In today's constantly evolving landscape of late-night television and cable news, there is one show that has consistently broken down barriers and served as the mouthpiece for a generation: The Daily Show.
An institution in its own right, The Daily Show has defined the current era of political comedy, combining pointedly honest commentary with some of the funniest bits on TV. This week, Adam Lowitt, co-executive producer of The Daily Show, will be joined by fellow writers Matt Koff, Travon Free, and Zhubin Parang at Brave New Workshop for The Daily Show Writers Standup Tour: An Evening of Political-ish Comedy.
Before he hits Minneapolis, we talked with Lowitt about the future of the show and the current landscape of political comedy.
Doing a tour like this, do you feel the need to be topical and in the moment, or do you feel like you can do your own material?
I think that myself and all of the writers on this tour have political-ish sensibilities. If I was to go onstage tonight and do like 10 or 20 minutes, I'd probably do a few minutes about Congress, and then talk about watching porn with my wife.
With the upcoming transition from Jon Stewart to Trevor Noah coming soon to The Daily Show, is there excitement or uncertainty around the set?
Both. I've worked at the show for a long time, and I'm really excited for Trevor coming on board, but I'm sad Jon is leaving. But the reality is that the show has to change and fit the host. Trevor will find his own way and make the show his own. It's going to be really exciting.
Do you think that Trevor's transition will be easier with the upcoming election, or is there more pressure to deliver?
Jon himself will say that elections provide material, as opposed to having to dig for ideas. I think the fact that there's a built-in news cycle is going to help.
With all of you working on The Daily Show, do you share an interest in politics?
To work on the show, I'd say that you have to have the interest. We have writers who used to be journalists and political-science majors, so we're all over the place. You definitely can't have a distaste for it, but you don't need to be an expert.
Recently a writer for Conan spoke out about the current state of late-night TV. Do you ever worry that The Daily Show will be in danger of changing and disappointing fans?
If you're asking if people will ever be disappointed in the show, the answer is 100 percent yes. You can't operate on a show like ours worrying about whether or not everyone will like what you're doing. You have to do what you think is funny and hope that viewers will gravitate to it.
Is your audience for the live show different than the average comedy show?
Do you mean are they all old and dilapidated? If so, then yes. Honestly, some crowds have been a little bit older. I've gone onstage sometimes and been like, "This crowd is definitely older." But I think our show hits so many different types of people that we really can't say there's one specific type of audience member.
IF YOU GO:
The Daily Show Writers Standup Tour
Brave New Workshop
Saturday, May 16
7 p.m., $20
Click here for details
ETA: The 7 p.m. show is sold out. However, a 10 p.m. show has been added!