Trevor Noah is stepping down as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” after seven years.
What You Need To Know
- Trevor Noah announced to his audience Thursday he is stepping down as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” after seven years
- Noah indicated that he missed touring as a stand-up comedian
- Neither Noah nor Comedy Central announced when his last show would be, and a successor was not immediately named
- Noah was a surprise pick in 2015 to replace Jon Stewart, who hosted the show for 16 years and turned it into a political comedy institution
Noah, 38, made the announcement to his audience at the taping of Thursday night’s show.
“It’s been absolutely amazing,” Noah said. “It’s something that I never expected. I found myself thinking throughout the time of everything we’ve gone through — the Trump presidency, the pandemic, just the journey, more pandemic — and I realize that after the seven years, my time is up.”
The announcement drew an audible gasp from the audience.
Noah indicated he missed touring as a stand-up comedian. Since taking over “The Daily Show,” he has continued to film stand-up specials and announced this week he will be touring in his native South Africa in 2023.
“I spent two years in my apartment, not on the road, and when I got back out there, I realized there’s another part of my life out there that I want to carry on exploring,” he said. “I miss learning other languages. I miss going to other countries and putting on shows.”
Neither Noah nor Comedy Central announced when his last show would be. A successor was not immediately named.
In a statement, Comedy Central said it is “grateful to Trevor for our amazing partnership over the past seven years.”
“With no timetable for his departure, we’re working together on next steps,” the network said. “As we look ahead, we’re excited for the next chapter in the 25+ year history of ‘The Daily Show’ as it continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences make sense of the world around them.”
Noah was a surprise pick in 2015 to replace Jon Stewart, who hosted the show for 16 years and turned it into a political comedy institution. At the time, Noah was largely unknown in the U.S., having briefly served as a contributor on the program. Noah remarked Thursday that he still thinks he was “a crazy choice” to host the show.
He, however, found following Stewart to be difficult.
“I will say the first two years were horrible — and it was horrible because I had taken over one of America’s most beloved institutions,” Noah told Variety in 2020. “And even though Jon Stewart had passed over the reins to me, it was essentially a year of people telling me I shouldn’t be doing the job and I was unworthy of being in that seat. And I continued to believe that.
“You step into this new role and you’re doing a new job and most of the first year was just trying to stay afloat, just trying not to get canceled and trying to find my footing. And the analogy I use is trying to learn how to fly a plane while the plane is flying. That’s what it felt like every single day.”
But Noah eventually settled in, putting his own stamp on the show. He embraced bringing an outsider perspective to American politics and other issues. Noah’s jokes and commentary about the Donald Trump presidency helped define his tenure, with him often impersonating Trump. And hosting the show from his apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic, he sometimes engaged in more serious interviews, including about race relations.
“I want to say thank you to you, to you who watched this,” Noah said Thursday. “I never dreamed that I would be here. I sort of feel like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ I came here for a tour of what the previous show was and then the next thing you know I was handed the keys.”