All successful comedy takes us to a risky place, shocks our complacency and challenges us. When a comic defends bigotry, soliciting applause from hundreds of people who look like him, that shakes up nobody’s complacency. When a comedy show puts all the heavy work into writing funny lines, while the woman they’re writing about is …

It’s true that the 11 p.m. broadcast of “The Daily Show” (which runs Monday through Thursday) plays to a relatively modest crowd – an average of just 1.8 million viewers a night thus far in October. But that doesn’t count four daily repeats on Comedy Central, which nearly double the program’s daily audience to 3.5 …