Well, that moved quickly. Less than 72 hours after Trevor Noah’s name came up as a real possibility to fill Jon Stewart’s chair, Comedy Central has confirmed that Noah will indeed take over The Daily Show when Stewart steps down later this year. It’s a risky move on several fronts but, then, there was seemingly no name that seemed right to succeed Stewart, whose reputation as America’s premiere critic of media and modern politics has only strengthened and solidified over the years. Noah, who has already enjoyed a few choice bits on the show as a correspondent, has a wealth of experience that belies his age, however, as he has already taken on late-night hosting duties in his native South Africa as the host of Tonight with Trevor Noah.
Speaking at the announcement this morning, Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said:
“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny…for the next host of ‘The Daily Show,’ we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor. He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America, and we are thrilled to have him join Comedy Central.”
Noah also has a reputation in America outside of his limited time on The Daily Show, having appeared on The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman, to say nothing of You Laugh But It’s True, the award-winning documentary about his life in South Africa. Commenting on the announcement, Trevor said, “It’s an honor to follow Jon Stewart. He and the team at ‘The Daily Show’ have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world.” At the very least, Noah’s sense of humor and timing is different from Stewart’s, suggesting that the show will have to be slightly re-calibrated to fit his sensibilities. It’s a good sign, as anyone who would try to purely emulate the show’s current host would likely only highlight how much the show depends on Stewart.