"When news breaks, we fix it!"Long-running
satirical news program on Comedy Central
Instead of a straight-up News Parody
, a la Weekend Update
, the program merely relates the actual news in a humorous tone, with special attention paid to the antics and gaffes of politicians and public figures, as well as the reactions of major news shows (particularly 24-hour news channels
) which range from the theatrical to the absurd.
The main anchor is currently Jon Stewart (who took over in 1999, replacing Craig Kilborn
), but it's launched a few careers among its correspondents. Steve Carell
and Ed Helms are successful alums, and Stephen Colbert
got his own spinoff
program called The Colbert Report
(a parody of confrontational talk programs such as The O'Reilly Factor
) which became a runaway success leading him to be picked to take over for David Letterman
. Two more Daily Show
alums have since been given their own Comedy Central shows, Lewis Black
's Root of All Evil
and the critically acclaimed Important Things with Demetri Martin
. The show's writing staff has also published two books in connection to the show, both parodies of high-school textbooks; they are America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction
from 2004 and Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide To The Human Race
Before you dismiss it as silliness, the show gets some astonishingly important guests—Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY
), former Senator Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
(also D-NY), her husband and former President of the United States Bill Clinton
, Representative Ron Paul
(R-TX) (three times, most recently in 2011), former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
, Senator John Kerry
(D-MA) (when he was running for the U.S. Presidency in 2004), Barack Obama
(ditto, 2008, and again in 2010 as well as 2012 while sitting President), Mayor of London Boris Johnson
, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (many, many times, including 2008), the King of Jordan Abdullah II (twice, in 2010 and 2012), Vice President Joe Biden (in 2009), former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf while he was still president
(who is not even the first sitting head of state to be interviewed)- and none other than current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, to name a few.
To top it all off, despite being a comedy show, the program has received acclaim for its in-depth reporting, to the point where it is said that its regular viewers are often better informed than those who watch more traditional newscasts. True or not, this notion certainly frustrates Stewart himself to no end. If you glean your news headlines from this show, just remember to never take the "correspondents" at face value.
It can be watched online for free
(if you're lucky). In Canada, it is available at the Comedy Network's site
. Just beware of Archive Panic
In March 2013, Jon Stewart announced that he would be taking a three-month hiatus
as host of the Daily Show in order to direct his first-ever feature film, Rosewater
. John Oliver
filled in as host for 8 of the 12 absent weeks (06/10/2013 - 08/15/2013). Stewart returned to hosting on September 3, 2013. Oliver subsequently left the show to start his own program on HBO
called Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
In May 2014, Comedy Central announced that Daily Show
contributor Larry Wilmore
would have his own spinoff titled The Nightly Show
, which premiered in January 2015, taking The Colbert Report
's former spot.
In February 2015, Jon Stewart announced that he would retire, although the Daily Show will continue.
Not to be confused with The Daly Show
. While we're at it, the host himself is not to be confused for that African-American Green Lantern
, or the singer/songwriter best remembered for writing The Monkees
' "Daydream Believer
The Daily Show contains examples of:
open/close all folders
Tropes A - B
- The Ace: According to an expose John Oliver did on him, Dennis Kucinich. He eventually settled on 'secretly a robot'.
- Acceptable Targets: Parodied when Jon Stewart checks a huge book on comedian ethics to see if it's all right to make fun of a 14-year-old speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (turns out, only if you're a classmate or sibling).
- Actor/Role Confusion: John Oliver has trouble understanding that Will McAvoy and MacKenzie McHale are fictional characters and that he is actually talking to their actors, Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer. Though as it turns out, Daniels can give an inspiring Sorkin-esque speech on a moment's notice.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Jon admitted to Bill O'Reilly that Stephen Colbert liked his joke that the cover of Earth (The Book) featured a picture of Stewart and Colbert (the cover actually shows Stewart next to a chimpanzee).
- Adam Westing: Happens a lot with celebrity guests. Keith Olbermann does a great one in the piece on Chat Roulette.
- Allegedly Free Game: Aasif Mandvi exposes the "Tap Fish" I-Pad app as one that makes a million dollars a month since people pay money to resurrect fish or buy better ones (and their Target Players are kids). He then outright calls the CEO a drug-dealer, pointing out that the initial product is free, but the price goes up after that.
- Alter Kocker: As part of the 2008 election cycle, Wyatt Cenac is sent to cover the opinions of a group of Jewish retirees in Florida during the debates. Eventually, the political discourse devolves into them all arguing with each other over trivialities, with the increasingly bewildered correspondent unable to get a word in edgewise.
- Jon invoked this on himself in all but name when he turned 50.
- Amusing Injuries: Jon Stewart accidentally cuts his wrist on some glass during a fake press conference (at 4:19), and keeps going. Then John Oliver steps in and they start making jokes about it while Stewart's blood trickles down onto his hand.
- Anachronism Stew: Right here.
- Analogy Backfire: When several news pundits compared the Republican victory in the 2010 midterms to tidal waves, earthquakes and tsunamis, Jon was quick to point out that all of those things they are comparing the Republican victory to have killed thousands of people.
- Angrish: After some clips, Jon will be incapable of speaking English for a few seconds due to disbelief or rage.
- This has quite a lot. Understandably.
- Arab Beoble Talk: Jessica Williams tells Jon in this skit about the dangers of the new terrorist groups, ‘Al-Kil Ya'al’ and ‘Al-Fa'ak Yu'ap’. The resemblance to Arabic phonology is clearly somewhat shallow, though.
- Arc Fatigue: In-Universe, CNN's excessive coverage Malaysia Flight 370 is lampshaded heavily by Stewart.
- Archive Trawl: Almost, if not the entire, show's run is available on the website.
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering??: "It's like a combination of 'gay' and 'radar'. It's called The Homometer."
- Appeal to Obscurity: After playing a clip of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie saying, "If they wanna make new rules about disasters, well they picked the wrong state to make the new rules with," Jon follows it up (in "mobster" tone) with, "Hey, nice state you're representing. It'd be a shame if it ended up like New Delaware. Oh, you never heard of New Delaware? Yeah, that's right."
- Jon doesn't really hate most of the people he riffs on, but he does tend to go the extra mile to mock Donald Trump.
: [After calling Tucker Carlson an arrogant douche
] Tucker and I can talk like this because we already have a visceral negative reaction to each other. Not an ounce of friendship or respect between us. Truly one of the only people in the world I feel that way about.
- Aroused by Their Voice: Jon speculates that the reason why U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas never spoke during Court proceedings for seven years was to protect America from his lovely baritone.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- Artistic License – Physics: When interviewed on the Daily Show, Neil deGrasse Tyson reminded Jon that the globe in the opening is spinning in the wrong direction. This has become a Running Joke each time Tyson has returned.
- Ascended Extra: Jon Stewart, who guest-starred at least twice during the Craig Kilborn-era, for the interview segments.
- As the Good Book Says: When Pat Robertson made his infamous "pact with the devil" remark in the wake of the Haiti earthquakes, Stewart responded by reminding him what the Bible really says.
"Have you read this book?"
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Squirrel!
- He also likens them to "kids playing soccer." No strategy, they just run after the ball.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Al Madrigal, through the magic of New York Pizza.
- Author Filibuster: The "Meet Me at Camera Three" segments.
- Also, the anti-pornography segments.
- Award Snub: Discussed Trope. In the middle of a segment about unrest in Europe, John Oliver starts complaining about Saving Private Ryan losing Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love. Jon pipes in to complain about Dances with Wolves over Goodfellas.
- Badass: Mick Foley: Senior Asskicker
- Also shown to be a bit of a Genius Bruiser in his demonstration on filibusters
- Berserk Button:
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: In response to CNN putting together a discussion panel to discuss simply what they'll discuss after the 2009 election in NY's District 23rd, TDS's ensuing speculation-on-speculation panel provides four full minutes of Lampshading goodness. (Starting near the 5min mark)...
- Big "NO!": Just one example.
- Here Jon starts going into the Big "NO!", but the view doesn't change to the dramatic camera angle. He turns to a different camera to try again... and another... and another...
- A few come up when he accidentally crushes Professor Butterscotch into diamond in anger over the bank bailouts.
- Blatant Lies: When John Oliver was subbing for Stewart, he'd say he was there instead of Jon Stewart because Jon was doing something ridiculous. Subverted in his last episode, where he comes clean.
- Bodyguard Babes:
- Book Ends: On John Oliver's first show during Stewart's time filming a movie, the entire cast of correspondents trashed him. Later, on his last show they still bashed him. And Wyatt Cenac and Rob Riggle came back to insult him as well.
- Brain Bleach: In response to an argument against gay marriage that it's not how nature intended, John Oliver plays a clip of a dog humping another dog in the face. He then informs his viewers that they will never be able to unsee it.
Jon: I'm gonna have to actually get that image removed by laser from my brain.
- Brawn Hilda: In one segment explaining why there was so much footage of a giant meteor that exploded over Russia, they combined this trope with Mother Russia Makes You Strong by asserting along with some dash cam footage of a very angry woman in the middle of a road confrontation tearing the bumper off a car that "your average Russian car can be torn apart by your average Russian woman."
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Gay marriage! Pot! Gay pot marriage!
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Um, how was your weekend? Let's see...on Friday, I...got a haircut. Uh...(Beat) called a guy a dick on national television..."
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Jordan Klepper's debut as on-site correspondent has him so nervous that he constantly breaks character, talks about himself instead of the Russian invasion of Crimea, and chastises himself on camera for screwing up before finally just walking right out of "Crimea" and next to Jon's desk.
Jon: It's fine! You're doing fine, focus. What have you learned so far today?
Jordan: Well, uh...you have to dial 9 to get an outside line...um, lunch is at 1...uh...and if I keep my head down here for a couple years I have a real shot at getting my own sitcom on NBC.
- Breakout Character: Stephen Colbert started off as a Correspondent here.
- Brick Joke: While anything that can be used as such, IS used as such, on August 16, 2010, Jon Stewart told John Oliver that his "F*** ing Stupid English Accent" was offensive. No points for guessing what the first thing out of Emma Thompson's mouth was when she came on for the interview at the end of the show.
- Brooklyn Rage: Jon will drop into a Brooklyn accent from time to time, especially when hallmarks of New York culture are viewed in a negative light. Here he is on a rant defending Pizza. (starts at about 3:25 in)
- Butt Monkey: Stewart is routinely insulted and abused by correspondents (and occasionally guests).
- John Oliver (of The Bugle fame) gets this as well (usually when Stewart reminds him about his visa expiring). See the example under Pirates.
- Oliver himself thinks of the US Soccer team as this ("I'm here with the US pffft hahahahah! No, no, I've got it... Sudan, Sudan, Sudan. Hi, I'm HAHAHAHA!"), but when he sees they're not as bad as he expected he gives them "helpful vacation tips" for visiting South Africa like "Go on a nighttime stroll in Soweto in all your fanciest jewelry."
- Wyatt Cenac, as the youngest member of the team (at least before Jessica Williams joined the lineup), often gets this as well: for instance, while everybody else was given their own promotional advertisements, Wyatt was forced to make his own (with things like Wyatt saying "laser sounds" in place of actual laser sounds), and is forced to stop at the end to allow Jason Jones to shoot additional footage for his own ad atop a horse surrounded by models.
- Steve Carell usually filled this role when paired with Stephen Colbert. Aside from their memorable Even Stevphens segments, there was an episode where Colbert took him out drinking and got him so drunk he admitted that he thought Antonio Banderas was very sexy.
- New correspondent and Twofer Token Minority (black and female) Jessica Williams was sent into a disaster zone for her first assignment, then became a hobo, and was ignored by a Fifties-style panel of all-male correspondents until she put on a fake mustache.
- Later, she revealed that she used to be white before she went to college and, as Rick Santorum put it: "Was remade in President Obama's image."
C - D
- Call Back: Jon takes appropriate safety precautions after his previous unfortunate encounters with broken glass.
- Months after taking Donald Trump to task for serving chain pizza to a non-New Yorker (Sarah Palin) and eating his with a fork, he offers to eat pizza with a fork alongside Trump if he, Trump, agrees to reenter the Presidential race for the benefit of bored comedians.
- The Cameo: With overlapping One of Us part, in one episode when Jon Stewart was criticizing the national spying programs and mentioning a spy satellite NROL, there was one particular cute highschool girl who is being tentacle raped by the logo's octopus. You'll have to see it for yourself.
- Canada, Eh?: Samantha Bee, whose Canadian-ness has often been fodder for jokes. Her equally-Canadian husband, Jason Jones, doesn't get anywhere near this kind of treatment.
- Sam's entries in America (The Book) are parodies of excessive Canadian politeness, usually prefaced by the header "Would You Mind If I Told You How We Do It In Canada?" and full of apologies.
- Canon Discontinuity: The show's website has virtually every clip of the show since Jon Stewart became host, none from when Craig Kilborn was host.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: During a week where Jon Stewart was out sick, Stephen Colbert and Steven Carell took over hosting duty and showed the audience a video of the two at a bar where Carell is so drunk he starts making comments on how sexy Antonio Banderas is.
- Captain Obvious:
- Political commentator Bernie Goldberg of Fox News was called out on this after stating that the show was not just a comedy show; it was also providing social commentary. Jon responded that comedians have been providing social commentary for literally thousands of years.
- Regarding the STOCK Act: "Yes, Congress should obey the same laws as everyone else. I believe that was in the 'No Shit, Sherlock' Act of 2000 and always."
- Cast Herd: Up until about the 2008 presidential election, correspondents and contributors tended to come and go at the rate of + /-1 a year. From then to a little after 2012 presidential election the five main correspondents jobs were held by Aasif Mandi, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver, the longest stretch of consistent correspondents in the show's history. After the 2012 election this more or less became the standard again, however.
- The Cast Showoff: Somehow, even this show can do that. The 6 October 2009 episode features Larry Wilmore doing some pretty awesome (if fairly standard) card tricks while discussing how to play the race card. Who knew he was a magician?
- Which means...Uh-oh...
- Lampshaded where Jon says that the only reason Larry is doing this segment is to show off the magic tricks he's been trying to get on the show. Larry responds...by playing the race card.
- Catch Phrase: "BOOM!" when Jon makes a Take That joke.
- "CNN slaaam!"
- Don't forget the air guitar!
- "My point is this!"
- (Beat) "...Okay two things."
- (dreamily) "Go On..." whenever someone's digging themselves deeper.
- (high-pitched sing-song) "Awkward..."
- (whenever the audience laughs at a segment title card) "You like that?"
- "Meet me at Camera Three."
- Censorship by Spelling: Subverted in a segment, when Samantha Bee has her young son standing right next to her (Take Your Child to Work Day) while talking about torture methods:
Sam: When a bound and naked prisoner has electrodes attached to...
Jon: (interrupting)' Okay, Sam, Sam, Sam...
Sam: Oh, I'm sorry. To his T-E-S-T-I-C-L-E-S... testicles.
- Chew Bubblegum: Parodied when John Oliver discussed filibusters.
- Chewing the Scenery: Jon can never seem to resist a good Skyward Scream or Big "NO!".
- Chirping Crickets: Lampshaded and spoofed in a segment comparing Apple's release of the iPhone to a White House announcement of an increased troop deployment in Iraq.
- Christmas Creep: One episode that aired in October several years ago featured a clip of Bill O'Reilly complaining about a department store chain posting company rules forbidding employees to greet customers with "Merry Christmas"
Jon: It seems like every year the War On Christmas starts earlier and earlier...
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: If a correspondent just isn't well-liked by the audience, they get subtly phased out instead of the usual official send-off that more popular correspondents get.
- Chroma Key: Combined with Stock Footage to put correspondents "live at the scene". The background once notably changed in the middle of one of these sketches.
- Citizenship Marriage: Parodied here. Poor John Oliver...
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In the 3/17/2010 episode, John Oliver frantically implores Jon and the studio audience to do this to save the life of a rose named Reagan, the final breath of American freedom.
- And at the Rally to Restory Sanity and/or Fear, John Oliver did it again, asking the audience to help revive Jon Stewart after Colbert nearly beat him in their Fear vs. Reason debate. Bonus points for doing this while being dressed as Peter Pan.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Done quite humorously while discussing Obama's first State of the Union address.
- Not to mention his tirade towards Fox News: "Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself!..." Etc. With a gospel choir backing him.
- Repeated for the terrorists that threatened the creators of South Park.
- The segment Clusterf#@k to the [insert adjective] House.
- Done several times by John Oliver when discussing the 2010 World Cup.
- Commie Nazis: Jon's discussion of the 2012 Greek elections, which somehow elevated both extreme right and left parties to significant power, making them the world's first literal Commie Nazis.
- Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: Robert Novak, frequent target of Take Thats due to his role in the Valerie Plame affair, was asked in an interview whether he'd ever seen The Daily Show or any of its material on him; he said no, then promptly went on to describe Jon as "self-righteous" and a "phony" and so forth. The old incident of Geraldo Rivera ranting to Bill O'Reilly about how TDS and TCR "exist in a small little place where they count for nothing" is most likely also an example, since he cited their supposed use of "video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing," which are not exactly Stewart and Colbert's stock in trade. (We would say these were in-universe examples, except y'know, it happened in this universe).
- Jon Stewart also lampshaded this in regards to Noah, with FOX complaining about it using the word "Creator" instead of "God". Jon Stewart points out that in the movie, Noah's son says that the Creator is God. It is then taken a step further with some of there complaints showing that they must not have read the source material either.
- Content Warnings: On the Global Edition only, as it airs on serious news channels in some countries.
The show you are about to see is a news parody. Its stories are not fact checked. Its reporters are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.
- Continuity Nod: You know how Jon made Kristen Schaal depressed by revealing that the Chinese "one baby" rule had some bad consequences to female babies? Well, apparently he learned his lesson when she expressed how nice it was that Hugh Hefner "lives with his three grand-daughters."
Kristen: Why, what do you mean?
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: When John McCain accused Jon of lying on the show, Jon proposed a wrong-off. If Jon loses he has to watch 24 hours straight of Stephen Colbert. If McCain loses he has to watch 24 hours straight of Sarah Palin.
- Corpsing: Jon tends to giggle a lot while trying to report. One of the greatest examples is when he and Stephen completely lose it while reporting the Prince Charles Scandal. He does it often during the tosses to the Colbert Report as well, or whenever one of his correspondents says something he wasn't expecting. Jon rarely tries to keep a straight face during his reporting, however.
- Cosmic Plaything: John Oliver somehow turned into this when he filled in for Stewart in 2013. He expected to have a quiet Summer filled mostly with jokes about his Britishness. First day of guest hosting: the NSA spying scandal broke out. Then after weeks of other major political news stories occurring during his tenurenote , the studio loses power.
John Oliver (to camera): "Sorry Jon, I've broken the show."
- Ultimately, Oliver got the last laugh, as his time hosting the show was so well-received that he was able to land his own show on HBO.
- Couch Gag:
- Crossover: Applied liberally during the writer's strike, culminating in a brawl between Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien.
- Crouching Comic Hidden Badass: A good portion of the show could be construed as cutting, but pretty average, criticism of subject X. But, interviewees beware: if you try to weasel out of, outright deny or fire back at the allegations raised, you will get schooled.
"The bottom line: don't pick a fight with Jon Stewart. Do not do it. You cannot win."
- Cute Kitten: This video has Jon show a kitten's adorably despondent reaction to the bank bailout - just 'cause.
- Used again on April 7, 2010, when more sex abuse scandals come to light around the Catholic church:
Very cute. The kittens lack the capacity to understand the horror of this story.
E - F
- Eagle Land: Obviously. But when ever he makes a few jabs at the more...extreme conservatives we see in news clips, he or one of the correspondents makes it quite clear that said people fit in with "flavor 2" as they tend to "hate 50% of the country".
- Early Installment Weirdness: the show was completely different when Craig Kilborn was host. It was more of a parody of local news programs, with a focus on entertainment. The field pieces generally set their sights on obscure weirdos rather than public figures or activists, so the mockery came across as much more mean-spirited. The show as a whole had a meaner, condescending tone, most noticeably in Kilborn's personality and interviewing style. Each episode was also much more standardized, with Kilborn running through the same named segments in each episode and ending each interview with "Five Questions." There was also no audience for the first season. Once Jon Stewart took over, he shifted the focus to hard political satire, did away with most of the pre-existing segments, and significantly changed the tone.
- Election Night: Heavily spoofed whenever it rolls around.
- Mr. Fanservice: Have you seen the movie "Playing By Heart"?
- Also here, when Larry Wilmore reminds modern viewers what Jon looked like back in 1999. Rowr.
- Eskimos Aren't Real: In a segment satirically examining the "over-commercialization" of Hanukkah, Stephen Colbert refers to the occasion as the "holiest of holy days" and is corrected by his (Jewish) guest. Colbert asks him to name one holier, and responds to Rosh Hashanah with, "Okay, now you're just making words up."
- Every Car Is a Pinto: In the December 16 2014 episode, the accidental innuendo-laden "don't jerk and drive" PSA shows us a simulated extreme (to say the least) worst-case scenario, in which jerking the steering wheel causes the car to fly into oncoming traffic, bounce back into their own side, and then for a second car, oblivious to the now stationary vehicle, to drive straight into it at full speed (at least the second car didn't jerk the wheel), causing an explosion eclipsing both cars. Hilarious because they could have fully made their point, and better, without that second car.
- Every Episode Ending: "Here it is, your moment of zen." During Kilbourne's run, the clip was usually a ridiculous or surreal non sequitor, while during Jon Stewart's run it's usually a funny or ironic news clips that is related to something covered previously.
- Everyone Has Standards: Apparently Romney's business practices are too shady for Italy. Romney has to say to Italy "Hey, I'm a legitimate businessman."
- Everyone Is Bi: Everybody on the show has either shown bisexual tendencies on screen, or simply hinted at having had sex with both genders.
- Expy: Often a source of them, as Jon and the other correspondents will take other acting roles in quite a similar vein as their characters in the show. Jon himself played an Only Sane Man news anchor in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Ed Helms showed up as the quite similar Andy Bernard on The Office (US) (which, of course, stars former "reporter" Steve Carell.)
- Extended Disarming: When Vance DeGeneres made his farewells, Jon had to nudge him to hand over his standard-issue badge and handgun. Isn't there something else he's forgetting? Brass knuckles. And fine, combat knife. And bomb.
- Face-Heel Turn: The show's treatment of Senator John McCain following his 2008 presidential campaign makes frequent allusions to his 'fall from grace' from his (now-abandoned) maverick position. Appropriately, 2008 was also the last year Senator McCain made a personal appearance on the show.
- Face Palm: A favorite reaction of Jon when confronted with the most egregious logical fallacies.
- Fauxtastic Voyage: A gag using the Chroma Key.
- In one memorable example, two correspondents are supposedly broadcasting from Iraq. The one who is actually in Iraq demonstrates that his (real) footage is being used as the fake background for the other's shoot by waving his arms.
- Film At Eleven
- Fingore: Stewart once accidentally smashed a margarita glass in his hand on camera bad enough to require stitches.
- Flame War: The Even Stephvens debates which at one point attempted to prove which religion was the right one by holding a "Smite-off" (praying to either God or Mohammad to smite the other Ste(v/ph)en.)
- Flat "What.": In an interview with Barbara Walters, former GOP candidate Herman Cain said that, if offered a cabinet position, he would want to be Secretary of of Defense. Walters was so flabbergasted that she could only stammer out a What? This prompted Jon to show examples of people and comments that didn't faze her, including Syria's Bashar al-Assad saying that no government has ever killed non-deserving people.
- Food Porn: Darn near literally in one sketch.
- Fox News Liberal: Notable aversion. Though a decidedly liberal-leaning program, the Daily Show often hosts conservative guests. When it does, Jon Stewart treats them with respect and actually attempts to understand their point of view, and thus help the audience to do the same.
- Follow the Leader: The Daily Show has spawned a number of similar shows in the Middle East, notably Parazit in Iran and El Bernamegnote with Bassem Youssef in post-revolution Egypt. Both show's hosts and producers openly admit that they are attempting to replicate The Daily Show.
- Foreshadowing: Of course, Jon didn't intend to do so.
- Another bit of unintentional foreshadowing happened during the Anthony Weiner scandal, wherein Jon Stewart fake-resigns and John Oliver takes over the show (temporarily, before Jon Stewart reminds him that it was just a bit). A few years later, the Weiner scandal reemerged with a vengeance while Jon was on hiatus and John Oliver was hosting.
- Friendly Enemy: Stewart and Bill O'Reilly of Fox. Bill has been interviewed by Stewart several times over the years, and while they obviously disagree with each other strongly on numerous issues, there is an odd sort of Worthy Opponent-type respect between them.
- Fun with Acronyms:
- Funny Background Event: During the November 13, 2014 episode that promotes Rosewater, John Oliver takes over the show. After Jon gets in the way too much, he is dismissed. Immediately after while John is interviewing Jason Jones and one of the producers, you can see Jon pacing in the background.
- Funny Foreigner: Both played straight and subverted with John Oliver. There are plenty of times where his British-ness is used for laughs, but it's also heavily implied that he wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, but is forced to play the Funny Foreigner role for Jon Stewart's personal amusement.
- He's also used in lieu of a calculator whenever a measurement is given in metric, as part of the segment "Is that a lot?"
- On the other hand, it's usually not brought up with Canadians Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, unless the subject turns to Canada.
- The correspondent segment on Silvio Berlusconi's trial for statutory rape was a grand mockery of the trope, what with Jon's attempt at playing the whole thing seriously.
G - H
- Gag Dub: Whenever you hear a voiceover, it's fake.
- Game-Breaking Injury: When exasperatedly noting how Barack Obama's mishaps during the 2012 campaign are overshadowed by the far more numerous gaffes of challenger Mitt Romney, and the audience begins to cheer, Jon compares a victory over Romney to a victory over someone suffering one of these.
Jon: Really? That's how you want to win this? Other guy tears his ACL?
- Game of Nerds: Jon has openly admitted to being a Mets fan.
- Geeky Turn-On: Elizabeth Warren (yes, the future Senator) gives an eloquent and accurate speech on the urgent necessity of Wall Street reform. Jon wants to make out with her.
- General Ripper: Puppet Senator John McCain against illegal immigrants.
- Giver of Lame Names: Jon will sometimes do this to his segment titles as a Running Gag, going through several increasingly horrific versions before settling on the final one.
- A Glass in the Hand: Parodied in this clip as Jon handles a series of bad news about the Wall Street bailout by breaking a champagne glass, then the accompanying bottle, and finally his "comically convenient fish tank." (He's done similar gags with Spit Takes, as mentioned below, and one time with a Jenga game.)
- A Call Back was made to that clip in this clip on TARP, where Jon reacts to the financial loopholes involving the bailout by first snapping a pencil, crushing a piece of coal so hard it becomes diamond, before doing the same to a cute (live) kitten. Not really.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She's p-p-p-p-poisonous
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Cribbing a quote from a CNN Anchor about a sex scandal, Jon proclaims
Stewart: "If there's not a hip indie band named Lesbian Bondage Fiasco by next week..."
- In a bit about abortion laws, he mentions "Transvaginal Ultrasound" as being a 15-member jazz fusion band.
- Godwin's Law: The Back in Black segment ripping Glenn Beck's "Nazi Tourettes."
- Also defied in a "Rally to Restore Sanity" poster - "I may disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler."
- Later subverted in a segment about Planet Fitness, a gym that excludes hardcore weightlifters.
PF Rep: All the animals [the bodybuilders] can go in their cages and the rest of the people can come here."
Jason Jones: You know who else said that?
PF Rep: .....Hitler?
- Jon does not like when anyone, of any stripe, compares anyone else to the Nazis. He's been complaining about it since as early as 2004 on Oprah, when it was the Democrats comparing Bush to Hitler and Republicans in the House comparing Democrats to Hitler and Democrats in the House comparing Republicans in the House to Hitler.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Stewart refers to his 'weekend squash partner' Bill O'Reilly
- The Golden Rule: Subject of a Crosses The Line Twice joke in The Daily Show, where apropos of a meeting between Catholic Cardinals to discuss the sexual molestation scandals, Jon claims that the aformentioned Bible verse will be altered to include the footnote "except when explicitly prohibited by law".
- Gone Horribly Right: Discussed. In an interview with Richard Dawkins, Jon speculates that humanity's last words will be, "It worked!"
- Gospel Revival Number: "I guess what I'm sayin' is this..." "GO..." "If 'Fair and Balanced' is how you want to sell yourself..." "FUCK..." "Guess what I'm sayin' is this..." "YOURSELVES!"
- Guest Host: The correspondents, when necessary.
- "Welcome to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Ironically enough, I'm Stephen Colbert."
- Jon Stewart is perhaps one of the most dedicated news anchors on TV. In one instance, despite losing his voice for three days, he refused to not appear on the show, even though he had to speak up (and therefore lengthened his recovery by abusing his already abused vocal cords).
- John Oliver guest-hosted the show during the Summer of 2013, while Stewart was filming his adaptation of Maziar Bahari's book And Then They Came For Me, entitled Rosewater, in Jordan.
- On October 7, 2014, after Jon fell sick, Jason Jones guest-hosted, with wife and fellow correspondent Samantha Bee joining in later on.
- Heartbreak and Ice Cream: When Robert Pattinson appeared on the show after Kristen Stewart was caught cheating on him (his appearance had been scheduled long before the incident), Jon pulls out 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's. Unfortunately, it melted.
- Here We Go Again: Jon Stewart cut his hand by breaking a glass object AGAIN!
- High-Class Glass: Toppington Von Monocle, the show's "biggest fan," who appeared in a segment in response to Bernie Goldberg accusing Jon of playing to an "incredibly unsophisticated audience" (see Sophisticated as Hell below).
- Hilarious Outtakes: Frequently left in. For instance, Jon Stewart stumbling all over the camera placement while talking with Gitmo.
- Homage: Jon riffed on Churchill while talking about his Crossfire appearance: "Tomorrow, I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow."
- Hostile Show Takeover: On Election Night 2008, Stewart and Colbert co-hosted a live show reporting on the results (in between humorous bits and interviews, of course). After Ohio went to Obama, it became obvious he was going to win the election. The Daily Show's two black correspondents, Larry Wilmore and Wyatt Cenac, took this as a sign that they could do "whatever they want", and tried to host The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, respectively. It was over by the commercial break.
- Kristen and Samantha also once tried to take over the show when Jon went to the toilet, because they felt it was time for a female host.
- Hypocritical Humor: Often.
- "Yes, it's cathartic - it can be so therapeutic to publicly ridicule those whose views you find repugnant when they are in no way able to respond."
- The end of his Special Comment about Keith Olbermann, accusing him of name-calling: "And as we both know, Sir, that's my thing!"
- The episode on SOPA absolutely runs on this trope, with Jon faux-seriously lecturing on the evils of using copyrighted material and the background consisting entirely of clips taken from other shows.
- Making fun of CNN doing a splitscreen satellite interview with two reporters in the same parking lot, Jon said: "The audacity of something even resembling a news organization to pretend that a correspondent is in an entirely different location when in fact that correspondent is standing no more than a few feet away, maybe in the very same studio for all we know - pretty shameful."
- When John Oliver first starts hosting the show during Jon Stewart's absence, Samantha Bee expresses outrage at a "godforsaken foreigner" being selected for the position over her.
- Al Madrigal does an interview with an animal-rights whistleblower defending the editing of their videos for time, pointing out that The Daily Show does the same with its interviews. Al Madrigal objects... in two different clips of him wearing two different outfits.
- Jon dismissed the pissing contest between New York City and Chicago over which city had the tallest skyscraper in the country and urged everyone not to take the issue so seriously. Then he watched a clip of a pundit declaring Chicago's deep dish pizza to be better than New York's pizza.
- In their controversial segment on the Washington Redskins on September 26, 2014, upon having his stuttering mocked by Native American activists, Jason Jones says, "Just because I am uncomfortable doesn’t mean you have to make fun of my uncomfortableness. You don’t see me doing that to people."
I - J
- If I Had a Nickel: "You know, if I had a nickel for every time Bush has mentioned 9/11, I could raise enough reward money to go after bin Laden."
- I Know Kung-Faux
You can't be a dick to (Newt) Gingrich. He's a master of dick fu
. He will use his opponents' dickishness against ... Newt studied it in the mountains of Tibet with the Dicky Lama
- I Love Nuclear Power: Alluded to during the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning.
- Implausible Deniability: They get sitting heads of state, major government officials, Hollywood stars, scientists at the top of their field, and actual news anchors as guests. They've earned Emmys and Peabody Awards(!), and can get celebrities to drop by unannounced for a cameo and good joke. Their news is at least as insightful as the regular stuff put out by the networks and the 24-hour news channels (though people like Fareed Zakaria and Christiane Amanpour are probably better). But as he said when it was still true (and people were even treating the show as serious news), "The show leading into mine is puppets making crank phone calls."
- Incredibly Lame Pun: He warned the Audience after they laughed at this that, because it was positive reinforcement, he would use more of these in the future.
- Kristen Schaal pulled one of these in a
Black Comedy never-have-baby-comedy moment. After talking about Sarah Palin's new group, "Mama Grizzlies", she mentioned that she'd "never be a Mama Grizzly."
Jon Stewart: I'm sorry Kristen, I... why, why, why is that?
Kristen: Well Jon, you might just say... I'm "bear-en".
- Jon criticized the news media's habit of using lame puns in a segment called You're Not Punny.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Jon begins his interview with Mike Huckabee about abortion by pouring them both shots.
- Informed Judaism: Part of Jon Stewart's material since his stand-up career, with a combination of pride in his Jewishness and Self-Deprecation at being not very good at it.
- So, basically, he's Reform.
- But for the most part Jon subverts that trope. He clearly knows his Judaic lore and customs, but chooses to make part of his act about his choice to live as an ultra-assimilated, intermarried New York Jew.
- Inherently Funny Words: The names of Mississippi Secretaries of State Dick Molpus and Delbert Hosemann.
- In-Joke / Noodle Incident: Jon comes out to chat with the studio audience for a bit before the show starts, and then during the show he will often make a Call Back to something that one of the audience members said, leaving the home audience scratching their heads at the seeming Non Sequitur.
- In My Language That Sounds Like
- Innocent Innuendo: An open-shirted Jason Jones was on Chat Roulette looking very relaxed while his arms were making jerking motions. He turns out to be playing Wii Craps while masturbating.
- Insane Troll Logic: Played brilliantly straight in the manner of Glenn Beck. Watch it on video here. Comes complete with spoofing Hitler Ate Sugar.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: In a sketch introducing the newest correspondent, Aasif appears from behind a piece of greenscreen down to his waist.
Jon Stewart: Uh, Aasif, how did you do that?
Aasif: I'm Asian, Jon. I'm a ninja!
- The Internet Is for Porn: Jon's internet history is mostly Sideboobs (and some ESPN).
- Interspecies Romance: John Oliver/Orangutan OTP!
- Irishman And A Jew: The Daily Show is headed up by Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Leibowitz—and no, you're not allowed to call him that); its sister show, The Colbert Report, stars Stephen Colbert, who self-identifies as Irish-American, despite the French-sounding name. Like many other instances of such pairings, the Jewish half is sarcastic and exasperated with a world gone mad, while the Irish half is blustering and self-assured, but oblivious to the problems around him.
- Also happens during the many times Jon's good friend Denis Leary is on the show.
- Jon also has this dynamic with Bill O'Reilly. Their Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium debate was truly something to behold.
- Ironic Echo Cut: A staple of the show is Jon recapping the basics of a story and assuming a result, then cutting to a clip of a reporter or speaker saying the exact opposite.
- It's Been Done: After Jon's recap of the Bipartisan Health Care Summit of 2010, Stewart and John Oliver proceeded to explain in great detail a hypothetical system where legislators could come together, sit down, and talk about relevant issues. OH WAIT, THAT'S CONGRESS.
"What if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?"
- Jewish Complaining: Some of the jokes.
- Jews Love to Argue: Often joked about, and once they captured empirical evidence on camera.
- "Join the Army," They Said: Rob Riggle apparently joined the Marines because he thought he could kill flaming demons with a sword.
- Joisey: Jon Stewart is from New Jersey (he even got to introduce Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors!) and will often use a parody Joisey accent.
K - L
M - N
- Magical Negro: Referenced by the Genre Savvy Larry Wilmore.
- Manly Tears: The first episode after 9/11. Scientifically proven to be impossible to watch without joining in.
- Metaphorgotten: With regards to Dick Cheney:
Here's what's upsetting about this guy; fucking guy acts like we were 20 seconds away from total victory in Iraq, when suddenly Obama
just gives it away at midfield, and then Osama bin Laden crosses it, and ISIS heads it home; God, how did we blow that game!?
- Mic Drop: Jessica Williams ended an epic rant about racism with a mic drop ... which she first had to pull out from behind her desk because she wasn't using it during said rant.
- Misplaced Nationalism: Made fun of a few times. The 2010 World Cup has this as a Running Gag between Jon and John Oliver regarding the performance of the US and English teams, usually ending with John Oliver dropping a Cluster F-Bomb after Jon's parting shot against England.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Due to the unfortunate titles for the segment for kids.
- Mood Whiplash: The first episode directly after 9/11. This one isn't funny in the least. Instead, Jon puts all the jokes aside and confronts both the audience and his heartbroken home of New York very seriously... and in tears.
- Moral Myopia: Jon's take on Ahmadinejad.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Jason Jones, while in Russia, did a segment on how Russians aren't sissies, which included talking with a math teacher who walks across rooftops in her spare time.
- Motor Mouth: "WelcometotheDailyShowmynameisJonStewart!"
- Ms. Fanservice: While there's little doubt that Olivia Munn would be this whether or not that was the plan, a veritable tempest in a teapot arose when a feminist (possibly or possibly not of the silly variety) accused the TDS staff of sexism, saying they only hired her to try out for her sexiness. While most agreed that Munn's first two segments left something to be desired, her third segment (a field assignment in Arizona) was enough of an improvement that Slate, at least, said she warranted a little bit of patience.
- It's worth noting that this is the exact same complaint that gave her something of a Broken Base among Attack of the Show! fans, which still lingers after several years of her hosting.
- In the end, her tenure was short-lived, as she became the lead financial reporter for another fictional news show.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "The best f* cking news team ever. We have a rocket. CNN doesn't have a rocket."
- Which is topped by the Election Day intro Stephen cooked up: THE FINAL ENDGAME ALPHA ACTION GO TIME LIFT-OFF DECIDE-CIDAL HUNGRY MAN'S EXTREME RAW POWER ULTIMATE VOTESLAM SMACKDOWN '08 NO MERCY: JUDGEMENT DAY '08
- And then Jon Stewart lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire, and blew him up.
Stephen Colbert: ...did you set fire to Dick Gephardt?
Jon Stewart: That's right, Stephen, we lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire...and then we blew him up.
Stephen Colbert: ...kudos.
- Muppets: A Running Gag that when former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney or former GOP Chairman Michael Steele are mentioned, a clip of a similar-looking Muppet (Guy Smiley and the hapless restaurant patron, respectively) will be shown.
- The muppet!Steele became a guest on April 7, 2010. Hilarity Ensues
- And when the real Michael Steele appeared as a guest, so did muppet!Steele.
"Real" Michael Steele: Take a hike, Dick van Dyke.
Puppet Steele: ...I can take that he's better looking than me, but rhyming's my thing, Gordon Sumner - also known as Sting!
- Or when he was trying to pronounce the name of the island "Mah Na Mah Na"...
- Don't forget Gitmo! Never thought that Elmo's cousin (or whatever) was a member of Al-Qaeda, but it's a small world, I suppose.
- Also, don't forget that Elmo himself is a neo-Nazi...
- When then-Prime Minister Tony Blair was "Harumphed" (heckled) by Parliament, Stewart noted that "The act of harumphing dates back to the Earl of Statler and the Duke of Waldorf."
- And don't forget when he interviewed Kermit the Frog:
Jon: Isn't that the whole thing, if you lick a frog you get crazy thoughts?
Kermit: If you lick a frog, you're crazy before you started!
Jon: I can't believe it, the frog's running circles around me!
- And now that John McCain is refusing to do the show, Muppet John McCain has been filling in for him from time to time.
- In the last show of 2012, Wyatt Cenac was turned into a Muppet after mocking a Puerto Rican news show because one of the hosts used a puppet suit. He turned out to just be operating the puppet, which led to an awkward moment at the end of the show.
- Narm: A lot of the humor on the show deals with pointing out narmy moments in news coverage.
- N-Word Privileges: Invoked here when John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac try to debate which racial insults are worse; John can't bring himself to use the N word.
- Also see this clip. John Oliver and Larry Wilmore interview a local politician trying to ban the N word. John will ask a question and pause for Larry to fill in the actual word.
- Frequently invoked with the topic of Rick Perry's family's former name for their ranch. Every time after Jon tries to say it, a clip would play of Herman Cain helping a reporter by saying it instead.
- Jon cannot say the N-word, but Jessica can. note
- Nerdgasm: Jon was particularly flummoxed that among the revelations about Anthony Weiner's sexual escapades was an exchange between him and one woman suggesting that they watch back-to-back Daily Show and The Colbert Report to "get them in the mood."
- Never Trust a Title: As Jon pointed out, The Daily Show is on four days a week, and only for a part of the year.
- New Media Are Evil: Spoofed in this sketch.
- News Parody
- Nice Guy: Among other things, Jon Stewart has been an active proponent for granting medical aid to the dying rescue workers and volunteers from the 9/11 terrorism massmurder; and improved education for autistic children.
- "El Niño" Is Spanish for "The Niño": This is a bit of a Running Gag regarding Arabic phrases with the article "Al". For example, in one episode featuring an interview with an Al Jazeera reporter, Jon helpfully informs us that "Al Jazeera" means "The Jazeera" and that hopefully their guest will explain what a "Jazeera" is (he doesn't).note
- Not Helping Your Case: In the midst of an uphill battle to retain his Senate seat, John McCain had Sarah Palin speak for him to garner some much-needed publicity for his campaign. This proved to be a very bad idea.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
- "— and this is true —" Jon has to do this with disturbing frequency.
- During his tongue-in-cheek review of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Al Madrigal at one point stops to provide a source for his claim that the Decision Theater will actually play of video of Bush telling the user why they're wrong if their decision contradicts his (namely, when deciding against the Iraq war).
- In his "India Jones and the Election of Doom" series, Jason Jones learns that Indian newspapers can be paid to print pretty much anything, which he demonstrates by having a completely fictional story about himself printed for a few thousand dollars. He then stresses that he really did this and provides a link to the article in question.
- Not So Different: His claims to this effect - which he insists are weaker than they've been taken - have provoked a lot of backlash from the left, especially following the Rally to Restore Sanity, which he mocked with his "The Rally to Determine Precisely the Percentage of Blame to be Doled Out to the Left and the Right for Our Problems Because We Know the Only Thing That Matters Is That the Other Guys Are Worse Than We Are and/or Fear."
- Not Worth Mocking: Stewart grabs a pair of glasses similar to those worn by Glenn Beck. It comes off as a setup of another thorough, annihilating parody of Beck's rhetoric...until he throws the glasses down and says he's just not worth it anymore.
- No True Scotsman: Points out the tendency fairly often In-Universe.
O - P
- Obfuscating Stupidity: A charge leveled at Gretchen Carlson of "Fox and Friends" for her having to look up the words "czar" and "ignoramus", despite being a Stanford honors graduate in Sociology, having studied at Oxford and being a talented violinist, and so probably being familiar with those words.
- And done again, lampshade included and vocally invoked by Wyatt Cenac when discussing how Fox and Friends had connected the "Ground-Zero Mosque" with the leader of The Kingdom Foundation, Prince Al-waleed bin Talal... who happens to be a 7% shareholder with NewsCorp, parent company of Fox News. (This makes him the largest shareholder outside of the Murdoch family.)
Wyatt Cenac: Bum-bum-bum! That's some evil shit! It's a level of knowing obfuscation that can only come with having a heart filled with pure evil!
- Oh, Cisco!: The Moment of Zen.
- Oh God, with the Verbing!: On pronouncing Rod Blagojevich:
"It's not that hard to pronounce. Repeat after me: Rod— BLAGOJEVICH WITH THE SCHNITZENDREUBLE, WITH THE GOVERNING AND THE CORRUPTION..."
- One-Man Army: Former correspondent and all-around Bad Ass Lt. Col. Rob Riggle, USMCR.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. In addition to Jon Stewart the show has John Oliver, and occasional You're Welcome host John Hodgman. And of course, there were also Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert before they left the show (complete with the segment "Even Stephven" where they "debated" a topic by hurling insults at each other).
- Only in Florida: During a segment about Florida demanding that welfare recipients take drug urinalysis tests, Aasif Maandvi manages to crash an actual press conference with Gov. Rick Scott and requests that he take a test himself. The other reporters even help to pass him the cup.
- The January 13, 2015 episode's comedy portion was entirely devoted to Only in Florida weird stories, due in part to their guest that evening, Senator Marco Rubio, leading to this chestnut:
Jon: Florida, you don't get to judge others when your state motto is, "If Darwin was right, we wouldn't be here."
- Only Sane Man: Jon Stewart, with the insanity provided either by correspondents, or clips of real life politics.
- Orgasmically Delicious: Anything prepared by Mario Batalli.
- Overly Long Gag:
- Jon will occasionally do something random (like vigorously scratch the back of his head) while waiting for the audience to stop applauding or laughing, then when they quiet down, he'll continue to do it until they laugh again.
- Full clip. When MSNBC named a New York police officer "Anthony Bologna" (pronounced like the Italian city), Jon insisted on calling him "Tony Bologna" (pronounced like the sausage) and proceeded with a rap:
- Overly Narrow Superlative: The titles given to the correspondents often follow this mold, such as "Jessica Williams, our senior Christmas historical accuracy correspondent"
- Pædo Hunt: Running Gag.
- Painting the Medium: When discussing ways to grab the attention of younger viewers, Demetri Martin created pictures, sparkle and rainbow effects, and a ticker with hand gestures while the person he was interviewing stared at him, confused.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: At first, this video seems to be the first episode of a new segment focusing on small towns, however, as the video goes on, it becomes increasingly obvious that the whole thing is just John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac desperately trying to find a way to sneak into the Chelsea Clinton wedding.
- Pass the Popcorn
- Perfume Commercial
- Pirates: "Yo ho ho, the piracy epidemic requires a long-term solution..."
- Pet the Dog: In the height of his bad reputation, Jon Stewart, a Jew, gave one to Mel Gibson.
- Pixellation: Whenever someone makes a rude gesture, and everything Dick Cheney touches.
- The Plan: Larry Whitmore speculates in the 4/28/10 show that Chairman Michael Steele is intentionally screwing up his job so that the Republican Party can show that having a black man in charge never works.
- Ken Blackwell postulates (at 2:10) that this is the Obama administration's stance in terms of gun control - Yes, he passed the law allowing people to carry guns in national parks, but only because he's simultaneously putting in Judges that will overturn it!
- Porn Stash: John Oliver, with his life supposedly in danger, not only lists the location of the porn in every room he has, but also:
- Prayer of Malice: Back when Stephen and Steven were still on The Daily Show, an "Even Stevens" segment had them debating whether Islam or Christianity was the one true religion. Needless to say, prayers of "Smite mine enemy" were evoked on both sides.
- Precision F-Strike:
- Preppy Name: Stewart likes to make up names for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee that sound even more preppy than Willard "Mitt" Romney.
- Pun-Based Title: Many of the headline segments involve these, such as Mess O Potamia, Guantanamo Baywatch, and Exper-teasers.
Q - S
- Quintessential British Gentleman: John Oliver finds one in Britain while covering the royal wedding.
John Oliver: You are the most English thing I have ever seen.
- Oliver himself is often portrayed as this, when he's not being portrayed as any number of other British stereotypes.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Dog on Fire" by Bob Mould, as covered by They Might Be Giants.
- The Reason You Suck: Jon gave one of his repeated targets, Sean Hannity, one of these when the latter was apparently perplexed by the former’s ‘obsession’ towards him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The entire show these days is the Blue Oni to The Colbert Report's Red Oni, the Report being driven entirely by Stephen Colbert's egomaniacal Large Ham strawman, while Daily Show focuses more on Stewart being the Only Sane Man Surrounded by Idiots.
- Red Scare: Teaching Mandarin in middleschool will taint the next generation with COMMUNISM!
- Replacement Scrappy: John Oliver to Stephen.
Stephen: I hate you Oliver! You're not my real Jon!
- The Resenter: Every member of the supporting cast toward John Oliver when John got to be Jon Stewart's replacement.
- Resistance Is Futile: After Jon Stewart laid the smackdown on Fox News with a Cluster go f*ck yourself (backed by a Gospel Choir) MSNBC pundit Lawrence O'Donnell came to the conclusion:
"Do not pick a fight with Jon Stewart. Do not do it, you can not win."
- Retroactive Wish: Jon after Crossfire got canceled: "According to Jim is hurting America." It took a while, but his wish was finally granted in May of 2009.
- Ridiculously Loud Commercial: The full episodes online have faint audio relative to most youtube and other online videos, requiring viewers to turn up their speaker volume. The ads, however, are so loud you have to turn your volume down almost all the way to keep them from blaring.
- The episodes posted on Hulu avert this, either because Hulu turns up the volume of the videos before posting them or because they just have quieter commercials. The ones posted on the show's official site are still too quiet with too-loud commercials, though.
- Rousing Speech: John Oliver's rousing defense of moats during the 2009 British MP expenses scandal (during which one MP was found to have used public funds to preserve the moat on his property) comes complete with Lampshade Hanging:
Jon Stewart: You're going Richard II on us?
yeah, strap in!
- Rule of Funny: In a spot mocking the NFL Referees' dispute, Jon and John Oliver (and Patrick Stewart) characterize it as a strike. It was actually a lockout, but the joke wouldn't work that way.
- Rule 34:
- Running Gag:
- The unfortunate subtitles given to certain segments.
- In health segments: Jimmy Dean Blueberry Pancake and Sausage on a Stick.
- Also, Jon Stewart unsuccessfully attempting to fist-bump Larry Wilmore at the end of Wilmore's segments, which they apparently resolved with a high-five.
- Jon plays a clip of some pop culture figure insulting someone, and then goes "Oh, snap!" and launches into a sequence of not especially funny "your mama" jokes.
- Alternately, the thuggish-Italian-New-Yorker-picking-a-fight voice (always adding "No disrespect" and "How you doin'?").
- Rod BLAGOJEVICH
- Whenever the audience boos someone Jon is talking about, he tries to claim that they weren't booing, they were saying [something that wouldn't even remotely sound like "BOO!"]
- "Keep fucking that chicken!"
- It used to be a running gag that Jon still had to night-manage a Bennigan's to supplement his income from the show.
- Lampshading the use of Chroma Key in the correspondents' "live reports."
- Jon really loves Goodfellas.
- Roll 212!
- "(insert name here) is right!", after a clip of a pundit or politician making some sort of hyperbolic statement. This usually prompts a sarcastic agreement from Jon.
- A variation of this is when the name is switched with some outragously long description like: "That twit who's nearly run out of 24 hour networks to appear on is right!" when talking about Tucker Carlson or "That old man who's been in Washington for nearly forever is right!" when talking about John McCain.
- Whenever Jon does an impression of either a famous person or a famous movie character, he claims that he's doing it to promote his "new one-man show" of that exact same impression.
- The 2010 World Cup coverage with John Oliver. Usually ending with Stewart making a humiliating observation - such as USA tying England in the group round due to an own-goal - and driving Oliver to respond "FUCK YOU JON! FUCK YOU SO VERY MUCH!"
- The *Insert T-Shirt logo here* shirt exchanges between Aasif Mandvi and Wyatt Cenac for the first time, then John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac for the final pair, which has (so far) only been done for 3 shows in a row. First it was "Team Mohammed" versus "Team Jesus" to settle the "coming religious war". Then "Team Stupid" versus "Team Evil" when discussing "Fox and Friends" blatantly avoiding naming, or even picturing, the founder of The Kingdom Foundation, despite tying him to the "Ground-Zero Mosque" due to his 7% share in Fox's parent company NewsCorp. Finally "Team N-Word" versus "Team Retard" regarding which epithet was worse... apparently the word "retard" is trading for 11 N-words, and "kike" was up 3 1/4... not to mention a "nicer" way to say Jew.
- They brought it back for the revolutions in the Middle East and who gets the credit for Egypt and Tunisia opting for a democracy: Team Bush (John Oliver), Team Obama (Olivia Munn), and Team Local Conditions (Aasif Mandvi).
- It popped back up in the 2013 shutdown, when Samantha Bee and Jason Jones represented "Team Incompetence" or "Team Nihilism" (read: Democrats vs Republicans), respectively.
- Mispronouncing the US president's name Bearick Obemuh.
- Another popular Running Gag is Jon throwing his coat and tie into the audience. *puts finger up to ear* I'm sorry, I'm being told that Jon putting his finger up to his head as if receiving a correction message on a headset is the actual gag.
- On the November 10, 2011 episode, whenever Jon got stuck on a list of something, he finished with a government agency, usually the EPA. (The main highlight of the episode was Rick Perry's gaffe at the CNBC GOP Debate, where Perry stumbled on the 3rd government agency he would do away with as president.)
- He has started doing variants of spit-takes, saying he will watch the clip while doing various things, including, at one point, holding a kitten. Coal turns to diamonds, the kitten to glass, food is destroyed, pencils are broken...
- John making up names for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, ranging from 'Willard Mittnerd Romnerd" to "Willington Mittfor Romnefeller the Third."
- ...Two things.
- After New York City Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on large soft drinks, Jon mocked his logic on nearly every episode for weeks.
- As of 2013, blaming anything on the uber-prankster and Manti Te'o nemesis Ronaiah Tuiasasopo, even if it's probably not true-iasasopo. Lampshaded when Jon admits that he wanted to do the joke four days in a row, just to carry it through-iasasopo.
- Telling the audience to send complaints to/call Brian Williams.
- Chuck Hagel, whose last name Jon chokes on then pronounces as "Heyyy-gul" (usually only the first time it comes up during an episode).
- John Oliver, taking over during Jon's three-month hiatus, opens every episode with a different excuse for Jon's absence.
- Starting in 2013, there have been a lot of potshots leveled at Arby's for no particular reason in the middle of unrelated segments, with lines like "Arby's: Start a Fight With Your Digestive System." Lampshaded by Jon at one point when he admitted he has no idea why they keep making fun of Arby's, adding that they're perfectly nice people who make perfectly good food.
- Sarcasm Failure:
- Stewart's reaction to the Senate Republican filibuster blocking a bill to provide treatment to firefighters who suffered respiratory problems from working in the WTC ruins rescuing survivors (because it was funded by closing a tax loophole used to keep corporations from paying income taxes) is a particular example. Appropriately, it was even named "I give up".
- On March 26, 2012, Stewart opened the show with two news items: Dick Cheney's heart transplant, and the Treyvon Martin shooting. Every time he'd try to lighten the mood with a heart transplant joke, he would fall flat over the seriousness of the shooting, until he finally gave up.
- Sarcasm Mode: Happens quite frequently, but particularly in the entirety of this where Jon and John throw out completely hypothetical ideas of two government bodies discussing and voting on ideas inside buildings. ...Then again, what if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?
- Sassy Black Woman: Jessica Williams.
- Satire: Of course. The type of satire depends on the subject: they tend towards the Juvenalian when discussing Fox News and most GOP politicians, and runs Horatian when covering Obama and certain other politicians. Note that the dividing line is not necessarily political; George W. Bush was typically covered in a Horatian fashion after the 2006 midterms, portraying him as a harmless bumbler of a president, while some Democrats have been treated quite harshly (for instance, unloading on Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in August 2012).
- Schmuck Bait: Jon's Take That segments. Don't try to answer back unless you're really sure you can win (you can't). This fact is so well known by now that Keith Olbermann played with it a bit, teasing a typical Large Ham response for a whole episode before meekly agreeing with Jon's main point and apologizing.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In one skit, Stewart was mocking a (defeated) bill that would've said, "Life begins at conception." He then monologues to himself about a screenplay idea involving the killer being a woman's unborn baby. The camera then pulls away like they're going to commercial, leaving Stewart confused and Corpsing, and quoting the trope by name (mostly):
Stewart: You known it's bad when the camera guy goes, "Fuck this! I'm outta here!"
- Self-Demonstrating Article: When Jon plays a clip of George Carlin's famous "The Seven Words That You Can't Say On TV," the entire clip is bleeped out. You can't say those words on TV, you see.
- Jon, at both himself and the show. He even gave kudos to a man with a very unfortunate name for putting up with "this juvenile bullshit."
- Sometimes, when they point out someone being a hypocrite, they'll say it's like a program that airs four nights a week calling itself The Daily Show.
- On the 2/25/2013 episode, Jon apologized for using former Mississippi Secretary of State Dick Molpus, a longtime advocate for civil rights, as a scapegoat for bigoted behavior, basically ripping himself apart.
Jon: We went with (randomly slamming a dude because he had a funny name) mainly because I am a twelve-year-old boy trapped in a 75-year-old man's body.
- Serious Business: Pizza in New York, as Jon demonstrates while chewing Donald Trump out for taking Sarah Palin to a pizza chain and eating his pizza with a fork. Then New York's own mayor Di Blasio was seen doing the same, and Jon humourously had to try to hold in his contempt.
- Shoehorned First Letter: On one toss to The Colbert Report, Jon Stewart made fun of Stephen Colbert for playing the letter "Z" on Sesame Street: All-Star Alphabet, leading to this exchange:
Yeah, you know what "z" stands for, Jon: zrevenge
Jon: See you in a minute, Stephen!
Stephen: I will have my zvengeance!
- Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle: Many of the guests' books.
- Shown Their Work: Jon's interviews. Especially the authors - Jon reads every book plugged on his show cover-to-cover, and it shows.
- A particularly hilarious example when Herman Cain closed his campaign for the GOP Presidency by quoting the second Pokemon movie. His response is to make fun of this with his own flurry of particularly accurate Pokemon references.
Jon: Look it up, bitches. Look it up.
- Shout-Out: A truly hilarious one. Five words: John Oliver as a Na'vi.
- Jon's impression of Dick Cheney depicts him as Burgess Meredith's version of The Penguin.
- John Hodgman is perhaps best known as the PC in Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ad campaign. Jon Stewart forces him to admit this during the show.
- Possibly "[Give the banks bailout money or] everything you love and hold dear will become Tang."
- Jon admitted in his interview with Rachel Maddow that his famous labelling during the rally of cable news as "the 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator" was a reference to Phineas and Ferb.
- "Why is Jon Stewart's evil cousin Wario hosting the show?"
- "The subject was foreign policy, and all the candidates seem to agree: America needs to start kicking the world's ass and taking some funny-sounding names."
- "To be fair to Herman Cain, we can't all be as wise as Slowking wearing the Shellder of knowledge. The Shellder of knowledge; look it up!" The culmination of a lengthy discussion on why Herman Cain picked the wrong Pokémon film quote to use to close his campaign.
- On Romney leading up to the election: "It's like he's Charlie from Flowers for Algernon and the serum is wearing off."
- Many of the leading news stories are puns on popular movies, TV shows, games, and events, usually with original artwork modified for the new title. These used to elicit huge cheers from the crowd, prompting Jon to comment about how they put so much work into the show and the bad Shout-Out pun is what gets all the applause.
- The 2/28/13 segment covering House Speaker John Boehner's use of the word "ass" was titled "Ass Effect", complete with an altered version of the Mass Effect logo.
- In the high-pitched voice of his "Helloooo!!" Queen Elizabeth II impression, Jon continues, "There's a penguin on the television set!"
- Signing Off Catch Phrase: "Here it is, your moment of zen."
- Skyward Scream: A failed attempt can be seen here.
- Slow Clap: Used via film clips when John McCain openly and vehemently railed against the use of torture by the CIA.
- Some of My Best Friends Are X: North Carolina GOP Precinct captain Don Yelton, who was being interviewed by Aasif Mandvi about the states voter ID laws, used this defense to say he wasn't racist (Specifically saying some of his friends are black), despite also talking about, in his words, "lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything." Unsurprisingly, he resigned the next day (There's a video of the interview in the link).
- Sophisticated as Hell: John Oliver. A nod must be given to Toppington Von Monocle, who quoted Catullus 16 to disprove the notion that the Daily Show audience is uncouth.
- This is also the effect of those times when they forgo the elaborate joke and just insult someone, such as the long campaign of describing Robert Novak as a "douchebag" (culminating in an attempt to "bury the hatchet" wherein Jon earnestly explained, "I only ever said those things to you because I sincerely believe... that you are a terrible person") or "In Dick Morris's defense, he is a lying sack of shit." And of course the "go fuck yourself" choir.
- Spit Take:
- Both used straight and spoofed regularly. Here's an example.
- Subverted here (about 3:05 in) when Jon obviously sets himself up for a spit-take...and then nonchalantly keeps on drinking from his mug.
- Also subverted here to mock South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
- Once it seemed like he was going to do one, but instead he bit into the cup.
- It occurs on May 1, 2014 when talking about Rob Ford. He starts drinking from his mug, and when he learns that Ford's back in the news for smoking crack... he just finishes his drink, and right afterwards points out as much. He then learns that Ford is going into rehab, and does a spit take proper. When he learns that Ford is still planning on running for mayor despite those events, he picks up the cup and does another spit take.
- Spoofed with Their Own Words: It does this all the time. Interviewing Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow even claimed to see little difference between his method of parodying events and her own of humorously reporting on them.
- Springtime for Hitler: An interesting interpretation by John Oliver of the 2012 elections: "The president f***ed up."
- Squee: After showing President Obama having a candid talk at a GOP conference, and President Obama completely blowing away every one of their talking points, Jon Squeed.
(In high pitched voice) "...Holy S** t! They're gonna air this!? This is gonna be awesome!"
- Squick: Invoked with Ed Helms getting a mole on his nose removed. You can hear the audience groaning as it happens. 
- Stacy's Mom: Made fun of in their sketch about "cougars".
- Stepford Smiler: No matter what he's reporting on, Jon always tries to find the humor in the moment and keep a smile on his face. Particularly tough or hard-hitting segments, however, can have him very obviously force the smile on to his face. If an incredibly tough segment causes the smile to slip, however, it's usually an indication of his impending rage.
- The Stoic: Of all the possible people, Colbert had a moment of this during the 2008 elections. When Obama locked up California and, thus, the elections, the entire crew started freaking out and wondering what the post-Bush world must be like. So, they head outside and start gushing over the fact that the sun is shining, children are at play, etc. Meanwhile, Colbert just stands there, and firmly reminds them that Bush is still president for two more months, killing the mood of the others.
- Straight Man: Stewart to the correspondents. Upon John Oliver' ascension to temporary host, he has taken on playing the Straight Man to the other correspondents.
- Straw Character: The show isn't above picking the craziest people they can find in the editorial segments (who will agree to be on camera) to argue for the "wrong" side while often using more qualified and sensible people to argue the "right" side, but given how hilariously bad some of their arguments are, and how much this is done in more (allegedly) serious news shows, the comedy is usually better for it.
- Strawman Has a Point: Invoked intentionally during one of Stewart's Glenn Beck impersonations.
"Strawman slippery slope dumb guy may have a point."
- Stuffed into a Locker: John Oliver, reporting live from inside Malia Obama's locker.
- Stylistic Suck: On March 6, 2013, in response to Neil deGrasse Tyson having pointed out that the globe in the opening spins the wrong way, an alternate opening was recorded. With a single camera, a man is recorded spinning an off-the-shelf globe, the camera pans to the street (for the "New York" part), and then zooms into a Daily Show coffee mug for the logo.
- The Swear Jar: An "Obama Osama Flub Jar".
T - V
W - X
Y - Z
Now here it is, your moment of zen:
Waldorf: Hey, do you think we could get on this show?
Statler: Hm. They only let Muppets on if they're in Guantanamo Bay... or Republicans!