Comedy Central has announced its Nightly Show replacement. The Daily Show senior correspondent Jordan Klepper will reportedly fill the daily 11:30 p.m. slot in the fall with an as-yet-untitled series, effectively bumping Chris Hardwick’s @Midnight back to 12:00 a.m. (Klepper’s run will presumably start after the debut of the network’s Trump-parodying The President Show, which will air in that slot Thursdays beginning at the end of this month.) The move positions Klepper in the footsteps of such Daily Show alums as Stephen Colbert and Larry Wilmore, who similarly broke out of Comedy Central’s flagship late-night series with shows of their own.
Details are sparse on the show, but in format it sounds like it could be in the vein of The Colbert Report. It “will look to embrace and define the chaos of our country by channeling Klepper’s steadfast attitude that institutions are to be trusted less than the lies of the mainstream media,” Comedy Central’s cheeky statement explains. “He’ll surround himself with a hand-picked team of contributors contractually obligated to reinforce his singularly correct worldview.” The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah and Stuart Miller will executive-produce.
Comedy Central’s decision last year to cancel The Nightly Show—which was both low-rated and critically acclaimed—drew necessary criticism, as Wilmore’s series provided late night’s sharpest voice on race and politics. This move doesn’t do much to alleviate that tension, obviously, and while Klepper has proven to be a solid satirist, he hasn’t emerged as a star on the level of Colbert or demonstrated a level of incisiveness comparable to Wilmore’s. Comedy Central is clearly betting big on its newest post–Daily Show host, giving him a plum timeslot and plenty of time to develop his own show. But while it’s too early to judge the series itself—and know whether Klepper can thrive in a more central role—it’s worth scrutinizing Comedy Central’s choice to replace a vital black comedian with yet another white guy.