It’s genuinely staggering to think how many comedic careers The Daily Show has launched over the last twenty years. Sure, Saturday Night Live is still the reigning champ of creating comedy superstars, but that show has two decades on the fruitful John Stewart era of Comedy Central’s political leaning news satire. One of the biggest post-Daily Show successes? Why that would be Mr. Stephen Colbert, who headlined his own Comedy Central news parody series based on his blowhard alter-ego before moving on to some mighty big shoes, taking over for David Letterman as the host of The Late Show.
Now, Colbert is bringing a handful of The Daily Show’s talented alumni back together for a mini reunion on Tuesday, May 9. Colbert welcomes Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Ed Helms and Rob Corddry to a special episode celebrating the 20th anniversary of Colbert’s debut on The Daily Show. Kind of. But not really. That was actually June 9, 1997.
The reunion is also conveniently timed for a ratings boost just as the networks are heading into sweeps. The Late Show has been locked in a ratings war with Jimmy Fallon‘s Tonight Show for weeks, maintaining a 13-week victory streak over NBC’s late night program. However, that race was especially tight last week and with the end of the 2016-2017 season just around the corner, Colbert is looking to amp up the buzz factor. Colbert’s tenure on the CBS staple got off to a bit of a rocky start, but 2017 has been a banner year for the series. Indeed, Colbert took a cue from his Daily Show days, leaned into the absurdity of political theater, which has proven especially absurd in the first 100 days of the Trump era, resulting in absolutely booming ratings.