In February Jon Stewart announced he will be retiring from The Daily Show later this year, and now it’s become official that his replacement will be South African comedian Trevor Noah. There’s still no date for Stewart’s retirement beyond “later this year”, but when he does go, Noah will take over his chair. It’s a great choice—Noah is just 31 years old, and he’s got a sharp sense of humor with a political bent. Born to a black mother and a white father during apartheid, Noah draws a lot of his comedy from being an outsider, which makes for an interesting counterpoint to Stewart’s in-the-muck narrative. Noah’s style is a state of permanent amusement, like he’s already seen the worst—and he has, in a lot of ways—and everything else is just entertaining.
Noah’s confirmation tweet:
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!— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 30, 2015
Noah has only made three appearances to date on The Daily Show, as he just joined the roster in December, but it’s clear Stewart is keen on him. Did he always intend for Noah to take over? Given the brief time between Noah joining the show and being appointed as its next captain, it kind of looks like maybe this was the plan all along. He leap-frogged more senior correspondents like Aasif Mandvi and Kristen Schaal for the gig, and it’s also going to work in his favor that most people don’t know who he is. It’s going to be hard enough to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes, but at least he won’t have an entrenched perception of himself to fight, too.
Noah comes as a blank slate, free to remake The Daily Show in his own image, without expectation of what that really means. I’m very excited to see where he takes The Daily Show next—his stage persona is sweet and relaxed, but he is wickedly smart and I won’t be surprised at all if he ends up delivering even more cutting commentary than Stewart. Here’s his latest segment from The Daily Show, and you can also catch his stand-up special Trevor Noah: African American on Netflix. Get to know Trevor Noah—we’re going to be seeing a lot of him.
(Lainey: and now I’ll jump in with the frivolous commentary – Trevor Noah is HOT.)