David Paul Meyer Interview: ‘The Daily Show’ director
“They always taught us this in film school how you need a little bit of luck,” says “The Daily Show” director David Paul Meyer about the episode in which Trevor Noah interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Meyer earned an Emmy nomination for Best Variety Series Directing for that episode, but it might not have come together at all were it not for some good fortune and a smartphone. Watch our complete video interview with Meyer above.
“We had Trevor’s side figured out pretty well,” Meyer explains. But Dr. Fauci planned to shoot his side of the interview from a government building, and “they had thought that they were still going to be able to do it the old way, the traditional way of bringing actual cameras into the space. Tthen the day before they were like, actually none of that is going to happen now.”
They managed to improvise another setup for Fauci, but “we did ask them, which was a great save actually … [to] also just do a self-record on the iPhone.” The audio on the mobile device was so good that they ended up using it, “and I felt like I was so glad that we had that backup audio to really help the viewer at home hear, understand and process it because it was so important.”
This is the first career Emmy nomination for Meyer, who is also up for Best Variety Talk Series as a producer of “The Daily Show.” But it comes after years of Meyer working closely with Noah. “He and I go back a really long time. He was the person who gave me my first directing job. I met him back in 2008,” and since then Meyer has directed a documentary starring the stand-up comedian and several TV comedy specials, “so to be on this journey with him, someone who’s a great boss but also my best friend … I’m touched to be able to be in this situation with him because he always believed in me and my ability.”