On Monday, Comedy Central announced that comedian Trevor Noah, 31, will take over as host of The Daily Show when Jon Stewart ultimately exits. "He's a tremendous comic and talent that we've loved working with,” Stewart says of his replacement.
As much as we were hoping it would be a woman -- though that was more wishing any late-night show would let a woman host -- Noah makes quite a worthy successor to the 20-time Emmy winner. Here’s why:
1. He’s a comedian from South Africa. So while he isn’t a woman, he’s still providing some diversity in the otherwise all-white late-night scene.
In his Twitter bio, Noah jokes: “I was in the crowd when Rafiki held Simba over the edge of the cliff.” More seriously, his mother is black and his dad is white, and when Trevor was born, their relationship was illegal (his mom was even jailed and fined for it). So not only will he provide diversity, he’ll provide TV with a new voice.
2. He’s a stand-up comedian. Just like Stewart! Here’s a clip from his set:
(And he doesn’t really understand American sports, so expect lots of hilarious commentary about that once he starts on The Daily Show.)
3. He was the first South African stand-up to appear on The Tonight Show. In 2012, back when Jay Leno was hosting for the second time. Ditto to The Late Show With David Letterman in 2013.
In fact, he’s “the most successful comedian in Africa” according to his site.
4. He’s already worked on The Daily Show. He started corresponding back in December. Here’s his first appearance, reporting on Africa and Ebola:
5. Here’s another of his special reports. Where he manages to make chess not only funny, but interesting. For the first time ever. #NODISRESPECTTOCHESS
6. He’s already hosted a late-night show. In 2010, he manned the desk at Tonight With Trevor Noah, a South African talk show “in the tradition of late night shows such as...The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Kismet!
He’s also acted (on a South African soap opera), done numerous hosting gigs, worked as a radio DJ, and been nominated for MTV Africa Music Award for Personality of the Year in 2014.
7. He came in second place on South Africa’s version of Dancing With the Stars. Which doesn’t so much make him worthy of hosting a late-night show, but is just kind of a fun fact.
He was a favorite to win on the fourth season of Strictly Come Dancing, but ultimately lost to actor Emmanuel Castis. (The video above is Castis' final performance, but you can see Trevor dancing while dressed as a gladiator at the beginning.)
8. And he’s not afraid to be more than funny.
Often, people who can do, don’t because they’re afraid of what people that can’t do will say about them doing.— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) February 13, 2015
Jon Stewart was hilarious, yes, but he also wasn’t afraid to be deep, inspiring, touching, real. We have a feeling Noah will have no problem filling those shoes.
Now, find out how Trevor Noah reacted to his big The Daily Show news: