Trevor Noah.
Thurston, who has previously worked as director of digital for The Onion, the parody news site (and has appeared as a panelist on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show,” hosted by Larry Wilmore), said in an interview that he will be part of a “Daily Show” team that will help the program embrace what he wryly described as “all this media that has become highly fragmented and swipe-able and annoying in ways that Edward R. Murrow could never have imagined.”
“There’s more to what ‘The Daily Show’ can make than what people have seen,” Thurston added. “This is a 21-and-a-half-minute show that airs on a box in your house, and it can also be a great experience on these other platforms.”
The online virality of content created for television has become increasingly crucial to the success of late-night franchises like NBC’s “Tonight” show and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” This summer, Stephen Colbert and his incoming colleagues at “The Late Show” have been experimenting with original online content, including videos and podcasts, even before they take over that CBS late-night program later this month.
Thurston acknowledged that “every form of life is having to adapt to these shifts” in technology and media.
He said the coming changes at “The Daily Show” reflected a broadening of that program’s focus that audiences will start to see when Noah becomes its anchor on Sept. 28.