After months of speculation following Jon Stewart’s departure announcement from the satirical news program The Daily Show, the New York Times is reporting that Trevor Noah — a 31-year-old contributing comedian to the show — will succeed the longtime host.
News of Noah’s arrival to the hit show is welcome; the South African native is a surprising addition to a late-night club dominated by White males and his presence (coupled with The Nightly Show’s Larry Wilmore) is bringing a much-needed splash of diversity to the evening block on Comedy Central.
In short, we’re here for it.
Even more impressive, Noah was offered the position after only three appearances on The Daily Show. And according to the NYT, he’s just as surprised as anyone unfamiliar with him would be.
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Mr. Noah said of learning about his new job. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”
Noah, who retweeted the NYT article to confirm the news, is an unlikely choice for many. The son of a Black Xhosa mother and a White Swiss father, Noah recently broke into comedy in his early twenties. He told the NYT that he had long been taught that “speaking freely about anything, as a person of color, was considered treason.” But that lesson certainly didn’t stop a young Noah from performing in the U.S. between 2010 and 2012, eventually garnering the attention of Stewart himself, who endorsed him with this statement:
“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Stewart said. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” Mr. Stewart added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”
Another endorsement you can be excited about? Chris Rock’s, which came in the form of a tweet, wherein he thanked President Obama for Noah’s new gig:
Thank you president Obama pic.twitter.com/PgFJCCyRTa
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) March 30, 2015
Noah gave no formal audition, speaks six languages, and understands that his background and unfamiliarity with Americans may have people second-guessing him.
But for us, it sets him apart from the pack.
Mr. Noah said he expected to be criticized before his first episode as host. “We live in a world where some people still say Beyoncé can’t sing,” he said. “Clearly I’m not immune to that.” But in his conversations with Mr. Stewart, Mr. Noah said that he had found a kindred spirit in a fellow comedian who was not much further along when he came to “The Daily Show.” “He told me, ‘I was where you were when I took over the show,’ ” Mr. Noah said. “ ‘Nobody knew me. I was just starting out, finding my voice, and that’s when I was handed this seat.’ Now, it’s my turn to steer the ship.”
Noah himself took to Twitter early Monday morning, vowing to continue making The Daily Show “the best damn news show” around:
No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 30, 2015
Will you be tuning in to the ‘new’ Daily Show when Noah takes over? Sound off below…
SOURCE: NYT | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube