The wait is officially over! Six months since it was announced that he would indeed be replacing Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show" (huge shoes to fill), South African comic Trevor Noah made his much-anticipated debut last night – September 28 – kicking the festivities off with a two-minute monologue in which he thanked Stewart and "The Daily Show" viewers for the opportunity, promising to "work hard" as he "continues the War of Bullshit!"
“Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa I never dreamed I would one day have two things: an indoor toilet and a job as host of the daily show. And now I have both, and I’m quite comfortable with one of them," he of course joked, adding “Jon Stewart was more than just a late-night host, he was often our voice, our refuge and, in many ways, our political Dad. And it’s weird because Dad has left. Now it feels like the family has a new Step-Dad, and he’s black which is not ideal."
He continued on about why neither a woman nor another American was tapped for the job by Comedy Central, saying that offers were made, but no-one accepted, ending with the kicker, “So, once more, a job American’s rejected is being done be an immigrant.”
Noah’s debut has had a somewhat mixed reception; but, really, it’s just one episode, and, as I see it, he’s in a very tough position taking over for a much-loved host in Jon Stewart whose name and face became synonymous with the show, powering through a 16-year reign, seeing it evolve into an American TV staple, especially for younger audiences, and the second-longest-running program on Comedy Central, winning a whopping 22 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Those are mighty shoes that Noah, a relative unknown (especially here in the USA), has to fill. So I think it’ll take some getting used to, as he massages an anxious audience, and kneads the program making it his own, over time. I think he deserves at least a full season, given the nature of the show, before we can say whether the *experiment* (if you will) worked.
And even though he joked about it, the fact that he’s not white is of significance, although I’d assume Comedy Central, and Noah, may not necessarily want to put too much of deliberate emphasis on that fact, even if only because it’s obvious. He’s right in front of us, on screen, every weekday night, at 11pm. And he also comes into this with maybe an *outsiders* perspective on the USA, since he wasn’t born nor raised in the States; something that I think could manifest itself as the show progresses, in terms of his observations on social, economical and political issues, especially race and ethnicity, in this country, which are already leading themes in his comedy.
So let’s see how this goes for the young man whose living what I assume is a dream of a life.
By the way, celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson congratulated Noah as only Neil deGrasse Tyson can…
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 29, 2015
If you missed last night’s season premiere of "The Daily Show" with new host Trevor Noah, and guest Kevin Hart, watch the first 10 minutes of the episode below. Watch the full episode on Comedy Central’s website: