The Zen and the Damaged

A fan site for fake newspeople

A handy guide to the fine folks who have worked over the years to bring you the best fake news on television. Arranged in roughly chronological order, earliest at the bottom of the page. Some descriptions are works in progress.

For the whole group, check out the wallpaper.

Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams

’12-

Young, funny, incredibly tall. Jessica put college on hold to be a correspondent, because, come on, who wouldn’t? As a result, she’s highly tapped into the concerns of the youth, in addition to having an energy and free-floating optimism that most of her co-workers have had gradually numbed out of them.

Known for her top-notch disguise skills, her notorious life of crime, and her compromising photos of Sam Bee.

Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell

’11-

A repeat guest since 2006 in her role as a writer of unconventional-but-factual histories, Sarah took a spin on the other side of the desk as Senior Historical Context Correspondent.

So far a one-hit wonder, but time will tell.

Al Madrigal

Al Madrigal

’11-

Proud to take the role of “finally, you got yourself a Senior Mexican Correspondent.” Has covered race-related topics such as Obama’s appeal to Latino voters and the dismissal of Mexican-American studies. However, he’s also done the usual round of stories on the election, politics, and sperm, and has been spotted when full-team coverage is called for.

Listed as a “contributor” on the Daily Show website, which is unusual for someone without a single-topic focus,

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn

’10-

After an awkward start in which all the other current correspondents accused her of honing in on their niches, and some mandatory hazing, Olivia settled in to a respectable pattern of covering the truly important stories and pushing Jon around.

Possibly the only correspondent whose mother has been seen on the show.

Josh Gad

Josh Gad

’09-

Was on for a handful of segments before getting called away to star in The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Came back to cover a gay pride parade, to be met with unsurprising enthusiasm.

Kristen Schaal

Kristen Schaal

’08-

Adorable bubbly feminist. Concerned about women’s issues, but just knows that things are getting better. Could totally host the show better than Sam: she’s a maverick!

Wyatt Cenac

Wyatt Cenac

’08-’12

Gets short-shrifted a lot, first as the new guy, then as the laid-back guy that the faster-paced correspondents are prone to leaving behind. In the wake of the 2008 election, tried to take over TCR. One of a few correspondents to have his own puppet, and definitely the best at it.

Larry Wilmore

Larry Wilmore

’06-

Senior Black Correspondent, and the go-to guy for, ah, “urban” issues. Has a perfect deadpan, making it all the easier for him to yank Jon’s chain.

Buck Henry

Buck Henry

’07-

Has no cast profile, but provides historical perspective in The Henry Stops Here.

John Oliver

John Oliver

’06-

Tries to be a pompous Brit, but can be pushed around by Jon (and tormented by John King) (and berated by himself). Married Jason; hosted the farewell for…

Rob Riggle

Rob Riggle

’06-’08

Former Marine, known for breaking boards with his fists, yelling at hippies, and actually reporting from Iraq (sort of).

Aasif Mandvi

Aasif Mandvi

’06-

The brown guy; covers issues of economics, politics, medicine, and every race people have mistaken him for. (Is actually of Indian descent. Also Muslim.)

Demetri Martin and Schmon Schmewart

Demetri Martin

’06-

Handles youth issues in Trendspotting, with his original illustrations. (Jon is so old, dude.) With him is Schmon Schmewart, star of his homemade Daily Show knockoff.

Dave Gorman

Dave Gorman

2006

Earnestly analyzes statistics in Poll Smoking (nobody’s clued him in to the innuendo); also debated John Oliver. Was a guest five years earlier.

John Hodgman

John Hodgman

’06-

Resident Expert, dispensing curious facts about all topics from mole-men to the global network of pneumatic tubes. Later, and with the addition of a mustache, Deranged Millionaire. Once coerced to admit “I’m a PC.”

Nate Corddry

⇐ Nate Corddry

’05-’06

Tries to be serious, but is just so gosh-darn adorable. Rob’s little brother, which means they get into tiffs once in a while.

Dan Bakkedahl

Dan Bakkedahl

’05-’07

At the desk or in the field, he’s the balding correspondent who doesn’t make it work.

Jon Glaser

Jon Glaser

2004

One-hit wonder, with a segment which was basically an excuse to get the show to subsidize his lunch.

Bob Wiltfong

Bob Wiltfong

’04-’05

Skinny little guy with a surprisingly deep voice, rarely in the studio in favor of running around the country.

Rob Corddry

Rob Corddry

’02-’06

Awesome. Shut up! You shut up! Had to write his own farewell; what was up with that? I mean, come on! Spotted since in a stress clinic. Once married Ed, in a ceremony presided over by Steve Carell.

Ed Helms

Ed Helms

’02-’06

The brown-haired guy with glasses who isn’t Stephen Colbert. Wielder of the classic homometer. Recently, has been undercover at a paper company.

Adrianne Frost

Adrianne Frost

2002

A one-hit wonder, with a segment on the emotions of chickens.

Rachael Harris

Rachael Harris

’02-’03

Tiny but fiercely energetic; will grab an angle and worry it like an angry terrier until it’s in pieces on the floor.

Samantha Bee and Jason Jones

Samantha Bee

’01-

Senior, female, and Canadian, and will use all of the above to her advantage as necessary. Keeps the boys handily in line; has been known to report pregnant; not afraid to get down and dirty. Married to….

Jason Jones

’04-

A totally awesome dude. Loves the ladies, though he looks surprisingly natural in a gay porn ‘stache. (He did marry John Oliver, but that was a citizenship scam.)

Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh

’01-’02

A generally buttoned-down guy, known for interviewing The Lorax and being willing to report nude when the situation calls for it.

Mary Birdsong

Mary Birdsong

2002

A step above a one-hit wonder, with segments on land disputes and snowman-shooting.

Miriam Tolan

Miriam Tolan

’01-’02

Rocks as supporting cast, with infrequent but versatile appearances featuring an impressive pout.

Lauren Weedman

Lauren Weedman

’01-’02

Can come off abrasive, but aims for the role of cute and perky. Mostly.

Eric Drysdale

Eric Drysdale

2001

Writer who occasionally provides expertise in a lab coat and glasses. Later moved on to The Colbert Report.

David Pompeii

David Pompeii

2001

One-hit wonder, with a segment about menacing geese.

Stacey Grenrock-Woods

Stacey Grenrock-Woods

’99-’03

Pixie-faced field reporter who investigates surprisingly dirty topics with deadpan sincerity.

Andy Kindler

Andy Kindler

2000

Host of TV Guy, covering news about television.

Dave Attell

Dave Attell

’99-’02

Host of Ugly American, criticizing trends in popular culture.

Nancy Walls

Nancy Walls

’99-’02

Perky “money bunny” of financial feature Dollars and Cents, and co-host of entertainment segment We Love Showbiz with husband Steve Carell.

Paul Michael Mercurio

Paul Michael Mercurio

1999

Host of Second Opinion, a recurring segment about HMOs.

Vance DeGeneres

’99-’01

Perpetually “the new guy”, known for his segments on health (Women’s Health with Vance DeGeneres) and financial analysis (Dollars and Cents).

Jeff Stilson

Jeff Stilson

’98-’99

Probably not a one-hit wonder, but his time predates the beginning of the archives; the only segment remaining is a report about curing homosexuality.

Mo Rocca

Mo Rocca

’98-’03

Trivia hound with a pout, known for wearing bow ties even in a war zone. One of the first to be pushed around by Jon, instead of the other way around.

Laura Kightlinger

Laura Kightlinger

1998

One-hit wonder, with a report about clowns. Later wrote a book, returned as a guest.

Paul F. Tompkins

Paul F. Tompkins

1997

Long profile, no actual clips.

Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert

Steve Carell

’99-’04

Known for reporting on food (Produce Pete) and shouting at Stephen (Even Stepvhen) before getting snapped up by Hollywood. Occasionally comes back to promote his wildly popular movies, provoking the envy of other correspondents.

Stephen Colbert

’97-’05

Deconstructed religion (This Week in God), shouted at Steve (Even Stepvhen), ate a banana, and previewed an exciting spin-off

Lewis Black

Lewis Black

’96-

So angry he can’t see straight, much less sit still. Hosts Back In Black, in which he flails and shouts over anything and everything. Recently, also deals out judgment in The Root of All Evil.

John Bloom

John Bloom

1997

Host of God Stuff, mocking televangelists and other religious broadcasting.

Beth Littleford

Beth Littleford

’96-’00

Fluffy and effervescent, covered entertainment news (bETh) and parodied Barbara Walters (The Beth Littleford Interview). Even hosted once.

Franc DeCaro

Frank DeCaro

’96-’03

Hosted Out at the Movies, a flamboyant look at current films. Notable for, unlike most of the cast, still being gay when out-of-character.

Michael Bleiden

Michael Blieden

’96-’99

Original host of Ad Nauseam, a segment which deconstructed commercials, and worked so well that it carried on long after his departure.

Rich Brown

Rich Brown

’96-’00

Host of Public Excess, mocking the low-budget offerings of public access television.

A. Whitney Brown

A. Whitney Brown

’96-’98

His era predates the beginning of the archives, though he can be seen in a few 10 F@#king Years compilations. Introduces himself with “Someday, I hope to be the Whitney Brown.”

Brian Unger

Brian Unger

’96-’98

Long profile, no actual clips.

David Wain

David Wain

1996

No segments available and no info, but his official profile swears he existed.

Lizz Winstead

Lizz Winstead

’96-’97

Not just a correspondent, but co-creator of TDS, along with Madeline Smithberg. Says of the show: “It’s like I had a baby and then I gave it up for adoption. Then Jon Stewart was the adoptive parent, and he raised it and it went to Harvard.”

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