As Fox News continues to embrace its comedic side with late-night talk show Gutfeld!, CNN is reportedly looking to hire a comedian to helm a new late-night political comedy show on the network. This news comes as Chris Licht, a former executive producer at The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, approaches the one-year mark since taking over Jeff Zucker’s post as CNN’s chairman and CEO. According to The Hill, these are the names topping the network’s list of potential hosts to deal with the absence of Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon.
To any fan of political satire, Jon Stewart seems like an obvious choice to helm a politically-tinged comedy news show. That is for the sheer fact that Stewart hosted The Daily Show, Comedy Central’s premiere late-night satirical news show, for 16 years. During those years, Stewart helped shape the world of late-night political satire and earned multiple Peabody Awards.
His show also served as a launching pad for the careers of Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, and John Oliver, all of whom served as satirical correspondents. However, we doubt Stewart would find a deal with CNN attractive. Back in 2020, Stewart embraced the safety net of the streaming world by signing a multi-year deal with Apple TV+. He currently hosts the show The Problem with Jon Stewart.
At the same time that Jon Stewart’s Daily Show was gaining momentum, Bill Maher was making headlines with his show Politically Incorrect. The award-winning program was far more divisive than the Daily Show, and was eventually canceled in 2002. However, Maher landed on his feet. In 2003, Maher was picked up by HBO and began his show Real Time with Bill Maher. Maher’s comedic style is characterized by his blunt, unforgiving social commentary.
Still, Maher doesn’t seem like a likely candidate for CNN’s new show. Real Time is very much still active, and the show will celebrate 20 years on-air next month.
Finally, The Hill notes that CNN could reach out to Trevor Noah, another former Daily Show host. This is an interesting suggestion seeing that Noah just left his position at Comedy Central back in December. At the time, Noah cited his desire for a better work-life balance, as well as the possibility of pursuing another stand-up tour.
For this reason, we don’t see the comedian rushing to CNN. With that being said, anything is possible. Considering that Noah is the only free agent among the suggested names, it seems like he could still be the most likely option.
Overall, we know very little about CNN’s new prospect. We’re sure that Stewart, Maher, and Noah are not the only names that the network is willing to consider. However, we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for any updates on CNN’s venture into comedy.