The competition for late-night talent is growing more intense by the week.
In what is the latest illustration of a fierce battleground, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has tapped Saturday Night Live writer and comedian Michael Che as its newest correspondent. He is set to begin in June, joining a contingent that includes Jason Jones, Samantha Bee and Aasif Mandvi in Jon Stewart’s stable.
Che has risen swiftly in stand-up circles, named one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 Funniest People in 2013. A year prior, he was crowned the winner of New York’s Funniest Stand-Up at the New York Comedy Festival. More recently, Che appeared on Seth Meyers’ new NBC late-night show as his first stand-up guest. Che previously appeared on Comedy Central as a guest on Chris Hardwick‘s @midnight and has taped his first Comedy Central stand-up special to air June 6.
The move from SNL to The Daily Show comes as Stewart has seen two of his most high-profile proteges, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert, announce that they’d be leaving Comedy Central. Oliver launched his own late-night show on HBO Sunday, while Colbert recently announced he’d be hanging up his series for an opportunity to inherit David Letterman‘s throne in 2015. (Colbert’s replacement has yet to be named.)
That both former Daily Show comics were given gigs on that size and scale is as much a commentary on their gifts as it is on Stewart’s ability to groom talent. (Steve Carell and Ed Helms are among the others who spent formative years with Stewart’s Daily Show.)
The skill set has led many to compare Stewart to SNL creator Lorne Michaels, who long has been credited with the best comedic gut in the business. Like Daily Show, SNL has proved a significant launch pad for talent ranging from Eddie Murphy to Jimmy Fallon.