TheGrio’s 100: Wyatt Cenac, ‘Daily Show’ standout cracks hilarious headlines (VIDEO)

african kings

“Reporting” as a correspondent for Comedy Central’s satirical news program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, typically entails playing the erratic, in-the-field counterpart to Jon Stewart’s straight-man anchor. But not for Wyatt Cenac. The sleepy-eyed Cenac delivers reports and almost-too-honest interviews with an aura of droll and occasionally misplaced concern — often stumping interviewees, and charming viewers along the way.

Wyatt Cenac is making history … on “The Best F*&#ing News Team Ever!” After three seasons writing for FOX’s cartoon-comedy, King of the Hill, and countless performances at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, Cenac got his big break as a news correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


[NBCVIDEO source=”UNIWIDGET” video=”″ w=”400″ h=”400″]

VIDEO produced & edited by Todd Johnson
VIDEO shot by Rima Abdelkader>

Joining just in time for Indecision 2008, Cenac cut his teeth interviewing congressmen with questions that border on the surreal – for instance, gesturing to the color of his hand and then his deadpan face while asking Senator Jeremy Ring if Florida’s Jewish community had any issues with voting for Obama. These encounters are a job perk that he acknowledges not just as a forum for humor, but also as a chance to interact frankly with the shapers of our states.

What’s next for Wyatt?

From a Barack Obama impersonation at an SNL audition to his day job at the Daily Show, Cenac is one of comedy’s biggest up-and-comers. While “breaking news” with The Daily Show, Cenac continues to tour with his stand-up routine and is set to debut a one-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central this spring. He also gives voice to the characters of Lenny and Michael Johnson in the Nickelodeon cartoon, Fanboy and Chum Chum.

What inspires Wyatt?

“Bill Cosby, Bill Murray … pretty much all the Bills,” Cenac told theGrio. “Billie Holiday. Mr. Bill. Heating bill.”

In his own words …

“It’ll be weird [to be at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions], because we’re there as kind of the class clown. It’s exciting to be able to see it and experience it. So, as far as a perfect time to have joined the show, I couldn’t have asked for a better time. To see all of that — and to get to be the a***ole that gets to ruin the conventions,” Cenac told the Dallas Observer in 2008.

A little-known fact …

Stewart’s first “Senior Black Correspondent,” Larry Wilmore, wrote “”I’d Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts,”” a political humor book published in 2009.

Click here for more …

Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter at @rantoddj