Trevor Noah’s ‘Daily Show’ appointment stirs controversy

By: Alex Spindler ~Arts & Entertainment Editor~

Almost two months following Jon Stewart’s announcement that he would depart from his longrunning, critically-acclaimed “The Daily Show,” producers stated that correspondent Trevor Noah will take over as host either in late 2015 or early 2016. However, a slew of critics have pointed to the South African comedian’s Twitter account as reason not to promote him to Stewart’s host spot. The resultant struggle ignited a firestorm of controversy. Noah had previously tweeted what some alleged to be offensive comments about women and Jewish people. Over the years, Noah has garnered a reputation for being subversive and controversial in his comedic style.

From his earliest stand-up routines to his recent work on “The Daily Show,” Noah has attracted polarized reviews for his blunt approach to topics such as racism, sexism and homophobia. Though many American viewers may not recognize Noah or his comedy, Noah is well-known on the international stage, primarily due to his ability to speak multiple languages. Noah is fluent in English, German, Xhosa, isiZulu, Sotho and Afrikaans.

Trevor Noah, with his satirical comedic style, is to take over as ‘The Daily Show’ host in either late 2015 or in 2016.
Trevor Noah, with his satirical comedic style, is to take over as ‘The Daily Show’ host in either late 2015 or in 2016.

In response, the producers of Comedy Central, the channel that broadcasts “The Daily Show” have defended their choice to pick Noah specifically. Noah defended himself and his true perspective on these issues, saying that his progressive views and childhood in Apartheid South Africa have shaped his comedy in a way that not only entertains but also satirically brings light to very serious issues.

“To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, or my evolution as a comedian,” Noah tweeted. Stewart himself supports the decision and believes that a handful of tweets does not define Noah’s character or his talent.

Fellow South African comedians Loyiso Gola and John Vlismas congratulated Noah on the appointment and cannot wait to see him succeed. Noah’s impending succession to the late-night comedy stage comes after many other comedians have relinquished their spots.

James Corden recently took over for Craig Ferguson on “The Late Late Show” on CBS, Larry Willmore converted Stephen Colbert’s “The Colbert Report” into “The Nightly Show,” also on Comedy Central, and Colbert is expected to succeed David Letterman on “The Late Show” on CBS.

As Noah prepares to take Stewart’s position in the coming months, a plethora of both cheers and jeers for Noah’s performance is bound to ensue.