Who Will Be the New Host of ‘The Daily Show’? 17 Options, Ranked

Michelle Wolf in 'The Daily Show' (L); Jon Stewart in 'The Problem with Jon Stewart' (C); Kal Penn in 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show; Apple TV+

The Daily Show still needs a host. The Comedy Central series has been hunting for a permanent replacement for Trevor Noah for most of 2023 to no avail, hiring a long list of guests hosts instead. Former and current correspondents, famous comedians, and more have sat behind The Daily Show desk as the host search presses on, and fans have been noting their ideal permanent host online.

Roy Wood Jr. was a lot of Daily Show fans’ choice. The longtime correspondent was interested in the gig himself, telling Vulture in April 2023 that his future on the show hinged on him being chosen as Noah’s successor. “If they are not choosing me as host,” he said, “I have to also assume I’m not going to be a part of the show in any other capacity.”

Wood ultimately left the series in October 2023 after an eight-year run, making clear that he was not offered the full-time hosting job. He told Variety that Comedy Central “choosing a host is going to take a lot longer than the time I need to get answers.”

With that front-runner off the table, who’s the most likely new host? Noah was an unexpected choice for Jon Stewart‘s successor (the South African comedian took over hosting duties in September 2015 after Stewart concluded his 16-year run in August 2015). It’s possible Comedy Central could choose someone who isn’t already connected to the series again, but we think it’s more likely that they’ll choose someone from the current pool of guest hosts, especially now that a small handful of them have been asked to take up the mantle a second time (Kal Penn and Charlamagne Tha God will return as guest hosts in December).

The guest host model has proven positive for Comedy Central. With stars like Penn, Charlamagne, Wanda Sykes, Chelsea Handler, Leslie Jones, D.L. Hughley, Sarah Silverman, Hasan Minhaj, Marlon Wayans, Al Franken, and John Leguizamo on the roster, the show saw a 13 percent ratings increase in the first quarter of 2023 and a 16 percent increase in social views (per The Wrap).

A familiar face will help keep fans watching, and let’s be real, every new guest host is auditioning for the full-time gig in the eyes of fans. Whether the talent wants the job or not, part of the guest host viewing experience is considering what it would be like to seem them on the show indefinitely.

Here’s a collection of recent Daily Show guest hosts and correspondents, ranked from who we think is least to most likely to become the new permanent host.

The Daily Show, Weeknights, 11/10c, Comedy Central

Al Franken hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Least Likely: Al Franken

The former senator had the highest ratings of the guest hosts earlier this year, per The Wrap, but if Comedy Central were to want an older host that would excite fans from all generations, it would need to be Stewart. Additionally, Franken comes with political backlash. His time as a senator (and the controversy that got him removed from office) makes him feel too affected by politics for this venue.

John Leguizamo hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Least Likely: John Leguizamo

Leguizamo is a solid and entertaining guest host, but more than anyone else on this list, he’s an actor first. He feels like more of a fun treat on the guest roster than someone who would want the full-time position.

Hasan Minhaj hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Least Likely: Hasan Minhaj

A former Daily Show correspondent before starring in Patriot Act on Netflix, Minhaj was reportedly once the top contender for the job before the writers and actors strikes began earlier this year. The network reportedly delayed announcing Minhaj as the host because of the strikes, but then some bad press from a New Yorker profile changed everything and his hosting chances seem kaput.

Minhaj restored his public perception after the profile with a video explaining alleged holes in the story, and Wood defended him by saying the bad PR doesn’t mean he’ll never be accepted as host. Unfortunately, it still seems this train has left the station.

Roy Wood Jr. hosts 'The Daily Show' on April 3, 2023
Matt Wilson/Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Least Likely: Roy Wood Jr.

Wood has made it clear that he’s moving on from The Daily Show and will be focusing on his career’s next era.

Chelsea Handler hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Least Likely: Chelsea Handler

Similar to Leguizamo, Handler feels like someone who is happy to come in as a guest, but has her own things going on elsewhere. And similar to Stewart, Handler has already starred in her own late-night comedic talk show and has moved on from that medium. This makes her a natural as a guest host, but we don’t think she’d want the full-time gig.

Sarah Silverman hosts 'The Daily Show' on November 6, 2023
Matt Wilson/Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Least Likely: Sarah Silverman

The same applies to Silverman that applies to Handler and Leguizamo. They’re good fits as guest hosts, but seem most likely to remain as guest hosts. Of these three, however, Silverman is the one who has returned to host a second time.

Leslie Jones hosts 'The Daily Show on November 13, 2023
Matt Wilson/Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Least Likely: Leslie Jones

The Our Flag Means Death actor left Saturday Night Live because she was feeling tied down by the variety series. While being the star of The Daily Show would be a big step up from being in the already impressive SNL main cast (and while she’s served as guest host twice now), we feel she would want to be able to continue taking on several projects instead of committing to one big thing again.

Ronny Chieng on 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Likely: Ronny Chieng

Current Daily Show correspondents have been bumped into the guest host position this year. Chieng, and the correspondents that follow, all seem like rock-solid options as full-time hosts because, like Wood, the fans know them and they know the show’s style like the back of their hands.

The senior correspondent has been with The Daily Show since Noah took over in 2015 and would need no introduction to longtime viewers. He’s very intelligent as a host, but he’s also branched out into more acting roles recently (he was in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, M3gan, Crazy Rich Asians, and American Born Chinese, to name a few). He may be more likely to leave The Daily Show to pursue other career options.

Michael Kosta hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Likely: Michael Kosta

Kosta has been with The Daily Show since 2017 and was the first guest host of the new roster that kicked off in October. It’s noteworthy that he served as guest host in addition to being part of the News Team Takeover in November.

Desi Lydic hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Likely: Desi Lydic

Lydic also joined when Noah began his run in 2015. She’s known for comedic political commentary on women’s rights and more and she, like the News Team, is an instantly recognizable Daily Show face. She also received an Emmy nomination in 2022 for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her performance in The Daily Show segment Desi Lydic Foxsplains, adding a noteworthy feather to her Daily Show cap.

Dulcé Sloan on 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Likely: Dulcé Sloan

Another member of The Daily Show News Team, having her as the full-time host would bring needed representation for Black women in late-night television and come with the added bonus of her being well known to the existing audience. Sloan and Wood were recipients at the 14th Television Academy Honors in 2021 for their writing on The Daily Show, highlighting her value to the production.

Jordan Klepper on 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Likely: Jordan Klepper

Klepper is known for his man-on-the-street interviews at GOP/Donald Trump rallies. With an election year looming, his political comedy could be a good fit. Additionally, he’s the last remaining correspondent who was on the show when Stewart was host, connecting him to each generation of fans. His popularity on TikTok shows his appeal to younger viewers as well.

Michelle Wolf hosts 'The Daily Show' on Monday, November 27, 2023
Matt Wilson/Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Likely: Michelle Wolf

Wolf has had a big solo career since her time on Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show. She starred in her own variety show, The Break with Michelle Wolf, on Netflix in 2018 and has starred in successful comedy specials. She and Wood both hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner in the past, and she’s begun her first time as The Daily Show guest host as of November 27. It wouldn’t be that surprising to see her in the full-time spot given her resume.

Jon Stewart in 'The Problem with Jon Stewart' Season 2 Episode 1, 'The War Over Gender'
Michael Greenberg /Apple TV+/Courtesy Everett Collection

Likely: Jon Stewart

It would be thrilling to see Stewart return to the series that made him a household name and bring some of the now-canceled The Problem with Jon Stewart style with him. But it just feels highly unlikely that he would want to return after already saying his goodbyes in 2015.

On the other hand, the 2024 presidential and congressional elections will be a historic, highly tense moment. It’s not hard to envision Stewart wanting to cover this important time in American history. With The Problem being canceled and The Daily Show hosting gig wide open, it feels like a uniquely perfect opportunity for Stewart to stage a return, even if it’s just for 2024.

Charlamagne Tha God hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Likely: Charlamagne Tha God

Charlamagne has been asked to return as guest host following his run from October 30-November 2, implying that he impressed the network and viewers the first time around. He’ll be back for the week of December 4.

Desus Nice hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Likely: Desus Nice

As one of the stars of Showtime‘s Desus & Mero, Nice already has late-night talk show host experience and a fanbase that loves to see him in this medium. The end of Desus & Mero, and Nice and The Kid Mero‘s split, was a shock to fans. If that duo is no longer going to appear together on-screen, we think fans would love to see one of them take up The Daily Show mantle.

Kal Penn hosts 'The Daily Show'
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

Most Likely: Kal Penn

Penn will also return for a second run as guest host the week of December 11, and his first go at the job was noteworthy. Although it’s a comedy, The Daily Show has always been political and a place for stirring debate. Franken’s political history doesn’t inspire confidence about his interviewing skills, but Penn’s does.

He was the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs during the Obama administration and starred in his own show, The Big Picture with Kal Penn, that’s similar to The Daily Show style. Politicians are frequent guests on the show, but Penn snagged an interview with President Joe Biden during his first stint as guest host, showing the pull he would have in the leading role.

As an added bonus, Penn is a gay, South Asian man, which would diversify the late-night talk show space.