Hacked by Russia? Comedy Central Teases New Show In Late-Night Stunt

The move hints at a new late-night show and follows the network's recent announcement of an official Trump Presidential Twitter Library.
Brad Barket/Comedy Central
'The Daily Show'

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.