In yet another sign that "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" is most definitely NOT going to be a revise of "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central has named stand-up and "How to Be Black" author Baratunde Thurston chief of online content.
The hire is noteworthy for a few reasons, perhaps leading with this one: "TDS" has never done anything like this, or had someone in this kind of role. It now plans to create a whole alt-universe of online/social media content above, beyond and separate from the nightly program. Thurston will presumably star in some of this content, and because so many fans already watch (or did watch) "TDS" online anyway, Thurston instantly is catapulted into a highly visible position within the "Daily Show" sphere. (And who knows -- if this goes well, expect an on-air presence, too. In fact, on-air would be almost unavoidable.)
"This must be what it's like to have Nick Fury call and welcome you to The Avengers. I'm honored and floored and so many other verbs," Thurston said in a statement.
"How to Be Black" was a best-seller a few years ago, and this clip -- from a PBS Newshour profile -- should give you a reasonable sense of Thurston's style. (Or, if you are accessing this story via a mobile device: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNqrIvwDBgw).
Of Thurston, most recently with the Onion, CC offered this job description: "The creation and production of platform-specific original content will be spearheaded by Thurston who will be working with Noah and the show's executive producers to execute the multiplatform strategy, keeping it organic to 'The Daily Show's' mission while expanding the series' footprint across all digital and social platforms."