Jon Stewart will soon leave The Daily Show after sixteen years in the hosting chair, which is a good reason to bring back an old piece of broadcast design once made for the programme. Back in April 2000, a little bit more than a year into Stewart's tenure at the anchor desk, the show received a new graphics package and a general refresh. At the same time, new music cues performed and written by alt-rock band They Might Be Giants, were introduced along with a new rendition of the show's theme tune (also performed by TMBG).
The new titles were created by Pittard Sullivan, which at the time was a quite large company and a world leader in broadcast design. The Daily Show has always sought to mimic cable news in its graphics and this graphics package managed to reproduce that period's level of slickness.
The opening itself was altered and replaced by the end of the year, but other elements remained in use for several years afterwards.
|Still from the opening titles.|
|Open for "Headlines" segment.|
|Open for "Other News" segment.|
|Open for "This Just In" segment.|
This was not the last time The Daily Show worked with major design studios. In 2005, the show moved to a new studio and got a completely new set at the same time. James Biber and his team at Pentagram designed a new set that famously removed the couch that had been used for interviews.
Pentagram's Paula Scher also worked with the show to create its new on-air graphics. She had previously designed the best-seller America (The Book) written by Jon Stewart and the writers on the Daily Show.
Old blog post from Pentagram.
The "waiting for Godot" set was apparently never embraced by the show and a completely new look made its debut in April 2007. The new set was designed by Jim Fenhagen and his agency PDG/a Jack Morton Company, who've designed sets for many real news programmes in the US. They re-infused a sense of broadcast news with maps, globes and tickers.
At the same time, The Daily Show got a new intro featuring the familiar clockwise-spinning globes. It was produced by Bill Bergeron and Greg Duncan of the later defunct motion branding agency Verb!, who had previously produced the original titles for The Colbert Report.
Both the set and the intro proved quite durable. It survived the switch to HD and has been used for eight years with only minor changes.
The Daily Show Open in HD from Greg Duncan on Vimeo.