Trevor Noah. It’s a name that’s gone viral ever since word went out that he would take over The Daily Show. Left and right, critics arose, but Jon Stewart, who retires as host to this Comedy Central show supports him, saying, “Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect. Or not. I hope you give him an opportunity to earn that trust and respect.” He also says in a separate statement, “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” The announcement came in April but I still want to talk about it. So, who is Trevor Noah anyway?
The 31 year old comedian from South Africa started his career on local radio, but now has had appearances internationally, having sold-out stand-up shows everywhere he went. According to thedailyshow.cc.com, Trevor’s debuted on U.S. Television in 2012, and has guested on shows including “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Everywhere he went, he made people laugh. He guested only three times on “The Daily Show” but it was enough for the people at Comedy Central to say, “This is our guy.”
A huge commotion followed, starting with attacks on his statements on Twitter where people accused him of being anti-semitic, sexist and racist. He received major backlash from many offended groups including women’s rights groups.
With regards to his tweets, I personally believe that Noah is just living up to his comedy. He makes a good point tweeting, “If we can’t find reasons to laugh then we will only ever cry.”
Media, such as The Young Turks, seem to have pointed out that a lot of people were jealous about him getting the job. And a New York Times writer named One of the most upsetting thing to have heard was Russell Peter’s accusation on Channel News Asia claiming with a straight face, that Noah as stolen jokes from him and another South African comedian. Fortunately, a statement by Peter on Twitter revealed that it was a hoax pulled off by the two comedians. I’m glad I can keep my respect for Peter.
But in light of this issue, nothing was a “Faith in Humanity Restored” moment as when Don Lemon Panel opposing claims of a guest saying that Trevor Noah was being racist, on CNN Tonight segment, “No Laughing Matter.” Wendy Todd, culture and race blogger who wrote for the New York Times seems to think that Noah was belittling African Americans, and some even suggested that it was inappropriate for Noah to make fun of the country (or people) who took him in. (Watch full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZX60RC9V2k)
My short and simple response is:
This is comedy. He is a comedian, a rather bold one if I may say. I watched him perform one of his stand-up comedy acts in 2014, by accident, and I was immediately hooked! He is a comedian of charisma, and intellect. I like that he is very well-versed on many important issues in the world today – he cares about politics! And by basing, not on his race but on one of his stand-ups in Johannesburg, I truly believe he is not a racist and brings nobility to his career as a comedian by initiating to erradicate the idea of racist statements, making African Americans an example to that in his culture. (See: “That’s Racist” – Trevor Noah)
That CNN Tonight segment didn’t even play the clip from his show completely, so definitely this will give people the impression that he was making racist remarks. Even if he was, it’s comedy – pun is always intended.
Like many though, I am a bit skeptical of Noah’s taking over the daily show. (My statement sounded as though he was going to colonize or something. Haha.) He’s bold, he’s smart, and I love the things he talks about. There’s variety and class, but there’s also culture and intellectual matters.I believe in his talent, but I also see that “The Daily Show” is not something you can take lightly. Another thing to consider is the fact that he isn’t from the country. The last thing his fans would want is him being given the title of “Persona Ingrata.” Noah has a lot to prove, and you guys don’t have to listen to me. But this is what I’m saying on my blog, truthfully, from the bottom of my – uh – hypothalamus.
I wish him well.
Trevor Noah is set to take over as host of The Daily Show on September 28, while August 6 is Stewart’s last day, unless this is another hoax to stir up the media. Not likely – I hope.