South African comedian Trevor Noah has made history by becoming the first African and first black person to win an Emmy award for outstanding talk series since the category was introduced in 2015. The comedian won the award for his show, The Daily Show, on Monday
“It’s amazing that I get to be a part of this journey. It feels like being part of a winning football team,” Noah said after picking the award.
This places him as the first person of color to host a winning variety talk series since In Living Color in 1990. Noah concluded his time on The Daily Show in December 2022, however, since the Emmys were delayed due to the strikes by actors and writers, the Television Academy is now recognizing achievements from the 2022-23 season.
Noah’s surprising departure from the show after seven years has initiated an ongoing search for his replacement.
He took the opportunity to let the audience know he was concerned about getting someone to occupy his seat. “When they announced that we had won, I was like ah, who is going to replace me?” he said in the Emmy press room. “That’s the second thing I thought of as well. I’m still thinking about that, and I will continue to think about it as I celebrate this amazing achievement.”
Noah also playfully commented on ending HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’s winning streak in the variety talk category. A recent rules change placed Last Week Tonight in the scripted variety category, allowing for a new winner in the talk category for the first time since 2016.
“I told you!” Noah burst out. “I told you we would beat John Oliver if he wasn’t in our category. We did it! We got rid of John Oliver!”
The competing nominees in the Best Variety Talk Series category included The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and The Problem With Jon Stewart.
Noah earned his first Emmy award in 2017 for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. The Emmy awards hold significant prestige in the U.S. television industry.