On Monday, Trevor Noah made his long-awaited debut as host of “The Daily Show.” Former host Jon Stewart announced his leave in February and presented his last episode in August.
Before Noah even began to speak, there were immediate differences between the two men. Stewart is a white 52-year-old American, while Noah is a biracial 31-year-old from South Africa. Ultimately, the new face on the show was refreshing and friendly.
Noah acknowledged the stark differences between the two hosts, but did not dwell on it. He joked about his South African roots, relating that he now fulfilled both of his childhood dreams of becoming a TV show host and using indoor toilets.
During the show, an entire sketch was dedicated to the host change, when Noah and “The Daily Show’s” senior congressional correspondent discussed John Boehner’s resignation as Speaker of the House. They talked about the high expectations for the new guy and the likelihood of his inevitable failure, while it was made very obvious to the audience they were actually referring to Noah’s new position.
It was necessary to thoroughly address Jon Stewart’s leave because he hosted the show for 16 years. However, Noah needed to ensure that he could make a name for himself as well, and the entire show was not solely based around Stewart’s absence.
He did just that with his coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to America, incorporating Pope puns and Pope emoji jokes. The audience demonstrated their appreciation for Noah with excessive clapping and laughter; always a good sign.
Roy Woods Jr., the show’s “senior Mars correspondent,” and Noah had a skit together about the discovery of water on the planet. While the conversation was certainly entertaining, the humor relied a little too heavily on the races of the men. Woods lamented that black people would never be the first ones sent to the planet, which gave the skit a slightly sad undertone, not quite suitable for a comedy show.
The guest interview with Kevin Hart fell a little flat, but Noah did a fine job questioning him. It was Hart’s arrogant attitude about his body and career that made the conversation unpleasant.
Overall, Noah balanced an excellent combination of giving tribute to Stewart and creating a new show for himself. His aura of innocence positively contributed to his charming personality and cute, fresh face. I look forward to seeing where the show goes from here.