Tonight will be Samantha Bee’s final night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Bee, the most-tenured Daily Show correspondent, will depart for TBS to host her own comedy series where she will apply “her smart and satirical point of view to current and relevant issues.” Comedy Central loses yet another star talent and gains another fierce late night competitor.
Samantha Bee is just one of many beloved pieces of The Daily Show that have moved on to the next phase of their careers. After killing it as Daily Show guest host, HBO went ahead and gave John Oliver his own weekly late night show, Last Week Tonight. Larry Wilmore took over the 11:30 slot with The Nightly Show when Stephen Colbert was plucked from Comedy Central to take over for David Letterman at Late Show. Bee’s own husband Jason Jones said farewell to the program last month to star in his own TBS sitcom (which Bee will executive produce). Of course, we all know the biggest change-up at The Daily Show is behind the desk as Jon Stewart himself will step down on Aug. 6 to be replaced by 31-year-old African comedian Trevor Noah.
Bee was one of several in-house names tossed around the media (and at least one Laughspin writer =cough=) as a potential successor to Stewart. She joined the show way back in 2003, always displaying the sharp, reserved wit necessary to deliver biting satire. Tapping Bee instead of Noah would have also given Comedy Central the opportunity to put a (qualified) woman in a host char amidst a testosterone-filled late night scene. If TBS develops her untitled show properly, she could seriously build a powerhouse late night combo at the network alongside Conan, not unlike Colbert did when he launched his Daily Show spin-off The Colbert Report.
Comedy Central promised its viewers that The Daily Show “will endure for years to come.” This applies not just to Stewart’s reign as host but to the quickly-changing cast of correspondents who appear to be getting younger and younger. Remaining as correspondents are Jordan Klepper, Al Madrigal, Aasif Mandvi, Hasan Minhaj and Jezebel favorite Jessica Williams, with Lewis Black and Kristen Schaal acting as occasional contributors. The departures of Bee, Jones, Wilmore and Stewart drops the average age of the cast by six years from 42 to 36. Noah will be the fresh face of an old show that hopes to remain just as relevant as it has for its past seventeen award-winning years. Bee, Jones and Stewart leaving represent the end of an era. Hopefully this new one will be just as brilliant without these stars.
Tonight a retrospective of my 12(!) years @TheDailyShow. Prediction: my salty tears short circuit the NYC electrical grid: full blackout.
— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) April 30, 2015