8:45am PT by Jackie Strause
Hacked by Russia? Comedy Central Teases New Show In Late-Night Stunt
Was The Daily Show just hacked by Russia?
That's what some late-night viewers who tuned in to Wednesday's show wondered when footage of host Trevor Noah was replaced by an odd video blaring the website of a Russian domain name, thepresidentshow.ru. Halfway through the episode, the feed momentarily cut out and was interrupted by a four-second snippet. The video was spliced with ominous music and war footage, along with a spinning ballerina doll and horselike figure.
One savvy viewer caught the moment and posted it to YouTube (watch below) and was one of several watchers who took to Twitter to question if the Comedy Central show had just been hacked by Russia.
Moments later, however, the network revealed the bit to be a marketing stunt, hinting that a new late-night show might be on the horizon.
The network tweeted out the website, which briefly pointed to a Russian Twitter account that had three tweets in Russian and now redirects to a new account, @PresidentShow.
The Twitter bio for the handle reads, "#1 show on television, many many millions of viewers. Hosted by @LateNightDonald. Bringing AMERICAN JOBS back to late night."
The handle's only tweet is of a link to a Comedy Central press release along with the caption "Late night TV is broken. A TOTAL DISASTER. I alone can fix it!" The account also shared a tweet by @LateNightDonald, which describes itself as the "official Twitter profile for the host of @PresidentShow. Make Night Late Again!"
The @LateNightDonald account has been tweeting more furiously since March 21 in a Trump-like voice and criticizing everything from Wonder Woman and Law and Order: SVU to "Mr. Softball Matt Lauer" and "pathetic MSNBC." As of late, the account has been bashing other late-night hosts and on Thursday morning tweeted, "I'm going to be the most terrific, luxurious, fantastic late night show you've ever seen. It'll be Arsenio x10!"
Both of the accounts were created in February, and the website domain was registered by Comedy Central owner Viacom earlier on Wednesday.
@Midnight, which airs following The Daily Show and is hosted by Chris Hardwick, also fell victim to the stunt when one of its commercials was interrupted with similar footage. This time, a grainy video of bears appeared along with the Russian domain.
@Midnight has been airing in the timeslot left vacant after the August cancelation of Larry Willmore’s The Nightly Show, which was formerly home to The Colbert Report.
Comedy Central would not comment further when reached by The Hollywood Reporter.
On Wednesday, The Daily Show also took aim at Trump by announcing an upcoming exhibit showcasing Trump's Twitter feed, The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, opening in New York City this June. "It will be tremendous. It will be so tremendous that you'll get tired of the tremendousness, so it will then close only a few days later. Sad!" announced the network in a press release. Noah confirmed the exhibit, which also has its own Twitter account, on his Tuesday show.
See some of the tweets from the stunt Twitter accounts and watch video of both show interruptions below.
"Late night TV is broken. A TOTAL DISASTER. I alone can fix it!" https://t.co/u3HObey9FO— The President Show (@PresidentShow) March 30, 2017
I'm going to be the most terrific, luxurious, fantastic late night show you've ever seen. It'll be Arsenio x10! https://t.co/W7ozaQfFHf— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 30, 2017
Saw Wonder Woman trailer. She looks a little chunky to me. Shld call it WonderBREAD Woman.— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 22, 2017
Mariska Hargitay: liberal Hollywood snowflake who can't solve a crime in real life! No strength. Sad! I have caught many killers. #CancelSVU— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 23, 2017
Steven Colbert portrayed a conservative on TV for many years. Why so dishonest? What is he hiding? The Russians should look into this!— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 23, 2017
Why does pathetic MSNBC keep putting sad Chris Matthews on air? Did he die and no one will move him?— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 24, 2017
LYING FitBit!! I walked at least 3 million steps today!— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 25, 2017
Blue Bloods scene totally ruined by #BigBangTheory cast hamming it up at bottom of the screen!!— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 26, 2017
#TheWalkingDead needs to knock off the killings or there will be consequences!— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 27, 2017
Muslim ban now applies to Quantico!— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 28, 2017
I can’t watch the Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, James Corden, OR The Bee Woman show because I’d be taking work away from an AMERICAN HOST.— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 28, 2017
No one will admit it but we all call Chuck Todd “Cuck Todd” and not just because his name is similar! Ask anybody! #MeetTheCuck— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 29, 2017
TV should watch ME. #MAGA— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 30, 2017
Looks like the hackers are finally going after the FAKE NEWS media starting with the Daily Show. Nothing but lies!— Late Night Donald (@LateNightDonald) March 30, 2017