The Daily Show new host Trevor Noah a global option to replace Jon Stewart
|21/02/2019||Posted by admin under 南京夜网||
Jon Stewart will soon finish his hosting duties on satirical news program The Daily Show. Photo: Comedy CentralWhen Jon Stewart announced he would soon retire from The Daily Show back in February, it unleashed both a cacophony of grief from fans (at levels usually reserved for a celebrity death or fall of an empire), and frenzied speculation in the United States about who among the nation’s comedians could possibly fill Stewart’s enormous shoes.
The Daily Show is not just a TV show, it’s an American institution: beloved by the young and progressive, hated by the right, a rare chance to see politicians and news anchors expertly filleted and mocked, and a genuine source of news, ranking in popularity alongside serious newspapers and websites.
So it was surprise to many when on Monday morning, news broke that the new host wasn’t to be an American at all.
When Stewart finishes up in the role later this year, he will be replaced by Trevor Noah, a South African comedian who has built up a strong profile on the global comedy circuit with his distinct riffs on race, identity and culture. Noah, who has done three guest spots on The Daily Show in the past year, was born in South Africa to a black Xhosa mother and white Swiss father. His routines have explored his childhood growing up as a mixed-race child under apartheid, where his mother would have to drop his hand in public in front of police so she would not be identified as having a biracial son.
“It was horrible for me, I felt like a bag of weed” he now jokes.
Noah, 31, is both earnest and irreverent, political but not always politically correct. In his appearances on The Daily Show – he’s appeared three times in guest spots – he’s turned his wit to taking digs at the ignorant way Africa is perceived in the West, and the hypocritical way the rest of the world sometimes views issues like African poverty or violence, while ignoring such problems in their own countries.
“You know what African mothers tell their children everyday?” Noah said on the show. “Be grateful for what you have, because there are fat children starving in Mississippi.”
As news of his appointment spread today reaction seemed to shift quickly from confusion (“Trevor who?”), to disappointment that a woman had not been hired, to pleasant surprise at Noah’s impressive but little-known body of work.
Some have said his appearances on The Daily Show were a little hit and miss, but there’s been near universal praise for his stand-up comedy, like this widely shared clip of his appearance on Live at the Apollo.
While lampooning American ignorance may be a key part of Noah’s comedy arsenal, his appointment as The Daily Show host is being welcomed as a positive sign about the slow but sure growing diversity on American television, and the willingness to embrace a performer with a truly international perspective.
The announcement comes at a time when American television is starting to look and sound more and more like American society – an immigrant nation that is diverse in so many ways. Strong black female characters helm dramas like Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. Asian Americans are the stars – not the sidekicks – on the primetime sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, while transgender actress Laverne Cox is a breakout star of Orange is the New Black. Larry Wilmore, an African-American comedian, recently launched his own late night talk show on Comedy Central, The Nightly Show, where race is front and centre of political humour.
It’s not a utopian, post-racial culture by any means, and some networks and genres have been more progressive than others. But change is underway, slowly. Now, it has reached late night talk shows, a genre where older, white men have long dominated.
Some commentators have today raised questions about whether Noah, who has lived in the US for a limited period, will be able to continue The Daily Show’s laser focus on the intricacies of local politics, particularly as the US prepares for another presidential election. Stewart was as much a astute political junkie as he was comedian. In this respect, Noah is perceived as something of a gamble.
But his appointment also follows the success of another Daily Show breakout star, John Oliver, a British comedian whose outsider takes on American politics and culture behind the desk at Last Week Tonight on HBO have proved a huge success with both their local television audience and a broader international audience online. Like Oliver, Noah’s brand of comedy doesn’t try to ingratiate himself with Americans by erasing his different background. Instead he puts difference and outsider observations at the heart of his comedy itself, holding a sometimes unflattering mirror up to his new home, as well as the rest of the world.
“You have to wonder if there’s been an Oliver Effect,” asked Time magazine today, “showing the appeal and potential of taking a more global perspective on what is, after all, a very large news world.”
While many people (Australians chief among them) like to stereotype Americans as parochial, ignorant and comically inward-looking, the success of comedians like Noah reveals a far more nuanced picture is emerging.
It’s one that should perhaps have Australian audiences questioning what progress we have made in our own country when it comes to putting diverse, challenging voices on television. 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, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.