Every ‘Daily Show’ Correspondent Ever, Ranked
The members of the World’s Fakest News Team (previously, The Best F#@king News Team Ever) represent the finest comedy journalists in the world — or at least the finest ones who have worked on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. With more than 25 years of fake news under its belt, the show has employed a number of correspondents who have sullied the good name of journalism in the name of satire.
Here’s our official ranking of every Daily Show correspondent ever…
The Contributing Correspondents
Over the course of The Daily Show’s run, a number of reporters have been assigned the Contributing Correspondent label. One thing most have in common: crazy-short tenures. We love The State’s David Wain, but 14 days as a correspondent isn’t going to cut it on this list. So apologies to the other short-lived “contributing correspondents,” but you’re landing in a lump at the bottom of this list: Mary Birdsong, Josh Gad, Jeff Ross, Denny Siegel, Jeff Stilson, Miriam Tolan, Stacey Grenrock-Woods and Bob Wiltfong.
A five-month run didn’t give Harris enough time to make much of a dent on our comedy consciousness. We’d show a clip but neither YouTube nor Comedy Central can seem to cough one up.
The Daily Show doesn’t show up on funny actor Unger’s “Known For” section on his IMDb, so his 1996 run isn’t going to get a lot of love here either.
Weedman recalls Daily Show producers telling her that she was going to go freelance, which she later found out meant “fired.” No hard feelings: “I don’t think I was great on it,” she’s confessed.
Bakkedahl was hired to replace Stephen Colbert after he left for his own show in 2005. Note that Comedy Central has yet to commission a Bakkedahl Report spin-off. He’d do better on Veep.
A. Whitney Brown
Brown was one of the show’s earliest correspondents from back in the Craig Kilbourn days. His desk pieces on SNL generally got tepid responses, and it was more of the same on The Daily Show.
For a while, Che held the record for shortest correspondent tenure, but he left for a good reason — Lorne Michaels tapped him to anchor Weekend Update on SNL. Here’s a clip of an impossibly young Che looking like he’s heading to a post-prom party:
Don’t remember Munn’s year-long stint as Senior Asian Correspondent? She made a bigger 2000s impact on G4’s Attack of the Show.
Kosta brings all the smarm of a high-paid celebrity attorney without any of the law-school baggage.
Despite a five-year run as Senior Latino Correspondent, Madrigal clips are quote-unquote “scarce” on YouTube and Comedy Central’s website.
Ellen’s brother was an early Jon Stewart correspondent, funny enough but overshadowed on his regular Dollars and “Cents” segments by the likes of Steve Carell.
Despite getting his own Daily Show special in 2002 (Matt Walsh Goes to Hawaii), Walsh wouldn’t really crash the comedy consciousness until The Hangover and his memorable turn on Veep.
The only correspondent to transition from the Craig Kilbourn regime to the Jon Stewart monarchy, so she has that going for her.
A current correspondent and part of the rotating guest-host rotation, Lydic is fluent in Foxsplainglish.
One of Stewart’s first regular correspondents, Walls probably spent most of her time reminding co-worker (and spouse) Steve Carell that she got cast on Saturday Night Live and he didn’t.
Chieng’s signature segment, “Everything Is Stupid,” is smart, which is an appropriate oxymoron for our troubled times.
Boom! The Senior Foreign Looking Correspondent’s interview with Don Yelton led to Yelton’s resignation from the North Carolina Republican Party office. (More specifically, it was Yelton’s “lazy Blacks” comment that led to his departure.)
Roy Wood Jr.
Wood may be in the running to take over for Trevor Noah, thanks to his work as Senior Mars Correspondent, Senior Immigration Correspondent and the show’s Senior Steve Harvey Impersonator. The guy is such a correspondent that he got the White House Correspondents’ Dinner gig this year.
Sloan has proven herself to be an able reporter — she is the show’s Senior Fashion Correspondent, after all — as well as a sly sketch player in segments like 9-1-1 for White People Emergencies.
Jason Jones put in a full and fruitful 10 years as a Daily Show correspondent, overcoming the comedic handicap of being Canadian.
The early Stewart correspondent parlayed his Daily Show run into a ubiquitous presence on VH1’s I Love the (Decade)s series before landing on CBS Sunday Morning, the place he really belonged all along.
The show’s Senior Youth Correspondent had fun sticking it to Millennial Trevor Noah for being old, parlaying his young-guy attitude into roles on Only Murders in the Building and more.
Riggle’s turn on the show wasn’t long (two years), but it was memorable, with the Senior Military Affairs Correspondent heading to Iraq for a series of attention-grabbing reports.
It had been a while since we’d seen The Daily Show’s Senior Beyonce Correspondent, but she’s back, scoring a comedy Emmy nomination this year for her role in Shrinking.
Is Winstead the funniest correspondent of all time? Heck no, but we’re going to give her bonus points for co-creating the damn show.
The Corddry Brothers
If we’re being fair, big brother Rob had a more impactful Daily Show career than L’il Nate. But there was a “greater than the sum of its parts” quality to joint segments that inevitably descended into sibling-on-sibling violence.
Next to Steve Carell, no one parlayed a Daily Show gig into TV (The Office) and movie (The Hangover) stardom more effectively than Helms.
Cenac, who went on to host his own show, Problem Areas, on HBO, spoke truth to power (read: Jon Stewart) at a time when Cenac was the only Black writer and performer on the show. Stewart was defensive at first and later humbled.
The last remaining correspondent from the Stewart era (he returned after hosting his own spin-off, The Opposition), Klepper’s man-on-the-street style has kicked ass in the TikTok era.
Variety reported that Minhaj is one of the front-runners to take over for Noah, a testament to both his successful Daily Show run and Patriot Act show on Netflix. The guy quit Twitter while hosting! What a maverick.
Did anyone watching The Daily Show in 2002 realize they were watching one of the biggest sitcom and movies stars of the next decade? The clues were there all along.
Oliver seemed like the natural choice to replace Stewart, but Comedy Central dragged its feet on signing Oliver to a new deal. HBO swept in, and here we are a few years later with Last Week Tonight and its 26 Emmy wins.
Stephen Colbert used to be the longest tenured correspondent on the show until Bee passed him (and then some). She parlayed her hilarious Daily Show outrage into a spectacular six-year run on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
When your Daily Show persona gets spun off into its own Comedy Central show, and when that show runs for nearly 1,500 episodes and wins multiple Emmy and Peabody Awards, and all that success leads directly to one of the most high-profile jobs in comedy? You get the number one spot, and that’s the truthiness.