November 18, 2011 in Snips
Welcome to the second part of a series of articles by Centives on the Evolution of the Daily Show over the years. Today we’re examining the guests that appeared on the show in the year 2000. Click here to read the introduction and here to read our analysis of the guests in 1999.
Compared to 1999, the percentage of actors and musicians who appeared on the show in 2000 stayed about the same. The number of comedians dropped, however, from close to 20% to just 6%. They were replaced by journalists and politicians who made 19 appearances on the show, compared to the 3 they did in 1999. The majority of those journalists and politicians made their appearance after July as the 2000 election began to dominate the airwaves.
The first author, Ben Stein, made an appearance on the show in April of 2000, although he has the odd distinction of being somebody who could just as easily be classified as either a comedian or a journalist. He was soon followed by Joe Eszterhas. The first business leader, Hugh Hefner, also showed up in the studio in April of 2000.
Nine individuals made two appearances on the show in 2000 but one guest, Bob Dole, showed up six times. He first appeared on the show towards the end of 1999, and returned at the beginning of 2000 in February. The majority of his interviews took place in the weeks immediately preceding the 2000 election.
The proportion of female guests on the show dropped to just 27% in 2000. Rather than suggesting any aversion to the fairer sex on Stewart’s part, this probably has more to do with the fact that the show took on a more political tone in 2000 and there is a well-established lack of female participation in politics.
Overall the average age of the guests jumped 3 years to 41. In the three months leading up to Election Day the average guest was 46 years old, as Stewart brought in more serious and experienced individuals to discuss the upcoming election. In contrast, over the same period in 1999 the average guest at 36 was a full 10 years younger at the time of their appearance.
At 14 years and 1 month, Malcom in the Middle star Frankie Muniz took the record from Natalie Portman for being the youngest guest on the show. On the other end of the spectrum Betty White, at the age of 78 years and 3 months, beat Bob Dole, to become the oldest guest to appear on the show.
2000 was the year that Jon Stewart truly began to distinguish The Daily Show from other television programs. While the election clearly had an effect on the underlying direction of the show, it was still primarily focused on entertainment with more than half of the guests in the studio working in show business. It was the year that Stewart launched his landmark Indecision 2000 coverage, a descriptor that would become an eerily accurate representation of what would go on to happen in the election.
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