‘Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report’ to Return! Why Stewart Will Be Okay, But Colbert Is Screwed

In the wake of other late-night hosts returning to the air in early January, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have announced that their Comedy Central series will air, without writers, beginning January 7, just in time for primary season. "We would like to return to work with our writers," the two hosts announced in a joint statement. "If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence."

What will a Daily Show and Colbert Report without writers look like? While both shows are much more scripted than their late-night counterparts, The Daily Show seems like it's in better shape, since according to Variety many of its remote packages are written and created by non–WGA correspondents. Also, both hosts will have to improvise pretty much everything they say, but at least Stewart will be improvising as himself rather than as, you know, a complex meta-character whose every word is carefully calculated for maximum blowhardiness. Yikes, Colbert is in deep shit.

Stewart and Colbert to Return Without Writers [NYT]
Stewart, Colbert to return Jan. 7 [Variety]