The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has returned to its old studio with a live audience for the first time in more than two years, and the team is enjoying it.
The Comedy Central show returned to its previous studio at 733 11th Avenue in New York, having spent much of the pandemic filming out of Noah’s apartment, with a short stint at its parent company’s headquarters on Broadway.
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Showrunner and executive producer Jen Flanz said during the show’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted event that they are pleased to have the energy of a live audience back. Correspondent Roy Wood Jr. said comedians thrive on live laughs.
“When they finally told us we were going back to the old building, it was, ‘Thank God’,” he said. “You get the confirmation on the spot, which is a dopamine that every comedian needs and lives for. I was watching all of the other late-night shows bring back the audience and I was jealous.”
Similarly, head writer Dan Amira said the writing team also appreciates the validation an audience brings. “Performers like hearing laughter; writers also like writing a joke that they get laughter from.”
Wood added that 12 months into a Joe Biden presidency, he and his fellow correspondents are enjoying crafting jokes about policy rather than behavior, concentrating on things that matter to the country rather than the fact that Donald Trump couldn’t open an umbrella.
“I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination there’s less calamity because Trump is gone, you still have MTG doing whatever she wants to do, Ted Cruz is still talking crazy, Ron DeSantis in Florida is going to conjure up, every month, a new policy. But even within that, the Trump spinoffs, even most of their actions are rooted in policy and the ridiculous things they will or won’t vote on as active politicians,” Wood said. “It gives you the idea of being able to get back into comedy that is actually able to open people’s minds to what the hell is going on in the country.”
Flanz added that the team now is “cooking up” stories ahead of the November midterm elections. “The old-school Daily Show bread and butter is covering elections and we have a big midterm coming up so we’re excited about that.”
Check out the panel video above.
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