Monday saw the long-awaited debut of South African comedian Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. Thrilled and nervous to be there, one of the first things he explained was how, after growing up on the dusty streets of South Africa, he now has two things he thought he would never have — an indoor toilet and a job as host on The Daily Show.
As South Africa no doubt looked on, Noah made several references to his African heritage. Another of his opening lines as he took over the seat was that he would do his best not to make Jon Stewart look like a “crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid from Africa,” and that, “Once more a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant.”
It must have been a nerve-wracking experience taking over the reins from Stewart, who spent 16 years of his life juggling both politics and the media, before handing over the job to 31-year-old Trevor Noah. While the set is new, Noah has kept the majority of the original staff, as well as the theme music and the show’s general format.
Noah paid tribute to his predecessor, saying that Jon Stewart was “more than just a late-night host” and again joked about his own origins.
“He was often our voice, our refuge and in many ways our political dad.”
“And it’s weird because dad has left and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad — and he’s black.”
He did say he thought that a woman or an American should have been chosen for the job, but that Comedy Central had offered the position to both, but got turned down.
Once the intro was over, Noah moved on to current events of importance, including a funny segment on the visit of Pope Francis to the USA. Speaking of the Pope, Noah quipped that with his stance on climate change and immigrants, Pope Francis was “like a young Bernie Sanders.” He then went on to speak about the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner (rather coincidentally almost immediately after Boehner had a meeting with the Pope).
Noah then skillfully tied together two important pieces of news by talking of the announcement Monday by NASA that water had been discovered on Mars, saying that this major discovery now gives us “a new planet to colonize, just when we find out that Volkswagen has been destroying the Earth.”
IOL News did point out that one major difference in the show was that censorship seemed a little lighter to Stewart’s time on The Daily Show. Trevor Noah used several expletives that went past censorship and could clearly be heard.
The latest version of The Daily Show was reportedly simulcast across multiple Viacom networks, including MTV, VH1, BET, and Nick at Nite, and Comedy Central included a stand-up special by Kevin Hart just before the show, giving many reminders of how Hart would be Trevor Noah’s first guest on The Daily Show.