The Daily Show touched down in SXSW with the whole gang, including host Trevor Noah and correspondents Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulce Sloan, Roy Wood Jr. and Jaboukie Young-White. Moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, the Daily Show team talked about how they report — and skewer — the news in a time when there is no news cycle, and also gave details on their strategy for the upcoming 2020 election.
Noah pointed out the news programs he watched in South Africa gave straight facts. But when he came to America, he saw that the cable news channels would have tons of panels and commentators giving their opinion on the news. With The Daily Show‘s forthcoming coverage of the 2020 election, Noah wants to give an accurate “journey and story” of what is going on in the country.
“It’s not about eating a corn dog, but how you are going to treat people who eat too many corn dogs,” joked Noah.
Tapper responded, “But the corn dog is the most important part,” to which Noah agreed.
“I strive to create a show every day that informs you,” Noah added.
Noah and The Daily Show team will go back on the road for the upcoming election, tracking the candidates and attending all the conventions. He says that he wants to “focus on policy” and give an “accurate representation of what is happening in the race and what the candidates stand for and how it affects the country.” He said, “It’s easy to get caught up in the things that offend people, but not the things that affect people.” Because of this, he wants to “recalibrate” the telling of the story of America.
“America will have to decide who it is,” he said. “What is going to be interesting is this new narrative around the Democratic party. For a long time it has been about Trump.” He adds that The Daily Show is going to take a look at their plans and how they cope with each other. He poses the question, “Will they destroy each other or put a defense against Donald Trump?”
Of course, Trump came up in the conversation. Noah said that he has been sucking the life out of the news cycle — or at least what’s left of it.
“What we have come to realize is there is no news cycle — there is no plan,” said Noah in regards to how things have been since Trump has taken office. “When we started, the news cycle used to have a cadence to it. Now, there’s something called ‘the 5:30’ curse.” He said that around that time, someone is always getting indicted, a tweet, someone is getting fired – something is going to happen.
They have since learned to embrace the curse and at 5:30 pm, they sometimes throw out what they have planned and write stories that reflect the most up-to-date news. This has been done with many field pieces and sketches with one of most recent ones being the Jussie Smollett case with Young-White and Wood.
Sloan has covered the infamous “Permit Patty” who reported a young girl selling bottled water, while Chieng infiltrated a biker gang. Kosta also did a field piece on Switzerland’s gun laws and Lydic keeps a pulse on Trump’s Twitter account in a segment appropriately called “Masterpiece Tweeter.” Speaking of, The Daily Show brought the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library exhibition to SXSW for everyone to bathe in the glory of 45’s best tweets. As Wood points out, “The more divisive the issue, the more engagement.”
“We want to be part of the story,” said Noah. “I enjoy creating a show with my friends and colleagues that is edgy — we make jokes that piss people off or rattle the cage.” At the same, it engages audiences and hits on timely topics…while giving a few laughs.
“If you’re not laughing at what’s going on right now, you’ll go crazy!” Noah exclaims.