South African comedian Trevor Noah replaces Jon Stewart as the host of the late-night comedy parody “The Daily Show”.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (COMEDY CENTRAL) – South African comedian Trevor Noah steps on Monday (September 28) into the role vacated in August after 16 years by the popular Jon Stewart on the last-night comedy parody “The Daily Show”.
Noah moved to the United States in 2011 and remains largely an unknown quantity to most Americans despite his eight months as a contributor to the satirical Comedy Central program during Stewart’s reign.
“John Stewart has given me lots of advice,” 31 year-old Noah said.
“He said I should trust my discomfort, that’s the main thing he told me. Go for the thing that makes you feel the least comfortable, because there’s a reason you’re afraid of it, so that’s what I’m aiming to do when we do the show.”
Noah knows the pressure is on but plans to take things slowly, saying there will be changes in style rather than structure.
“There’s going to be music on the show, which is really cool. So these are all the changes we’re looking at: having more music, having more diverse guests and doing, I guess, more things, crazier things that may not have been done before, things that appeal to myself and may appeal to a new viewer and to the old,” he said.
As the son of a white Swiss father and a black South African mother whose union was illegal under South Africa’s apartheid system, he says he has always felt like an outsider.
As such, he can spot the eccentricities of American culture and politics without – so far – having developed the kind of targets Stewart had.
“The fact that I didn’t grow up in the United States, I think will be less of an issue than people think it is. What’s great about it is the fact that I have no preconceived notions, or very little preconceived notions. You know, I cannot vote, so this is fantastic for me because I do not have a horse in the race, I just get to choose which my favorite candidates are. I get to give you my honest perspective because I’m not trying to further any of my goals, it’s just a wonderful thing to be a part of.”
Outside the Daily Show studio in New York, fans lined up to be part of the audience for Noah’s first show.
“It’s good to see a person of color, somebody from another country coming here and leading the show in a new direction. I think fresh faces are good,” said Eric Andlero.
“The fact that he’s not an American I think is really cool and that’s going to spice it up little bit. But his type of humor is so similar to that that we’re used to from Jon Stewart that I think it’s not going to be so radically different except you have a new person with a new view on things,” said Denise Ochola.
Monday’s show sees a visit by comedian Kevin Hart; Tuesday (September 29) features Whitney Wolfe, the founder and CEO of dating app Bumble; while on Wednesday (September 30), Noah gets his teeth into politics with New Jersey Governor and White House contender Chris Christie (a Republican). Alternative musician Ryan Adams closes out the first week on Thursday (October 1).