Ten months after taking over as The Daily Show host, South African comedian Trevor Noah says he would have never felt ready for the gig – the only way to make a splash was to dive in head first.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (COMEDY CENTRAL) – After only five years in the U.S., Trevor Noah went from a barely known comedian to the host of one of the most watched late night talk programs, “The Daily Show.”
It’s been 10 months since the South African native took over the show Jon Stewart hosted for 16 years. Asked how he thinks it’s fairing – he proudly gave the show a passing grade. But he’s not getting comfy just yet. There is still more he wants to achieve.
“I know there are moments where I feel like I have excelled or reached where I would like to be. But I’m far from – from where I would like to end up. So for now it is a good grade.”
The 32-year-old was born in Johannesburg, South Africa to a black South African mother and a Swiss father during apartheid. Before moving to the U.S. in 2011, he made a name for himself in South Africa as a host, before transitioning into comedy and performing his first standup show “The Daywalker” in 2009.
The young comedian, the only millennial host in late night, faced criticism when his hiring was first announced, which Noah actually understood.
“I don’t think I would ever had been ready, but that’s when you must do it, you will not be ready. Do it and then you will become ready. Sometimes you will wait your whole life to be ready and you’ll never do something,” he explained.
Being the host of one of America’s most popular satirical news programs, Noah understands there is a chance people might be offended by his comedy, although that’s never his objective.
“There is a chance that a joke won’t be received in the way you intend to send it out there. That’s part and parcel of what comedy is you know? People are bound to be offended where there is comedy and that is not my intention, said Noah.
“I think that is the most important thing to understand all the time is that I always look at intention. What is your intention, what is the place you come from? And when I look at that I go, ‘how do I make sure I don’t repeat that mistake,’ or ‘how do I make sure I get my message across clearer. How do I get the person to understand the funny that I was trying to relate to them? And that’s how you fix that in comedy,” he added.
In July, Noah will take his show on the road to cover both the Democratic and Republican conventions in order to give viewers a firsthand account.
Although Noah’s job is to make light of tough issues through comedy, he said his main objective is to always be honest.
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” airs Monday-Thursday on the U.S. cable network Comedy Central. The program is also seen in over 170 countries and territories, with viewing records being set in South Africa.