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Power Rankings: The Daily Show

29 Aug

Okay, a few rules here.  There have been a trillion correspondents so we can’t handle them all.  We’re limiting it to correspondents no longer on the show, correspondents who were on during the Jon Stewart era, and we’ll tackle the top eight of them.  Let the games begin.

(Power Rankings sum up:  Each week, we’ll pick a television show and rank the actors/actresses/contestants/correspondents/etc. based on what they’ve done after the series ended (unless we’re ranking a current series, in which case we’ll have to bend the rules).  Preference will be given to more recent work, but if the work was a long time ago, but much more important/relevant, that will be factored in as well)

8.   Mo Rocca – after leaving the Daily Show, Rocca worked as a regular correspondent on The Tonight Show from 2004 to 2008, and also filmed pieces for Countdown.  Rocca was a regular on VH1’s I Love the ‘80s. He hosted the short-lived television presence of web site The Smoking Gun, and currently hosts a program called Food(ography) on the Cooking Channel (I don’t think I have that channel either).

7.  Rob Riggle – Riggle appeared on a number of terrible Budweiser ads, and won supporting roles in Step Brothers, The Goods, The Hangover, and The Other Guys.  He had a recurring role in CBS’s Gary Unmarried.  Riggle now appears in Childrens Hospital kind of spin off, NTSF: SD: SUV.

6.  Rachel Harris – one of three list members to appear in The Hangover, Harris also had film roles in Kicking and Screaming and License to Wed.  She co-starred in Kirstie Alley’s Fat Actress for a season.  She appeared in six episodes of Reno911, and single episodes of many shows, including CSI, Pushing Daisies, Cougartown and Party Down.  In addition, Harris co-starred in two seasons of ABC sitcom Notes from the Underbelly.  Like Rocca, she appeared in VH1’s I Love the ‘80s and I Love the ‘90s.  In 2010, she appeared as the mom character in the film adaptation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

5. Nate Corddry – Rob Corddry’s younger brother, Nate was a correspondent for just a year on The Daily Show.  He was a member of the cast in the ill-fated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  He had a recurring role, appearing in 10 episodes, on The United States of Tara.  Currently, he is a regular cast member in the surprisingly successful Harry’s Law, starring Kathy Bates, which will be coming back for its second season in the fall.

4. Rob Cordry – Corddry originally left to star in The Winner, a sitcom executively produced by Seth MacFarlane, which was set in the mid-90s, about a thirty-something man living with his mother who has a crush on the single mother next door.  It was an abject failure.  After that he played supporting roles in a number of movies, such as The Heartbreak Kid and What Happens in Vegas, and as part of an ensemble in Hot Tub Time Machine.  In 2008, he created the web series Childrens Hospital, in which he also appears, and it was such a success that it was picked up by Adult Swim and is currently airing in its third season.

3. Ed Helms – Helms may be poised to follow in Steve Carrell’s footsteps almost exactly.  He joined The Office in the third season as lovable WASP Andy Bernard and has remained ever since, with his role growing more prominent each season.  Recently, he finally got his name into the main cast.  Helms, after showing up in small roles in a number  of films, like Walk Hard and Semi-Pro, finally got his big break in The Hangover, which became a smash of unexpected proportions, and made Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis stars.  The Hangover 2, while far less successful critically, was just as much of a smash commercially.  With Carrell off the Office, Helms is likely to get more screen time.

2. Steve Carrell – a bona fide movie and television star, an argument could easily be made for #1 on this list.  He only starred in one of the most influential, culturally, critically and commercially successful tv comedies of the last decade, The Office.  His movie record is a little more spotty, but it has more than its share of hits, and he gets top billing in almost every movie he films now.  He had a breakout supporting role as the mildly retarded Brick in Anchorman, and a breakout leading role as Andy in the Judd Apatow The 40-Year Old Virgin.  He had a prominent supporting role in Little Miss Sunshine, and then starred in Evan Almighty, Date Night, Get Smart, and Crazy Stupid Love.

1. Stephen Colbert – Colbert’s work consists primarily of one show, but what a show.  In October 2005, The Colbert Report launched, in an effort by Jon Stewart and Comedy Central to keep Colbert in house, as the other star of Daily Show correspondents, Steve Carrell, had gotten away.  From Day 1, Colbert has, by way of his show, made himself part of the zeitgeist.  The very first episode introduced the concept of Truthiness, which became a buzzword for the entire year and beyond.  In 2006, he spoke at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, and mocked President Bush to his face, getting a poor reception at the dinner, but becoming a youtube sensation.  His 2008 Presidential bid caused a stir, as well as his current SuperPAC, which, although satirical is having real world campaign finance impact.  He even has his own Ben and Jerry’s flavor.