Monday morning, Comedy Central announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year old South African comedian, will replace Jon Stewart as the host for The Daily Show. Jon Stewart has anchored The Daily Show for 16 years. Trevor Noah has made three appearances on The Daily Show as a correspondent, but he is best known for stand-up comedy, including comedy skits called ”That’s Racist” and “Born A Crime”.
Noah was born in South Africa to a black mother and a white Swiss father, at a time when interracial unions were illegal under the Apartheid South African government. His comedy routine titled “Born A Crime” alludes to that personal history. The comedian is multilingual. He is fluent in six languages and in the process of learning a seventh.
In one of his appearances on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah offered his unique perspective as a biracial South African, by telling Jon Stewart and the audience, with a smile:
I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa. It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days, back home.
Later in the episode, in a segment called “Spot the Africa”, Noah showed two photographs contrasting a dilapidated street to an immaculate super highway. He asked Jon Stewart to identify which road was in Africa, and which was in the United States. Stewart played along, identifying the beat up roadway as probably being from a rebel shelled combat zone in Africa. He identified the modern highway as obviously being in the United States, maybe from Silicon Valley. Noah then corrected him noting that the attractive super highway was in Central Africa. He then delivered the punch line, identifying the crumbling street as American, by stating:
I took that from my cab on the way here from the airport. That’s the FDR.
After finding out that he was chosen to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes, the modest comedian tweeted:
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!
He is exactly right. There is no replacing Jon Stewart, but Trevor Noah’s gift for comedy will make him a great host for The Daily Show.