Is he funny? Trevor Noah debuts as Jon Stewart heir

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trevor noah debut

South African comic Trevor Noah on Monday will try to fill some gigantic shoes when he takes over as host of “The Daily Show,” replacing award-winning satirist Jon Stewart.

Stewart turned the four-times-a-week show into a unique cocktail of politics, journalism and entertainment that skewered politicians, the world in general and sensationalist cable news coverage in particular.

He was loved by liberals as a voice of reason and distrusted by conservatives for his left-of-center perspective.

The 52-year-old Stewart — considered clever, biting and very, very funny by his many fans — retired from the show on August 7 after a 16-year run on the Comedy Central network.

Stewart became such a towering figure in the competitive world of late-night American TV comics that he landed President Barack Obama as a guest no fewer than seven times. Stewart won more than 20 Emmy awards.

Now, stage left, enter Noah.

He was to welcome comedian Kevin Hart as his first guest. Later this week, Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie is scheduled to appear.

Until being named to take over as the show’s host, the 31-year-old was not well known in the United States. He has done stand-up comedy around the world but on “The Daily Show,” he appeared as a contributor just a few times.

Some of Stewart’s people will remain on the set, providing a degree of continuity for the show.

Noah, born and raised in apartheid-era South Africa of a mixed-race marriage, says he will try to give “The Daily Show” his own unique flavor.

Stewart told him to, he says.

— ‘Make your show’ —

“He specifically said: ‘Make your show. Make your best version of it,'” Noah told the New York Times ahead of Monday’s show.

“Jon’s suggestions were very simple and yet very difficult to decipher. He’s like a Jewish Yoda. He said to me: ‘Make the best show that you feel needs to be made. And trust your discomfort.'”

Noah said he will try to broaden the horizons of the largely US-angled show, although Stewart did love to talk about foreign policy.

“I think, naturally, the show will be a representation of my interests, and the interests in the room,” he said.

“We all live in America. But as America is increasingly learning, if a butterfly flaps its wings on the Chinese stock exchange, there’s a good chance it affects America,” he told the Times.

Noah has been dogged by criticism of Twitter posts he has made that some found offensive to women and Jews. He has had an account since 2009 and boasts more than 2.5 million followers.

Take this one from 2011: “Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy! – fat chicks everywhere.”

Another, from 2009: “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!”

Noah says those tweets are from years ago and he has since changed.

“If you look back three years and you’re not disappointed in who you were then, you’re not progressing,” he said this month in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

People jump onto Twitter hashtag trends — like those who bemoaned his tweets — without really understanding what’s going on, Noah said.

These days people live in a “world of faux outrage. It’s hashtag this, hashtag that.”

“Then you have an artificial inflation of what the problem is. All of the sudden you get all of these big scandals, but they’re not big, because everyone is on the periphery of the argument,” Noah added.

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  • Anonymous

    Kibaki, stop your non sense, or were your  part of the scheme, kenyans now know the truth. fire Ambassador Francis Muthaura  and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta we are waiting or you retire with them

    • Charlie

      Governor of Nyeri???? dont be silly!

      • HotPotato

        Nyeri_governer is right. Charlie, you are wrong. No defense for criminals. Let us not pretend that we do not know what happened – people lost lives, people were maimed, women were raped and so forth.Kibaki should shut-up. Just wasting pesa ya waninchi ..eti legal team. The team will come out with nothing. The ICC is not a court from Othaya or Msambweni mwambao.

  • KALONZO

    Impunity impunity. Bure kabisa.

  • Anonymous

    Charlie, I am very very happy today the son of jomo has just been seen on cctv aki hara kama kuku. Hague ni mama yangu!! . finally justice has been done to IDPS                   

  • Lucas

    And, exactly how is Kibaki going to pay for this? Fleece tax payers? Jinga Kabisaaa.

  • Evagumbe from UK

    I urge Kenyans to be calm. We are taking this Hague issue very seriously and we have to assemble the best legal tteam to represent our people who are to be subjected to full hearing…and I believe we gonna win this case…

    • guest

      Are they related to you, where were you when kenya was burning?, stay in UK and shut up

  • Cipa

    THE ONLY SAVIOUR TO KENYA IS A FAIR AND FREE ELECTIONS.  THERE IS WIND MASTERPLANS HAVE BEEN MADE TO RIG THE ELECTION BY PROGRAMMING ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM SOFTWARE SO THAT ONE PERSON ONLY WILL BE ABLE TO ALTER NUMBER OF VOTES AT DIFFERENT STAGES SO THAT THEY ARE RECORDED IN A CERTAIN CANDIDATE’S NAME. KENYANS MUST WAKE UP NOW BEFORE THEY ELECT A PERSON WHO WILL DESTROY KENYA.

  • Enos Omondi

    What the president has done is what any person would do when his/ her child encounters such a challenge. However, it should be noted that his efforts were thwarted by the same people when he and the PM tried to rally them to accept a local tribunal. Actually they would be enjoying a lot of freedom. What is left of the two presidential hopefuls is just resign and pursue personal freedom. Running for the presidency will just wear them down.

    I think also that the president should be careful otherwise a warrant of arrest will be issued against them if the government is seen to be protecting them.

    Mutrula puts it very well. Muthaura and Uhuru hold very strategic positions in government that could influence a lot regarding these two cases.

    Remember Ocampo laughing????

  • Vickacky

    did kibaki consult RAO before he appointed the legal team…other wise we will see kamau.njoroge,kimani in that legal team.and its a waste of time. wont change the decision passed against them. wastage of time. let the accused appeal.

  • Mbooni

    Just have a look at presidents’ advisors the men around him.  They all have interests of their region. Bw. President leave a legacy seek Gods intervention

  • Mtetezi

    Common sense states that you do not need a team to scrutinize/study the ruling. You read it….. It is in black and white. “Charges confirmed”…. Uhuru, Ruto, Sang & Muthaura have a case to answer…… Hussein & Kosgei “charges not confirmed”….. PERIOD. Even nursery school kids know that. You do not need a team to study this……. 

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