Roy Wood Jr. and Desi Lydic on humor, politics and the future of ‘The Daily Show’


If Roy Wood Jr. and Desi Lydic know who’s taking over for Trevor Noah as host of “The Daily Show,” they aren’t sharing.

“Is it you, is it you?” the pair jokingly asked each other when the subject came up in their interview with CNN.

While they are well aware that it’s the question of the moment, they are choosing to focus on the work at hand.

And there is plenty of it. The show recently made a stop in Atlanta, where the midterms were on plenty of people’s minds.

For Wood, “The Daily Show” – with its mix of comedy and current events – is a gig that allows him to combine his passions.

“You know, my father was a civil rights journalist and tackled a lot of the same issues, but without punch lines,” he told CNN. “To be able to have a job I love because it’s my journalism degree and my love for standup rolled into one burrito.”

Both Wood and Lydic are enjoying their time on the show

For Lydic, a highlight is doing her segment “Foxsplains,” which spoofs right wing media coverage.

“We started finding that sometimes we would say something so absurd and then we would hear the same thing reflected back on some right wing media station and we’re like ‘Oh no,’” Lydic said.

Being able to find humor in difficult stories – from politics to race and the pandemic – is part of the magic of “The Daily Show,” Wood said.

“I think that there’s certain topics where people need time to heal,” he said. “Trevor’s also had a good finger on the pulse of when it’s time to joke and when it’s time to be poignant.”

Lydic agrees and said, “It feels like now more than ever, people have the insatiable need to laugh.”

“And I think at the show it feels like, over the past couple of years, we’ve given ourselves permission to not make a joke when it doesn’t feel right to make a joke about something,” she said. “And Trevor is extremely thoughtful about that and willing to have a conversation about reacting to something that happened without feeling the pressure to have a huge punchline.”

Noah was equally thoughtful, it seems, about his decision to leave.

“What’s been dope is that Trevor made the announcement and then there was a week of ‘What?!’ and then it was right back to work,” Wood said. “Cause there’s still a midterm to be had. There’s still an election that’s gonna be coming up. So in the meantime, I’m just gonna focus on trying to make a good show because if we’re not careful, you could lose sight of what you need to be working on every day.”

“The Daily Show” airs at 11 p.m. ET weeknights on Comedy Central.