To be fair, how could total ownership of that Comedy Central staple transfer in just one night, when Jon Stewart had 16 years to turn it into an institution? “Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed that I would one day have, well, two things, really”.
“I just consumed – that’s all I’ve ever been, a consumer of information”. It’s thumbs up for Trevor Noah in South Africa. Noah was briefly a correspondent on Stewart’s iteration of the show, but he is largely unknown to American audiences.
“When Trevor Noah was announced as Jon Stewart’s replacement as host of the Daily Show, the general reactions was: “… who?”
Noah then added, “Now I’m in the chair, I can only assume this is as uneven for you as it is for me”. For someone who uses the word “terrified”, Trevor Noah looks anything but. He then went on to thank Stewart for believing in him, even though, he confessed, he still doesn’t understand what the longtime anchor saw in him.
However, it’s hard not to find Noah charming in this humbling, in which he talks about how many times people passed on the hosting gig before it was finally handed off to him. He knows the pressure is on but plans to take things slowly, saying there will be changes in style rather than structure.
“Should we erase our history because someone will judge us by that now, in the present?” poses Noah, and says no. “I think history is a reminder of what not to repeat”. Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had traveled to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly and visited Noah at his studios. Jon Stewart was more than a late night host. 31-year-old Trevor was probably quite nervous before his big debut but we didn’t see any of that on Twitter. “And it’s weird, because dad has left”.
Comedian and radio host Roy Wood Jr. had perhaps the funniest lines of the night as “senior Mars correspondent”, finding the flaws in the idea of sending humans (especially black ones) to the Red Planet.
A softball chat with comic/actor Kevin Hart – who gifted the new host with some ties – was nothing special but an easy entrée for Noah on the interviewing side of the desk.
The middle segments came across as an average episode of The Daily Show.