Landing a spot as a correspondent on The Daily Show has proven to be one of the most effective springboards to a successful Hollywood comedy career. Some of today’s best comedic actors and writers have risen through the ranks of The Daily Show. As Jon Stewart brings his version of The Daily Show to an end, we look back at the careers he launched with a definitive ranking of all of The Daily Show's correspondents.
Siegel built a career in corporate writing following her stint on The Daily Show. She also continues to perform comedy all over Los Angeles.
Former real-life newscaster Bob Wiltfong appears regularly in supporting comedic roles and nationally televised commercials.
Woods has held a variety of jobs in her post-Daily Show career, including a recurring role on Arrested Development, sex columnist for Esquire, and author. She published her memoir I, California, in 2007.
Nancy Carell (née Walls)
After leaving The Daily Show, Carell (Steve’s wife) appeared on The Office and took supporting roles in Bridesmaids and Seeking A Friend At the End of the World.
Still relatively fresh out of his time with Second City and UCB, Klepper has been hilarious as a Daily Show correspondent and his earlier work with the Big 10 Network. Though it is still early on in his career, it’s clear that he has massive comic potential.
The 29-year-old performer and stand-up has enjoyed plenty of successes in his short career, including opening for Katt Williams and a series regular role on the series State of Georgia.
After his time on The Daily Show, DeGeneres moved into a career in development. He currently works with Steve Carell’s production company, Carousel Productions. He is also a former member of the band Cowboy Mouth.
Littleford was the only correspondent to stay with the show after Stewart took over, though she only remained with the show for one year, making her exit in 2000. She has performed various guest roles in film and television and was a prominent talking head on VH1’s I Love the… series.
Chances are you’ve seen Harris in something, as she’s had a steady career in film and television comedy amassing dozens of credits. Some of her most memorable roles include series regular spots on Cougar Town and Fat Actress, parts in Christopher Guest’s improvised films, and supporting efforts in The Hangover and Diary of A Wimpy Kid.
Working consistently as film and theatre actress, you may have seen Weedman in Looking, The Five-Year Engagement, Hung, or Two Broke Girls. She also performs one-woman shows around the country.
Since leaving The Daily Show in 2011, Cenac has been involved in a variety of projects, including the release of his comedy special, Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn, videos at Last Week Tonight, and a guest appearance on Bojack Horseman.
You probably know Bakkedahl best as foul-mouthed scumbag Roger Furlong on Veep, but his extensive list of TV and film credits include Community, The Goldbergs, and The Heat.
Brother of fellow Daily Show alum Rob Corddry, Nate Corddry is an actor first. His long list of film and television credits include Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, United States of Tara, and Harry’s Law.
Williams is the youngest correspondent in the show’s history and has already become a fan favorite. You may have also seen her in Season 3 of Girls.
While most of his colleagues went on to comedy careers, Rocca ended up in legitimate journalism. He has worked on Larry King Live, CBS Sunday Morning, and CBS This Morning as well as at other outlets.
After a brief tenure on The Daily Show, Che left his position as correspondent to co-anchor the desk at Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.”
Though you probably know Birdsong best for her role on Reno! 911, she is also an accomplished stage actress on and off Broadway. Her credits include Velma Von Tussle in the 2008 Broadway production of Hairspray and her one-woman show 3 Days in a Tub: A Mama Drama, which received well regarded New York and Los Angeles runs.
Noah is new to most Americans, but he has enjoyed an impressive career in South Africa as comedian, host, and actor. Time will tell if his fame in South Africa will translate to America, but he has an incredible platform as Jon Stewart’s successor.
In March, Jason Jones left The Daily Show after a long tenure to work on wife Samantha Bee’s upcoming TBS satirical comedy. Jones has the unique distinction of having two of his Daily Show interviews lead to arrests. Iranian Maziar Bahari was arrested after an interview with Jones, which inspired the film Rosewater. Several years later, Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was arrested after an interview during the Sochi Olympics.
Veteran comedian Lewis Black has enjoyed a long and fruitful stand-up comedy career. Though he has played a variety of roles in film and television, including his recent turn as Anger in Inside Out, and has authored several books, Black always returns his legendarily vitriolic stand-up comedy.
Prior to her exit from The Daily Show, Bee was one of the best known and beloved of the show’s correspondents. Though she is probably best known for her work as correspondent, she has been involved in a variety interesting projects, including her book I Know I Am, But What Are You? and her appearance in the original cast of the play Love, Loss, and What I Wore. She left The Daily Show this year to work on her own satirical news show at TBS.
Veteran performer Al Madrigal is a jack-of-all comedic trades. In addition to his tenure on The Daily Show since 2011, Madrigal is an accomplished stand-up comedian, sketch performer, sitcom actor, and podcaster.
After years of toiling on a variety of projects, Mandvi is finally having his cultural moment. He has had several major television roles this year, including on The Brink, where he is also a producer and writer. His acclaimed 2014 book, No Land’s Man, is a collection of personal stories.
One of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Walsh has built quite a career as an actor and improviser. Among his numerous TV credits, he is probably best known as Mike McLintock on Veep. He has also directed two independent feature films.
Veteran comedy writer Larry Wilmore already had an impressive career before he joined The Daily Show. Wilmore now hosts The Nightly Show, which replaced The Colbert Report in the 11:30 slot following Stewart.
Riggle has found his niche as Hollywood’s resident big galoot. Some of his film roles include Let’s Be Cops, 21 Jump Street, The Other Guys, and Stepbrothers. The retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer also appears in pretty much every comedic segment produced by a major sports league.
In addition to his duo of odd Adult Swim comedies Children’s Hospital and Newsreaders, where he writes, acts, directs, and produces, Corddry has performed in a variety of high-profile projects in recent years, including Ballers, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Pain & Gain.
Between major TV roles on The Newsroom and Perfect Couples and film work that includes turns in Mortdecai and Magic Mike, the former G4 host has broken through after a decade as a working actress. In her biggest movie yet, the upcoming superhero flick X-Men: Apocalypse, she's playing Betsy Braddock/Psylocke. She is also the author of the book Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek.
Gad is currently enjoying an A-list moment. He voiced Olaf in Frozen, was an original cast member in the hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, co-starred with Billy Crystal in The Comedians and with Kevin Hart in The Wedding Ringer, and will have a prominent roll in the upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Though Gad doesn’t enjoy the comedy prestige of some of his former peers, his box-office drawing power is undeniable.
With Stewart leaving the air and Colbert transitioning to a more traditional late-night environment, the Last Week Tonight host has become the standard bearer of late-night political comedy. Even if it's only one night a week.
The Hangover catapulted Ed Helms to movie stardom. Since the hit comedy, he has appeared in seventeen films, including his recent starring role in the reboot of Vacation.
Longtime indie comedy hero Kristen Schaal has finally become a household name with her brilliant work that appears, well, everywhere. You can see Schaal on a number of great television shows including Bob’s Burgers, Last Man on Earth, Bojack Horseman, and Gravity Falls.
Colbert Report, The Daily Show’s incredibly successful spin-off, put Colbert in a position to replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show, which premieres in September.
Many Daily Show correspondents have gone on to greater fame elsewhere, but few have parlayed their success into full-blown stardom. On the strength of his portrayal of Michael Scott on The Office, Carell launched what has become on of the best comedic acting careers in Hollywood.