Dan Amira Interview: ‘The Daily Show’ head writer
“The Daily Show” is nominated for six Emmys this year including Best Variety Series Writing. Head writer Dan Amira appreciates that recognition, “especially since this is our first writing nomination under [Trevor Noah] … and it’s been a tough year. We really put in the extra effort this year to make basically a whole new show.” Like many other talk shows on the air, the Comedy Central staple had to regroup after the COVID-19 pandemic forced television productions out of their studios and into their living rooms. Watch our exclusive video interview with Amira above.
Trevor Noah was one of the first talk hosts to transition to at-home shows, which required them to put “whole new systems in place, different content, different editing, graphics, the way we write it, the way we shoot it,” Amira explains. “We’ve had to adapt to these really unprecedented circumstances, and I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
The very style of their comedy has had to change as Noah tells his jokes just to the camera and not to a studio audience. “Playing to an audience of a few hundred people, even the jokes you’re writing are different,” Amira points out. “You’re writing for a big laugh, and when you’re not getting that laugh you have to change how you write. So in a way it has been good. We’ve been able to write different types of jokes.”
Of course, he’s still looking forward to a future return to the studio: “I obviously miss the audience. You miss that energy of having people there, and hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to get back to that.”