by Brian Steinberg, Senior TV Editor, Variety.com
Trevor Noah, a South African comedian with a low profile in the United States, will inherit one of the most-watched pulpits in latenight TV: Jon Stewart’s desk on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show.”
The Viacom-owned outlet said the comic’s debut as host would be announced at a later date.
In choosing Noah, a 31-year-old of mixed-race parentage, Comedy Central is banking that following a tried-and-true formula will keep the program that is arguably the linchpin of its schedule top of mind among its core audience of young male viewers. Twice now, executives at the network have identified an up-and-coming talent, and we’re rewarded on both occasions with a higher profile for the show. Noah will be only the third host of the program, following an early stint by Craig Kilborn and Stewart’s well-chronicled reign.
Noah has the kind of experience that would seem to be de rigueur for a host of “The Daily Show,” which, under Stewart has not only made fun of headlines of the day, but also of the news outlets that deliver them. Noah has hosted numerous television shows, including his own late night talk show in his native country, “Tonight with Trevor Noah.” And he is no stranger to analyzing controversial topics. Born in South African to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father, he once told an audience, “I was born a crime,” according to a 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal.
With that sort of willingness to discuss sensitive topics head-on, Noah would appear to fit the bill being written under Kent Alterman, the network’s president of original programming. In the recent past, Comedy Central has sought people able to articulate a unique world view. The network has found success with programs featuring comedienne Amy Schumer as well as Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, a duo who star in the program “Broad City.”
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UpDate: Seems Trevor has a problem with Jewish people
Here we go again. You did the exact same thing when Michael Strahan got the Kelly sidekick
gig. Remember that headline? Something like, “a Black Man, Michael Strahan has beeh choosen as Kelly…”blah blah
So now it rears it’s ugly head again. Does anyone care or need to know where he was born? NO. Your headline would be much better and still effective, to leave his ethnic background out.
But as you told me when I wrote in to complain about the Michael Strahan headline, “if you don’t like what is written here, you don’y have to a read it.”
Let’s not get too sensitive here.
The fact that the person chosen for this highly coveted slot recently moved here from South Africa is a huge part of this story. It’s a bold and surprising choice (I like the guy – he seems smart and funny in the few bits I’ve seen him do on the show).
Ignoring the fact that he’s unknown to American audiences and until just a few months ago did all his work on South African television wouldn’t be telling the whole story.
Still don’t need to be spoon fed Political Correctness, still don’t believe staring at lame and biased “satire” beats thinking for one’s self, still don’t care to subscribe to what is deemed by this show to be the “acceptable” take on the news, so, still won’t be watching!
The one big hurdle the average viewer will have to get over is Noah’s accent. If he was a Brit or an Aussie, it’d be no problem as those accents have been heavily represented across all forms of media for decades. The South African accent? Not so much. It’s still a step or two beyond that of a New Zealand speech pattern, with such a pronounced softness on many vowel sounds that it can appear more than a little ‘strange’ to the North American ear. Not that it’s unintelligible, far from it, but people will have to make an effort to understanding what he’s saying.
If viewers can get past that, they’ll find that Noah is a worthy successor to Stewart. He’s a very smart guy with a solid comedy background and he plays well to the camera.
Bill Simmons from ESPN mentioned that The Daily Show went after some well known comedians to be the host such as Amy Schumer, Louis CK and Amy Poehler. My guess is that they went with Trevor Noah because he is one of the only correspondents left. A lot of comedians like John Oliver and Steve Carrell use The Daily Show as a launching point for a career in film and television.
It appears the dude is anti-semite.