South African comic Trevor Noah slated to be latest host of “The Daily Show”

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South African comic Trevor Noah slated to be latest host of “The Daily Show”

Byron Keulemans

Byron Keulemans

Byron Keulemans

Emily Schulz, Staff Writer

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After sixteen years, “The Daily Show” is getting a new host. Replacing political-savvy, satire-heavy Jon Stewart is 31-year-old comedian Trevor Noah from Johannesburg, South Africa. Since his career started in 2002 he’s performed stand-up comedy all over the world. Almost completely unknown to the U.S., Noah was brought into the spotlight with guest appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in the last three years. Before being named the new host, he was a contributing writer to “The Daily Show,” known for bringing a new cultural perspective to the program.

His personal edge on comedy comes from his own origin as a multi-racial child. His mother, a South African woman, and his father of Swiss-German descent had Trevor when cross-racial relationships were illegal. As Noah puts it, he was “born a crime.” In the documentary, “You Laugh but It’s True,” Noah says that he’s never fit in anywhere because he’s neither black nor white. “And then when you get older it’s cool because you’ve lived everywhere and nowhere, and you’ve everyone and no one, and so you can say everything and nothing and that’s really what affects my comedy and everything I say.” Noah, a polyglot, can speak several languages including English, German, Xhosa, isiZulu, Sotho, and Afrikaan and is considered by many of his fans as a translator between different cultures.

Despite his preference of material to contrast cultures, countries, and governments, Noah is considered by colleagues as the “cuddly guy” because of his clean and polite persona on stage. Contrary to his usual disposition, Noah has caused an uproar due to a few offensive stereotyping tweets he posted recently. While many comedians encourage others to test boundaries, the main complaint was that his tweets, “just weren’t that funny,” but Comedy Central has supported Noah through all of this reminding everyone that, “it’s just twitter.” Fans of “The Daily Show” will be happy to know that the new host will maintain the legacy of dignity on the show that Jon Stewart has left, limiting obscenities and racial jokes for a cheap laugh.

Neither Comedy Central nor Noah has stated the direction the show will take as Stewart steps down. When Stewart took the show over from Craig Kilborn, the show became politically-centered with a dominant satirical component that earned a large viewership. The show is reputable enough that the majority of its young-adult viewers consider it as their main source of news. Noah’s ability to continue the credibility of the show is promising. During one of his guest appearances on “The Daily Show” he tested Jon Stewart with a game he created called, “Spot Africa.” Noah showed a picture taken in Africa and one taken in the United States and Stewart had to decide which photo was taken where, which resulted in laughs from the audience as well as the veteran host of the show himself.

No matter what, it will be tough for anyone to replace Jon Stewart. Audiences are already critical after losing “The Colbert Report” to “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” and Noah is not receiving a one-hundred percent approval rate. Regardless of premature censures, Noah will be nothing if not interesting with a fresh outlook.

 

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