Two years ago, I jumped into a cab with Trevor Noah, on a hot and oh-so-sweaty NYC night, to grab a quick interview with him as he dashed from one show at the Culture Project to another at the Comedy Cellar. It was but one of the adventures I’ve covered of his, as he’s made his way through stand-up shows, late-night TV appearances on Leno and Letterman and then becoming a contributor to The Daily Show.
Today, the next adventure has been announced. On Friday, news came that Trevor Noah had made a shortlist of possible candidates to take over from Jon Stewart when he leaves Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Jon, who has been a fan of Noah’s for a while now, is set to leave any time between July and the end of this year. Today it’s been confirmed Noah will indeed take over the reigns. He’ll be third person to host, since the show premiered in 1996.
The New York Times reports Jon saying, “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with,” adding in the statement that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”
Trevor, meanwhile, is on tour in Dubai, but he tweeted out his response:
No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 30, 2015
In taking over what The Daily Beast calls the hottest job in America, Trevor’s job will be to helm 160 shows a year, with 20 or so minutes of fresh material every night of the week. It’s not known yet exactly when Trevor will take over, and the news is somewhat unexpected, if very welcome by South Africans. He had only been on the show three times. But it seems that’s all it took. Comedy Central told the NY Times it drew up “a shortlist of possible successors and Trevor checked off every box on that list and then some.” No doubt Americans will have their opinions on the matter – does he have the experience or the profile? But as Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless says, “You don’t hope to find the next Jon Stewart – there is no next Jon Stewart.” They were looking for someone who brings something exciting and new and different, and they found him.