Beginning Monday, “The Daily Show” will air a series of reports from Iraq—the real Iraq—taped during a USO outing by “senior military analyst” and former decorated Marine Maj. Rob Riggle (pictured). Along with a field producer and writer for the show, Riggle ditched the green screen for a five-day stint titled “Operation Silent Thunder: The Daily Show in Iraq.”
Correspondent Rob Riggle—who has combat experience as a U.S. Marine Corps major—spent five days in Iraq last week with “Daily Show” writer Kevin Bleyer and field producer Glenn Clements. They went with a USO sketch comedy tour known as “Operation Feel the Heat,” though—armed with small handheld cameras—they also brought back video that will be used for “The Daily Show” about the troops and their lives in Iraq.
Although “Daily Show” often spends its time on topics related to Iraq and sometimes has one of its correspondents appear against a greenscreen that simulates Iraq, it’s the first time the fake-news show has gone the extra step and visited Iraq. It isn’t clear what the crew brought back—they were scheduled to arrive back in New York on Saturday morning—but all were safe and sound and exhilarated by being able to spend time with the troops, “Daily Show” co-executive producer Kahane Corn said. They visited several bases with the USO but weren’t officially embedded, Corn said.
Riggle and Clements went to the show’s producers in November to ask if they could actually go to Iraq with a USO tour being planned and at the same time shoot pieces for “The Daily Show.” After months of preparation—and training in what to expect when they were there—Riggle & Co. left Aug. 10 for Iraq.