Comedy Central has unveiled its new host of the Daily Show, an announcement that’s been met with a bit of criticism and one question: Who’s Trevor Noah?
But if you’re a devoted fan, you will recognize his face – Noah has been on the program three times.
And Americans may be the only people on planet Earth who don’t immediately recognize the 31-year-old South African comedian. According to the NY Post, Trevor is top in his native South Africa, where he has his own late night show.
Noah grew up in Apartheid-era Soweto, the son of a Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother. Their romance was illegal, so she kept his father’s identity secret, even omitting him from his birth certificate. At one point, she was arrested for the union and couldn’t be seen in public holding her son’s hand, he explained to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Well, you know how the Swiss love chocolate. I was born a crime. It was horrible for me. I felt like a bag of weed.”
Noah has been on American TV screens before; he’s had several comedy specials and was on the Tonight Show in 2012 and David Letterman in 2013.
“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny,” Comedy Central president, Michele Ganeless, gushed. “He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America.”
The host’s spot will be vacated by John Stewart after 16 years; the date of his final show is not yet known.
Naturally, the choice for the coveted spot came with its criticism, namely against the network’s decision not to put a woman comedian the helm. A campaign for contributor Jessica Williams to be the next host gained ground, but the comedienne joked on Twitter that she was “extremely under-qualified,” the New York Times reported.
On a positive side, Noah is just one more minority host added recently to a mostly-white late-night lineup, which also includes Daily Show companion Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show. Trevor said he won’t be shocked if people aren’t quite convinced that he’s good enough for the job.
“We live in a world where some people still say Beyoncé can’t sing. Clearly I’m not immune to that. (John Stewart) told me, ‘I was where you were when I took over the show. Nobody knew me. I was just starting out, finding my voice, and that’s when I was handed this seat.'”
And now all eyes will be looking to Trevor Noah for their nightly dose of the sarcastic, biting news that the Daily Show is known for.
[Photo Courtesy Getty Images]