By Rowena Lindsay, inside editor
Comedy Central announced today that Trevor Noah, a correspondent for “The Daily Show” will be filling the soon-to-be vacant position behind the anchor desk when current host Jon Stewart leaves the show later this year.
The South African comedian previously hosted his own late-night talk show, “Tonight with Trevor Noah,” in his native country. He also hosted the South African Music Awards as well as several radio programs, and has done several successful global stand-up comedy tours.
However, he is not very well known in America. Therefore, the decision to make him the host of “The Daily Show” came as a surprise to many, even Noah himself, particularly since he has only appeared on the show three times since he started in December 2014.
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Noah told The New York Times. He was doing a stand-up show in Dubai when he head the news. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol,” he added.
Despite his lack of experience on the show, or in American comedy, Noah has Jon Stewart’s stamp of approval.
“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Stewart said in a statement. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” Stewart added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it.”
By the time Noah got the job he was on the short list with fellow “Daily Show” correspondent Hasan Minhaj, but the list was originally quite lengthy.
Many were clamouring for a woman to take Stewart’s place, as there are currently no female late-night talk show hosts. Suggestions for his replacement included Ellen Degeneres, Tina Fey and Samantha Bee.“The Daily Show” correspondent Jessica Williams was also put forward as a candidate, but she said that, being only 25, she is “extremely under-qualified.”
Additionally, several of the other suggested candidates such as John Oliver, Larry Wilmore, Jason Jones and Samantha Bee were all recently granted their own talk-shows elsewhere.
Noah does, however, bring diversity and variety to the screen. Not being from America, he’ll also have different perspective on the nation’s political happenings.
Noah will most likely take over for Stewart when he leaves sometime between July and the end of the year.
“It’s an honor to follow Jon Stewart,” Noah said in a press release. “He and the team at ‘The Daily Show’ have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world. In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.”
Photo courtesy Post Memes, Creative Commons