'Daily Show' shows up on candidates' dockets

NEW YORK Four presidential candidates are lined up to visit Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" over the next three weeks as Comedy Central's satirical news review ramps up its "Indecision 2008" coverage.

Sen. Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat, is first up this Wednesday. Biden appeared on "The Daily Show" last winter on the day he announced his candidacy.

Republican John McCain makes his 10th appearance on Aug. 16, followed by another Republican, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, on Aug. 20.

On Aug. 22, Democratic contender Barack Obama comes back to the show for a second time, his first as a declared candidate.

"It's sort of an open invitation for candidates," said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central's executive vice president and general manager. "Jon makes these guys feel comfortable. He provides them with an opportunity to reach an audience they don't always reach, which is young men."

In a world of scripted politics, "The Daily Show" offers candidates a chance to show irreverence and a sense of humor, but brings a risk if they bomb.

The "Indecision 2008" banner is also a lucrative one for Comedy Central. The company sells advertising specifically for the political coverage on "The Daily Show" and its spinoff, "The Colbert Report." Volkswagen, Apple and Subway have each signed up to be a part, in some cases at double the financial commitment they made in 2004.

"The Daily Show" will travel to the sites of both the Republican and Democratic conventions for a week of shows next summer. "The Colbert Report" will take a road trip to South Carolina around that state's primary, Ganeless said.

Neither Stewart nor Stephen Colbert will be involved in a politically-themed concert tour that Comedy Central will sponsor next year, but frequent guest Lewis Black will.

Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson and John Edwards have already appeared on "The Daily Show" this political season. Though her husband was on in 2006, Hillary Clinton has not been on the show. Republican Rudolph Giuliani hasn't been on since 2004.