At a SXSW panel hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trevor Noah described how the acceleration of culture has really fucked late-night comedy: “When we started … the news cycle had a certain cadence to it. There was a rhythm. You knew that at a certain time there’d be no news, so you could compile your stories and create your show,” he said. “Now, there’s the 5:30 curse, we call it. At 5:30 p.m., somebody’s getting indicted, some tweet is coming out, somebody is getting into some scandal. Something is going to happen.” This has been a constant in the Trump administration, late-in-the-day news dumps. Every day is that season 1 West Wing episode, “Take Out the Trash Day” for Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The Daily Show’s solution is to lean into the problem, throw out what they’d spent that day writing, and come up with something new when crazy news hits. An example cited at the panel was when the Jussie Smollett news broke, according to Deadline. During the 2020 election, Noah said that the show will focus on policy rather than any particular outrage of the day. “Going into 2020, [we’re going to be] giving you an accurate representation of what is happening in the race, and what the candidates actually stand for, and how it will affect your life,” he said.
Trevor Noah. Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Comedy Central