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'Daily Show' Producer Rory Albanese Talks Sexism and Answers Reader Questions

by Jason Newman, posted Jul 12th 2010 4:00PM
A few weeks back, we gave you, the TV Squad community, the opportunity to ask 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart' executive producer Rory Albanese anything you wanted about the inner workings of the popular, subversive faux-news show. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with their questions.

As promised, Albanese has returned with answers, serious and otherwise, to everything from how montages are put together to accusations of sexism at the show to the producer's average day.

Apologies to those who didn't get their questions answered but cut the guy some slack; it takes time to come up with brilliance four nights a week.

There has been a few articles written recently about 'The Daily Show' and women, in a very negative light. Why are there so few women correspondents, and why to they tend to last less than males? --

The reason we have less female correspondents is because we have [female correspondent] Samantha Bee. Sam is so extraordinarily talented we don't really need anyone else, regardless of gender. We would need two Aasif Mandvis to make one Samantha Bee. And as you probably know, it takes two Wyatt Cenacs plus three Jason Joneses to make one Aasif Mandvi. Of course, it's common knowledge that it takes 33 John Olivers to create one Jason Jones. So now let me ask you a question, how many John Olivers would it take to create one Samantha Bee?

Dear Mr. Albanese: How does a talented sketch writer without an agent get a job writing for the show? -- Steven

Well Steven, I believe the best way to get your comedy seen these days is to create original content for the web. We've found some very funny people that way. It is also easier to direct an agent or a show-runner to a link on the web than it is to get them to read an entire packet of material. Also get involved in the comedy scene where you live. Stand-up, sketch, improv. There are theaters and clubs all over the place. Take a class, meet other people interested in comedy and start getting your stuff out there. If it's good, people will notice.

Why can't people outside America watch the streaming episodes online any more? You weighed up the options and decided you needed more money and less fans? Hmm? -- Mark

There is a very simple explanation to this question, Mark. We hate people who aren't Americans. We actually keep John Oliver in a small cage and feed him a gruel consisting of bangers but no mash. It drives him crazy. Do we have mash? Yes. Can we mix it in his gruel to make the ground bangers taste better? You bet we can. Do we? No. Because we love America.

Honestly, I don't know the answer but I will look into it. You should always be able to watch our show on the web regardless of where you live. If it is about money, we are not behind it. My guess is there was a meeting in some giant corporate building with some people wearing very expensive clothing and eating very fresh food who decided to remove the show from the foreign "interwebs." I'll throw on my best pair of wrinkle-free khaki pants and try to set up a meeting to get some answers.

Hi Rory, I was always curious as to how you guys are always able to put together the perfect compilation on a particular subject? Do you have a special computer program that has every piece of video already indexed or is there some savant who you can say, "We need footage of every time a politician mentions 'oil clean up'"? -- Julie

This is a great question, Julie. One of the things that makes 'The Daily Show' so special is that the creative content comes from a large portion of the staff. The footage that you see cut together into those artful montages every night comes from a wide array of people. We have a studio production department led by supervising producer Adam Lowitt. This is a team of producers and editors dedicated to monitoring the news channels and the newswire feeds we subscribe to. Beyond pitching creative content, they spend their days building the montages that have become a trademark of the show. I could tell you exactly how it happens but that would be like giving you the recipe to Emeril's secret sauce. Which by the way is just Emeril sweat.

Also one of our senior producers, Adam Chodikoff, is constantly on the hunt for a good story. He is a walking Wikipedia of knowledge. Kind of like "Manipedia." He'll be mad I said that because he is much more accurate than Wikipedia. Many times the writers will build a montage on paper and then work with the producers to get their joke the way they envisioned it. All of these people -- well over 20 females and males -- work together to find these golden nuggets of repetition and trends in the news. It truly is a collaborative effort. That's why after a hard week of such intense collaboration it makes sense that on Friday we all sit in a circle and read Dianetics. Gotta get those Engrams out somehow.

Why is it still only four nights a week? -- Jen

Great question Jen. The truth is, we are extremely lazy.

Hi Rory, Can you describe your average day -- if it exists -- on 'The Daily Show' in terms of putting the show together? -- Bob

9AM: Morning meeting with our producers and writers. We talk about the news cycle, pitch ideas and handout assignments.

10AM: Breakfast

10:15AM: Staff meeting

11AM-4 PM: Show is being written and produced in Avid Edit rooms and our graphics department. We sit and wait for Jon Stewart to show up.

4-5PM: Still waiting for Jon.

5:10PM: Helicopter lands on roof. We go up to greet Jon on the Helipad. He is not there. There is a note tied to a small woodland creature. Usually a chipmunk. We read the note. It says something like, Sorry I'm late. Please accept this chipmunk as a token of my appreciation for all of your hard work.

5:25PM: Sully Sullenberger lands yet another passenger Jet in the Hudson River. We race out to see if everyone is okay. Jon Stewart flies out the back on one of his Jet Skis. He does some really cool tricks and then lands on the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier Museum.

5:30-5:48PM: We try to convince Jon to get out of the Harrier Jet. It has no gas and he couldn't fly it if it did. We lure him out with a large bottle of Tito's Tequila.

6-6:25PM: We tape the show in front of a live audience.

6:27PM: Jon throws two ninja style smoke bombs at his feet. He yells, "Double smoke bomb motherfuckers!!!" We hear the distant roar of one of his crotch rocket motorcycles. He is gone. Hopefully we'll see him tomorrow.

Thanks for sending in your questions and follow @roryalbanese on Twitter

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Sharon Simon

when will the show return live ?????

July 19 2010 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sharon Simon's comment
florence mascott

where can I find the Daily Show on TV?

July 23 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if the daily show doesn't new any more correspondents after Samantha Bee, then why have so many correspondents been added to the show since she was added? John Oliver, Aasif Mandvi, Jason Jones, John Hodgman, Wyatt Cenac, Larry Wilmore and Olivia Munn were all hired after Samantha was hired.

July 12 2010 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lisa's comment
Lunar Dog

Really, I mean really?

Do you have an IQ above room temperature?

July 12 2010 at 9:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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