Why ‘The Daily Show’s’ Presidential Twitter Library Exhibit Needed to Be a Book | V by Viacom

The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library (Credit: Getty Images)

Creativity

Why ‘The Daily Show’s’ Presidential Twitter Library Exhibit Needed to Be a Book

Executive Producer Steve Bodow explains why the library had to be bound.

Jul 26, 2018

The staff at “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” are experts on everything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth—and fingertips— thanks to a daily regimen of turning the 280-character missives into comedic fodder. So it was a bit of a no-brainer for the team to extend that expertise into a pop-up museum of the President’s Twitter presence. And now, they are turning the library into a book.

“The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library” is due out on July 31 via the Spiegel & Grau division of Penguin Random House, just a little over a year after the minds behind Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” decided to turn the President’s fiery tweets into a real-life Hall of Fame across the street from Trump Tower in New York City. “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library” exhibit has since been staged in Chicago, San Francisco, and most recently, Los Angeles.

“It was really gorgeous,” says Steve Bodow, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” executive producer of his first walk-through of the exhibit. “Seeing it up on its feet for the first time in New York made it really clear this thing needed to be a book…It just hadn’t occurred to me until I saw it all together.”

Bodow presented his book vision to Comedy Central the following week and the network quickly supported the idea. The first publisher the network approached was Spiegel & Grau, which also published Trevor Noah’s memoir “Born A Crime.”

“Seeing it up on its feet for the first time in New York made it really clear this thing needed to be a book,” says Bodow. “It’s a hell of a body of work.”

“I don’t think there have been other places that have collected and curated and organized and commented on this very significant—maybe [Trump’s] most significant—collection of statements that he’s made both as president and before,” says Bodow. “Put it all together and it’s a hell of a body of work.”

The chapters present a way to categorize the litany of the President’s social media missives. “The Masterpieces,” includes Trump’s most iconic tweets; “The Greatest Battles,” is composed of his attacks on individuals, from fellow Republicans to actress Kristen Stewart; “Sad! A Retrospective,” shows the president’s emotional side; “Trumpstradamus” is a collection of his predictions; and “Always the Best,” lists his boasts about himself. It also features a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham.

A few pages were left blank, giving readers the opportunity to include any additions that have been posted since the book’s publication.

Book jacket of the print version. Photo courtesy of Comedy Central.

The ‘Presidential Twitter Library’ book jacket. Photo courtesy of Comedy Central.

The museum activation, and now the book, are both ways “The Daily Show” has extended itself from beyond television and into other realms, according to Bodow. “We’ve really been thinking of ‘The Daily Show’ as a TV show first and foremost, but also all the extensions of it, from the extra, digital content that we do in-between the scenes, which won an Emmy, and the social content we produce for Twitter, Facebook,” he explains. “This is all ‘The Daily Show.’”

While there might be some overlap between the show audience and a book audience, Bodow explained that this is another avenue to get people aware of the show and to get its name out there in a “way people are going to enjoy.”

As for how comedy is playing into politics in this current climate, Bodow, who worked on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” for 13 years before continuing on with Trevor Noah, says: “That’s a whole ‘nother book.”