‘The Daily Show’ greets guest hosts with bold new look that takes show in different direction

The Daily Show” kicked off a planned round of guest hosts Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, with an updated open and graphics along with some small changes to the set that veer away from the slightly more sophisticated vibe it had been using in favor of a flashier look.

The first week of shows were guest hosted by Leslie Jones, former “Saturday Nightly Live” cast member and much of the show’s look returned, as the new logo unveiled in early January 2023 hinted, to more read, white and blue elements.

While the set appears to have remained largely the same as when it was updated in April 2022, its plentiful LED screens and lighting were used to bring a much different look to the show — and remove Noah’s name from the space.

Perhaps the biggest physical change to the set was the addition of an LED array on the front of the anchor desk, removing the dimensional version of the previous logo that included former co-host Trevor Noah’s name.

The front of the desk was a prominent location where there was a physical incarnation of the show logo, which has since been retired; much of the rest was shown on LED header elements.

The switch to LED not only allows the show to showcase its name with a bold updated red, white and blue look, but also makes it easy to insert “with (host name),” which will prove handy in the coming weeks as guests take turns at the desk while the show figures out its next permanent host.

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For Jones, the desk graphic read “The Daily Show with Leslie Jones,” though in updated open, her name was not directly paired with the logo and the announcer added the words “with your host” between reading the show name and Jones’. 

Where Noah’s look had been leaning software and warmer, the new (perhaps temporary) design features that bold all-American palette in favor of the more subtle shades used previously.

Prominent angled elements are used throughout the new designs, as is the acronym “TDS” and other typographic-driven looks using the full show name.

Instead of the soft, nighttime scenic view of the New York City skyline used during Noah’s tenure, the video wall behind the anchor desk now displays a textural blue world map on one side and a cropped shot of the Chrysler Building opposite that. A series of diagonal elements separate this imagery, strategically placed to hit just slightly camera right over the anchor’s shoulder when seated at the desk.

The design also incorporates dotted, halftone elements as well as some horizontal accent bars, that, along with the use of angled segments, brings the show’s look more in line with mainstream news looks popular today.

Other New York city imagery can be spotted on the studio’s other video walls, typically mixed in with the dotted texture and angled elements. The open also retained similar images after zooming past a depiction of the earth from space, but dropped the announcer-narrated teases.

The large world maps used to fill spaces between scenery and stretch into the audience area are now lit with a chasing cycle of red, white and blue gradients. Previously, the show did a similar effect on the walls, though it was typically red and white only.

Jones did not, as Noah did, walk out onto the set for her first appearance, instead starting right at the desk with a dramatic downlight cloaking her in shadow as the camera zoomed in.

Not surprisingly, the show kept the signature over-the-should-style graphics corresponding to the day’s headlines. 

These graphics boasted a bokeh-style sidebar element that faded into the camera’s shot that, interestingly, looked a bit like some of the accent graphics used on the show’s old look.

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Previously, Noah’s OTS graphics featured a subtle burst of orange and teal with the OTS template. His look also showed the graphic in a slightly skewed frame to create a slightly perspective effect, something that was dropped for the latest episodes.

Interview-style segments still done at the anchor desk, flipping between sides depending on the segment.

Jones ended the show standing just camera right of the anchor desk, multiple video wall and header elements visible. 

This shot gave a glimpse of more of the typographic-drive backgrounds created for the show, which contrast with the soft skylines and bokeh light patterns that were displayed her during Noah’s time.

“The Daily Show” is produced in front of a live studio audience at NEP Studio 52 in Hell’s Kitchen, space that Comedy Central leases to use for the show.

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