Many late-night comedy fans had the same reaction Monday morning when it was announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old South African standup comedian who is relatively unknown in the United States, will replace Jon Stewart as the next host of “The Daily Show”: Who exactly is this guy?
Viewers had been calling on Comedy Central to appoint someone well-known like Tina Fey or the fan-favorite “Daily Show” correspondent Jessica Williams to succeed Stewart (overall, the insistence on having a female host in the male-dominated world of late-night comedy was also a constant).
However, some hard-core “Daily Show” fans may recall Noah’s three memorable appearances as a correspondent on the show starting in December of last year, in which he skewered American (and more generally Western) views and stereotypes of Africa.
Noah, born to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father (when interracial relationships were illegal in apartheid South Africa), is already a star in his home country, where he has filmed several standup specials. In 2012 and 2013 he became the first South African comedian to perform on “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” respectively, and in 2012 he was the subject of a documentary called “You Laugh But It’s True.”
Amid all of the anticipation surrounding Noah’s surprise appointment, fans are already keenly interested in his views on the hot-button political topics that Stewart has never been afraid to address – especially the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
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