Rumors began to surface over the weekend that Trevor Noah, the very handsome 31-year-old South African comedian and current Daily Show correspondent, was on the shortlist to take over for Jon Stewart later this year. That is now official, and Comedy Central plans to make the announcement later this afternoon, according to the NYTimes. Noah, new to the show, has only appeared in three segments with Stewart so far, so this announcement comes as something of a surprise. The Times caught up with Noah on one of his comedy stops in Dubai and got a quote:
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Mr. Noah said of learning about his new job. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”
Jon Stewart also confirmed:
“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Mr. Stewart said in a statement. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” Mr. Stewart added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”
And yes, before you ask, Comedy Central addressed the “why not a female” question:
Michele Ganeless, the Comedy Central president, said in an interview: “We talked to women. We talked to men. We found in Trevor the best person for the job.”
Ms. Ganeless added: “You don’t hope to find the next Jon Stewart - there is no next Jon Stewart. So, our goal was to find someone who brings something really exciting and new and different.”
It’s not a sexy, high-profile choice (although, he is a sexy man), but the unknown factor also gives Comedy Central some time to develop Noah before expectations are piled upon him. He has huge footsteps to follow. I wish him the best of luck. No pressure, he’s just charged with upholding A POLITICAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTION.
Here he is in action. He’s quick-witted, political, and charming as all hell.