‘Daily Show’ Gears Up for Late-Night’s Election Season

“The Daily Show” makes fun of CNN, but it’s not supposed to work like CNN. That dynamic will change a bit come November 6, when the Comedy Central late-night mainstay goes live on Election Night.

“In the control room, it’s madness,” says Jen Flanz, an executive producer who has been with the program since 1998, talking about the show’s increasing number of live broadcasts. “They’ll say ‘We are changing the graphics in the moment.’ That’s what the news does all the time. We are not used to doing it, but we are in live show mode, and that’s a different level.”

More of TV’s late-night programs have chosen to broadcast live on special occasions, such as during U.S. elections or after a State of the Union speech, but only “Daily Show” has been doing it since 2000. Eighteen years later, producers say they have a better feel for what they need to do, but still leave room for the unexpected. After all, their live broadcast will mark the first time host Trevor Noah has led the show’s coverage of a midterm election, although “Daily” has already broadcast live seven times during his tenure.

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