Meet the real brains behind 'The Daily Show'

Where would we be, as a nation, without Adam Chodikoff? Admittedly, the first question that springs to mind when you hear his name might be more like, "Adam Chodiwho?" But check out this fascinating profile that ran in the Washington Post yesterday (hat tip). Apparently Chodikoff’s a top researcher/editor at The Daily Show; he’s been there since they launched in 1996, which I think is longer than any of the current on-air talent. He’s the guy who sifts through the news cycle’s detritus every day, compiling video-clip reels that catch public figures in lies and inconsistencies. Those montages are the show’s bread and butter — the thing that sets The Daily Show at its best apart from mere stand-up, however clever, and takes it closer to the realm of real journalism.

Actually, it sounds like Chodikoff might actually be more rigorous in his research methods than a lot of "real journalists." Executive producer David Javerbaum, who calls Chodikoff TDS‘s "unsung hero," doesn’t pull his punches on this point: "We think all of these [TV networks] are really, really bad at what they do. My opinion is they suck at their jobs." That’s no shock to a hardened media cynic like myself, but I’m impressed to see that point acknowledged (more or less) in as venerable a mainstream outlet as the Post.

Last night’s ep was particularly strong, in my estimation; below is a funny/insightful clip about talking-head idiocy for which, I’m assuming, we can thank Chodikoff. Anyone else have a renewed appreciation for the research that goes into your nightly dose of Daily after reading that piece?

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  • J from VA

    Love TDS and the work they put into their research. I read that after watching TDS one night Brian Williams from NBC news was angry at his staff for missing the fact that the Pres used the same words to describe 2 different people he appointed to the same job years apart. Just a testament to the things they catch that others don’t.

  • Henry

    Who is Jenna Fox?


    Just a thought from your Fan
    In England some fleeing felons actually stop in their tracks at the forceful demand “Stop in the name of the Queen!” How would that work in the US under the present administration?
    Camera shot 1:
    Two officers observe a fleeing felon running away from the scene of the crime and they start to give chase.
    Camera shot 2:
    One of the officers stops his partner and reminds him to put his earplugs in. His partner says gratefully “thanks, I forgot!”
    Camera shot 3:
    Both officers give chase and the trailing office yells “Stop in the name of President… Bush!”
    Camera shot 4:
    The fleeing felon, hearing the demand, grabs the fence and falls to his knees laughing in uncontrollable anguish in side bursting laughter. Unable to control his laughter, he surrenders and succumbs to non-lethal force?

  • Katrin Safa

    I am married with 2 kids. I love wathcing John steward’s show (I am a big fan of him. I have to watch his show every night before to go to bed; I am a co author of Veiled Souls. By the way I am from Iran! One of my dreams is to come to his show and meet him in person. Is this possible? He is really funny and a great entertainer. (I hope he gets my message one day)
    Best regards,

  • Simon

    I LOVE The Daily Show and I watch every episode. Thank you for your work!
    Btw Rob Riggle rules!!! ^^
    Respects from Poland!

  • Ray

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself that you make such vulgar comments about Sarah Palin,a woman who has neither offended you nor earned your shameful comments. How a man like yourself can enjoy the freedom to abuse an honorable woman with such impunity is the ugly blot on the dignity and chivalry of the American male.
    In another culture and at another time, you would have to personally answer for your worthlessness on the field of honor.

  • doesnt matter

    so embarrassed that you are from our great state of NJ……u so suck hahahaha

  • doesnt matter

    so embarrassed that you are from our great state of NJ……u so suck hahahaha

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