For thirty years Lorne Michaels, the creative force behind Saturday Night Live, was the definitive star maker in the world of comedy. From Bill Murray to Tina Fey, a sign of approval from Michaels was the gold standard. In the past few years though a new star maker has risen to the ranks of Michaels, and the biggest shock of all is he’s a comedian himself. We speak of course about Jon Stewart, the new kingmaker of Comedy.
New York Times writer Jason Zinoman discussed Stewart’s new role of star maker in light of the hiring of Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman at CBS. Here’s the key passage describing Jon’s powerful reach in the world of comedy.
“The Daily Show” has been a kind of Ivy League for funny people, training not just future talk-show hosts but also movie stars (Steve Carell, Ed Helms), stand-up favorites (Kristen Schaal, Demetri Martin), Emmy-winning show runners (Rob Corddry, who created and stars in Adult Swim’s “Childrens Hospital”) and even musical-comedy performers (Josh Gad, of “The Book of Mormon” and “Frozen”). Ex-correspondents are in the cast of the HBO shows “Veep” (Matt Walsh) and “The Newsroom” (Olivia Munn). When AMC announced it was moving into comedy, among its first new shows was one starring and produced by a “Daily Show” veteran, Wyatt Cenac.
Check out the rest of the article for some great analysis of how The Daily Show became the launching spot for a new generation of comedians.