Just like when Stephen Colbert announced he was headed to The Late Show, the news that Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show has also prompted sudden and intense speculation about possible replacements. Comedy Central’s long-running satirical news show is neither a straight news program nor a traditional late-night show, but it has one thing in common with both — the guys heading it up tend to be older white males.
Here are some suggestions that don’t fit that mold:
When the current Daily Show correspondent outlined her vision for a modern celebrity gossip site in the January 2015 issue of Wired (which featured her on the cover), she could have been describing her vision for a satirical news show with a strong pop-culture perspective. “There’s something missing in all this new new media craziness, and that is something that uses celebrity news as a way to get into a really serious analysis of our culture,” she wrote. “Do Kim and Kanye affect how society feels about interracial relationships and blended families? What does our obsession with Jennifer Lawrence say about third-wave feminism? … When they think they’re getting dirt, we give them vegetables.”
W. Kamau Bell
His FXX show, Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, leaned heavily on social commentary and drew plenty of The Daily Show comparisons during its two seasons. Bell has also been critical of the lack of diversity in the exact realm of television where Stephen Colbert is headed: “Us non-white-dudeish artists have to stop longing to be put in the box of mainstream late-night talk show hosts,” he wrote last fall. “Late-night TV is big business and wants the biggest audience possible. And the people who run it believe they have evidence the biggest audience comes with a white guy. And it will probably remain that way … at least until 2042.” Perhaps he’d like to take a hand in making progress move a little quicker.
When it comes to The Daily Show experience, few candidates compare to Bee, who in 2012 surpassed Colbert as the longest-serving correspondent. Her name appeared on many writers’ suggested shortlists as a Colbert replacement following his big news, and fans are already doing the same in the hours since Stewart’s announcement. Just watch Bee (who’s married to fellow correspondent Jason Jones) tackle one of today’s hottest topics — vaccines — several months ago.
Before becoming a co-host of CBS’ The Talk in 2011, the voice of Lana from Archer made a name for herself as an actress, comedian and writer. ABC once tapped her to host The Aisha Tyler Show, which was going to mix elements of daytime talk shows with late-night’s comedy and political commentary, but the show never materialized. She started the Girl on Guy podcast years before you knew what Serial was, and she can speak to some particularly newsworthy cultural interests: Tyler is an avid video game fan, so just imagine the segments on Gamergate segments she’d come up with.
The Daily Show’s senior women’s correspondent has her fair share of projects — most notably, she’s starring in the Will Forte’s upcoming Fox sitcom The Last Man on Earth — but Comedy Central has shown itself to be a welcome home for female-fronted shows. As TIME’s Eliana Dockterman points out, Inside Amy Schumer became the network’s most-watched series premiere — with an even male-female audience split — when it debuted in 2013, while Broad City gave Louie a run for its money when it averaged 1.3 million viewers per episode in its first season.
The comedian and writer already knows how to tackle current events as a co-host of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update (the segment’s first ever black co-host). He’s tested his stand-up chops on The Late Show With David Letterman and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, and his old web series “The Realest Candidate” showed he can handle an election cycle. Oh, yeah — he, too, is a former Daily Show correspondent.
Already in the Comedy Central family thanks to his recurring role as the loveable Lincoln on Broad City, Burress’s stand-up comedy has demonstrated its power to make headlines, not just play with them. His bit about Bill Cosby during a set in Philadelphia last year was a major force in reigniting the conversation about sexual assault allegations against Cosby. Outside of going viral, Buress’ resume also includes very brief stints as a writer for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.