On Monday, U.S. network Comedy Central announced that South African comedian Trevor Noah (pictured at left) will replace the iconic Jon Stewart on his eponymous award-winning show, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” according to the New York Times.
Stewart has been a hit on “The Daily Show” for the last 16 years, showcasing his wit and sophisticated handling of hot-button American issues — particularly shining during election years.
Noah, a 31-year-old biracial comedian who grew up in Soweto, appeared on “The Daily Show” for the first time in December.
Speaking to the incessant police brutality against Black Americans, with the high-profile murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Noah quipped at the time, “I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” he said with a smile. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days, back home.”
After Stewart announced that he would be retiring from the show last month, many fans wondered who would fill the shoes of someone who, as the New York Times described, “Transformed the show into authoritative, satirical comedy on current events.”
Of his new role, Noah, who is currently in Dubai, said that he never imagined he would be the chosen one.
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Mr. Noah said of learning about his new job. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”
Noah also revealed that Stewart immediately extended both support and a warm congratulations at the news, “He [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.’”
As for Noah’s background, he is well-known and respected internationally for his work on radio, as a stand-up, and as a reality TV host.
Noah’s career began at 18, when he nabbed a recurring role on soap opera “Ishingo.”
He also served as a panelist on British TV show “QI” and “8 Out of 10 Cats.” Fans of Noah know him for his work on “Live from the Apollo” and a 2014 performance on “Royal Variety Performance.”
Growing up in Soweto as a product of a Black Xhosa Mother and White Swiss Father wasn’t easy; his parents’ union was obviously illegal during the Apartheid era.
According to the BBC, Noah describes himself as being “born a crime” and says his mother was fined and jailed for the indiscretion.
Celebrating his new appointment on Twitter, Noah writes:
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
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