When Jon Stewart announced in February that he would be stepping down as host of The Daily Show, it was hard to fathom anyone filling the perfectly acerbic host’s shoes. But there are more than a few reasons why Trevor Noah — Stewart’s successor — will do a bang-up job.
1. He isn’t Jon Stewart
Let us explain. Noah isn’t yet a household name. Prior to being appointed Stewart’s successor, he had only appeared on The Daily Show three times— the first being in December of last year. As Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless so aptly put it, “You don’t hope to find the next Jon Stewart — there is no next Jon Stewart. So, our goal was to find someone who brings something really exciting and new and different.” Bringing in a fresh face like Noah was brilliant on Comedy Central’s part, because he gets to build the audience’s perspective — we don’t have any preconceived notions of who he is, so we aren’t tempted to try to determine whether he stacks up to Stewart.
2. But he does have Stewart’s blessing
To get the blessing of the man who took the helm and steered The Daily Show to the success it is today, well, that would be quite a blessing indeed. And it looks like Stewart doesn’t just approve of Noah — he heartily endorses his soon-to-be replacement. Gushed Stewart, “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with… In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”
3. He has a unique perspective
Noah, who grew up in Soweto, South Africa, often centers his comedy on his biracial upbringing with a mother who is South African and a father who is Swiss. He relied on his childhood dichotomy for material during his one-man show, That’s Racist, and audiences and critics alike loved it. He isn’t afraid to make people uncomfortable, which Stewart has perfected during his nearly two-decade tenure.
4. Plus, he’s legitimately funny
I mean, right? Noah’s comic chops have garnered him attention in some trailblazing ways, too — he was the first South African comic to appear on two heavy-hitting late-night standards, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.
5. He knows (and appreciates) a good meme when he sees one
Sure, The Daily Show deals largely in political satire and more “newsy” subject matter, but celebrities are certainly fair fodder, too. Being familiar with the current tropes of pop culture makes one even better suited for the gig, and we adore that Noah not only knows the Drake hands meme but also that he isn’t afraid to have a little fun with it.
6. Celebrities love him
When you spend a good portion of your day job making fun of celebrities, it speaks volumes when celebrities still love you. And love Noah they do. From Jeff Ross to Ed Sheeran, Noah can be seen hamming it up in photos with stars all across the spectrum. This bodes well for celebrity cameos on the rebooted Daily Show.
7. He’s easy on the eyes
We realize, of course, that this is entirely superficial. Still, it must be said that it doesn’t hurt that Noah is one incredibly handsome man. Will this be the reason we tune in? Nah. He’s far too talented for his looks to be our first incentive. But they sure are a nice bonus! And I think we can all agree his selfie game is on point.
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