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The Daily Show (1996)

The Daily Show's format has remained relatively stable throughout the years. Each episode opens with a deep or low voice stating the date and the introduction, "From Comedy Central's World News Headquarters in New York, this is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." This used to be followed by the statement "The most important television program...ever," but this line was eliminated from the introduction on September 20, 2001, the show's first episode following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The show was also previously credited in the introduction, as a parody of ABC News' slogan, as the place "where more Americans get their news ... than any other nationality."

The show begins with the host's monologue of news headlines. This is often followed by "on location" reports from one of its "senior" specialists in the subject at hand. The correspondents' stated areas of expertise vary depending on the news story that is being discussed, and can range from relatively general (such as "Senior Political Analyst") to absurdly specific (such as "Senior Child Molestation Expert" or "Senior Subterranean Structure Analyst"). These correspondents are said to be on location, but are taped live in the same studio in front of a greenscreen, which is filled in with an appropriate location backdrop. This is occasionally made the subject of jokes; for example, by having correspondents report from unlikely locations such as a press base on Mars. In another instance, this was parodied when two correspondents filed consecutive "live reports" from Washington, one against a backdrop of the city during daytime and the other in front of the city at night. The correspondents typically present absurd or humorously exaggerated takes on current events against Stewart's straight man.

A few reports have been filmed on location; for example, Jason Jones was actually in Denmark for a March 28, 2006 report, which he proved by shoving the person behind him (an uncredited passerby). During the week of August 20, 2007 the show aired a series of segments called "Operation Silent Thunder: The Daily Show in Iraq" in which correspondent Rob Riggle reported from Iraq.

The show formerly split the news into many segments known as "Headlines," "Other News," and "This Just In," though these titles were dropped sometime around 2003. Stewart and company rely on a technique of intercutting footage with commentary, in which they stop the action at a telling moment so as to leave political clichés, dud imagery, or self-contradictory statements hanging in the air, to which the host or correspondent then registers skeptical reserve or pained dismay.

Following the regular news portion are correspondent pieces and interviews, the order of which varies from episode to episode. Correspondent pieces feature a rotating supporting cast who sometimes break out as comedy stars, and involve the show's members actually traveling to a different location to make a report or interview people important to the story. Topics have varied widely, ranging from the invention of hufu, a tofu-based human flesh substitute, to a piece highlighting the lack of Asian men in pornography. Local media have reported on visits from Daily Show correspondents.

Some segments recur periodically, such as "Back in Black" with Lewis Black, "This Week in God," "Trendspotting" with Demetri Martin, "Are You Prepared?!?," "Wilmore-Oliver Investigates," and "You Don't Know Dick" (a segment centered on Vice President Dick Cheney). Since the early days of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a common part of the show has been "Mess O' Potamia," focusing on the troubles in the Middle East, especially Iraq. A newer theme, called "Clusterf@#k to the White House," covered the 2008 presidential race in 2007, however since the primaries began, the show has defaulted to its traditional Indecision 2008 moniker.

In the show's third act, an interview is conducted by the host with one guest. Guests come from a wide range of cultural sources: movie and television celebrities, authors and politicians (current and retired). A light tone is generally established by the host, but if the topic demands serious consideration, the interview may veer from comedy for the few minutes that it lasts. The same politicians that are joked about in monologues will generally be treated with respect if they show up to be interviewed.

In a closing segment sometimes referred to as the "toss," host Jon Stewart checks in with "our good friend, Stephen Colbert at The Colbert Report." This check-in was done daily in an initial period of the Colbert Report but in 2007 was cut back to twice per week. After a brief exchange, there is a segue to the closing credits in the form of "Your Moment of Zen", a surreal piece of video footage that has been part of the show's wrap-up since the series began in 1996.

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Also Known As :
* The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (New Title)
Status : Running Edit Status
Running Time : 22 minutes
Premiered : July 22, 1996
Number of Episodes : 1484
Season Count : [Edit Season Count]
Language : English
TV Station : Comedy Central
Country : United States
Picture Format : [Edit Picture Format]
Audio Format : [Edit Audio Format]
Camera Setup : [Edit Camera Setup]
Genre : Comedy, Talk Show, News

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