The Daily Show: 12 of the Most Successful Alumni
Stephen Colbert may now be a major star in his own right with a network late-night show to boot, but the comedian got his start thanks to The Daily Show. The Late Show host earned writing credits for more than 1,000 episodes of the Jon Stewart-starring program, stepping in front of the camera as a correspondent for hundreds of installments before landing his own desk with The Colbert Report.
Six years before he made his debut on The Office as Michael Scott, Steve Carell landed a gig with The Daily Show. The future star spent the years as a correspondent, finally returning to the program in the midst of The Office’s run, this time as the celebrity guest.
After picking up a few early roles, Olivia Munn joined The Daily Show in 2010. She appeared as a correspondent through 2011, returning in 2015 to pay tribute to host Jon Stewart on the occasion of his final episode.
Ed Helms starred alongside Carell on The Office, playing Andy Bernard, but he actually worked with his costar years prior. Helms was a correspondent on the show from 2002 through 2006, popping back up in 2008 episodes, and taking a seat as the celebrity guest in a 2009 installment.
John Oliver’s platform as a writer and correspondent on The Daily Show was enough to land the comedian his own show. Now the host of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, the former Senior British Correspondent spent nine years on Stewart’s program.
Samantha Bee spent 12 years as a correspondent on The Daily Show before landing her own starring gig. Now the host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the hilarious star also added to her filmography with acting roles during that time.
Now known as the voice of Olaf in Frozen and Steve Wozniak in Jobs, Josh Gad got his start on Daily Show. The actor debuted as a correspondent in 2009, wrapping his run in 2011.
Trevor Noah took over the Daily Show hosting duties from Jon Stewart in 2015, but he rose to fame as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s show the year prior.
John Hodgman made the jump to scripted roles in recent years, earning credits for Baby Mama, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Mozart in the Jungle, and Pitch Perfect 2, but he gained early experience on The Daily Show. The star landed one of his first credited on-screen gigs in 2005, appearing as one of Jon Stewart’s correspondents.
Now the voice of Bob’s Burgers’ Louise Belcher and BoJack Horseman’s Sarah Lynn, and an alum of Toy Story 3 and 30 Rock, Kristen Schaal first hit The Daily Show in 2008. She spent seven years on the show as a correspondent, and popped back up for two episodes with Trevor Noah behind the desk.
Now a star in her own right, Jessica Williams made her Daily Show debut in 2012, stealing the show for four years as a correspondent for Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah.
Now a correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, Mo Rocca got an early introduction to the title thanks to The Daily Show. The on-air personality kicked off his gig as a correspondent for Jon Stewart in 1998, wrapping his run on the show in 2003.