‘Daily Show’ executive producer Steve Bodow talks Emmy nominationPosted on September 19, 2013 | by Nivea Serrao
Steve Bodow didn’t set out to become a comedy writer.
But that’s exactly what the NYU alumnus does. Bodow, who graduated from NYU in 1995, is one of the executive producers of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” — a job that requires working closely with Stewart to produce his vision for the show and execute it effectively.
“I’m one of the people up on [Stewart’s] executive staff to make sure the show runs the way he wants,” Bodow said in an exclusive interview with WSN, “in terms of what we’re saying, what we’re talking about, what we’re saying about it, how it looks and sounds and making sure we have the right combination of being funny and saying things that we believe.”
Before taking on this role, Bodow served as “The Daily Show’s” head writer for four years. But he noted that not much change accompanied his promotion in 2011.
“It’s not that big a difference,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about what the writing staff is doing from moment to moment, and I can think a little bit more about the show overall.”
This year, Bodow received two Emmy nominations, one for Outstanding Variety Series, the other for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, which are his 14th and 15th nominations since joining “The Daily Show” in 2002.
Long before he started working for “The Daily Show,” Bodow served as the director of Elevator Repair Service, an experimental theater company. He also worked as a journalist, writing for a number of national publications, including The New York Times, New York Magazine and Salon.com.
“I started as a music journalist,” Bodow said. “I was a big fan of music, and I started writing about it in college.”
Eventually writing about music gave way to writing about culture, then business and technology.
“Before I knew it, I was a real journalist, writing for actual magazines and newspapers,” he said.
His diverse interests led him to NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, a graduate program exploring alternative media offered at the Tisch School of the Arts.
“It seemed like ‘Oh, this is going to be a very interesting area for somebody like me, who likes to try new things and likes writing and producing things,’” Bodow said of the program. “I thought it would be fun to get to know new technology from a creative standpoint.”
After graduating from Tisch, Bodow heard about an opening on “The Daily Show,” which Stewart had only been hosting for a couple of years. Bodow applied, was offered the job and has been working there ever since.
Bodow’s words of encouragement for aspiring comedy writers and journalists involves a desire for creative enrichment, an asset that has proven useful throughout Bodow’s career.
“If you want to do it, just make sure you’re doing it,” he said. “Find an audience to do it [for], and find people it’s fun to do it with.”
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 19 print edition. Nivea Serrao is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.