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Saturday Night Live fan sets up Comedy Central show

Co-creator and executive producer of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Madeleine Smithberg ’81 grew up on Mad magazine and was "blown away" when Saturday Night Live burst on the scene.

Now an independent producer for Mad Cow Productions, Smithberg developed her producing skills thanks to becoming fluent in Italian during her study-abroad semester in Italy her senior year. How does one go from being an art history major to working in television? Working for an Italian television station’s office in New York City for four years after graduating from Binghamton.

From there, she jumped to the David Letterman Show, further honing her skills at finding eccentric and unusual stories as a producer of the show’s human interest segment.

Smithberg applied that same eye for the odd, absurd and jarring to her Emmy award-winning work on The Daily Show. "If you watch the show on a regular basis, particularly the correspondents who do these field reports -- for better or for worse, my sensibility [was] all over it," Smithberg says. "It's that celebration of eccentricity taken to a new level; it also becomes a parody of the sort of misguided earnestness or self-servingness of investigative TV journalism." 


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Last Updated: 2/16/10