Trevor Noah does it good

We all remember when the once-beloved Jon Stewart abandoned America, said “Adios, Mother[expletive deleted]” and rode off into the New Jersey sunset to hobnob with the people he preferred to the rest of us: his family. After nearly 17 years keeping us comforted and humored, he walked out on America — what a selfish prick.

He promised The Daily Show would go on, just under new leadership, a new ass in the chair, as their promos said.

But it wasn’t even an American ass, or even another snarky white ass — nor a woman — but A Black South African ass — what?

Noaw-Pope1Did they hire from within? Give the job to a deserving correspondent who had worked there for years, playing second fiddle to Stewart? No. They gave the chair to a guy who had only been in three segments before, four if you count Stewart’s fare three well episode. They gave the seat to Trevor Noah.

Yeah, “Who the fuck is he?” What does he know about a nation divided by, among other things, race? What does he know about social injustice? What does he know about racism? What does he know about the 24-hour news cycle and Fox News? Does he know anything about anything important o Americans? Does he know about the Kardashians and baseball, for god sakes!

Well, Trevor Effin’ Noah is a South African of Swiss and African descent. His father is a white Swiss guy and his mother a libertine from South Africa who flaunted the Apartheid laws by carrying on with a white man (Trevor’s father).

  • A “libertine” is what you call someone who isn’t following the morals laws and flaunting their disrespect for authority in the process. Other might refer to Noah’s mother as “liberated.”

Like a lot of boys on their way to adulthood Noah disappointed his father and became a stand up comedian. Well, we can relate. He speaks English more fluently and cleanly than most Americans born in this country, which should be embarrassing to those A

Noah-MetsHis dream was to make it big in America and it appears he is on his way to do that, although his tenure at the Daily Show is still young and he could experience a Conan-replaced-by-Leno moment You never know; the reality of spending a lot of time with one’s family could be too much for Stewart so he returns and demands his old job back.

  • It’s happened in late night before, Noah.

But that’s not likely to happen at The Daily Show. On his first night as the new host Trevor Noah killed it. He referred to Stewart as the dad who left the family and he, Noah, was the new step-dad — and a black one at that. Women were asked to take over as host, but according to Noah, the declined because they know something he doesn’t. American comedians were asked to host, and all of them declined. So, as Noah told us, once again a job rejected by Americans was being taken by an immigrant.

His jokes were funny. The studio audience laughed and had me rolling with laughter as well. He made a joke about the Mets making the playoffs, the joke being he didn’t know what “that” was, but Jon Stewart told Noah it would be a good line. It’s a good bet Noah knows a little more about baseball than that. His first segment was about the Pope’s visit to America, or more accurately, the news coverage of the Pope’s visit to America.

Pope-Monies — yep, it looks like The Daily Show is picking up where Jon Stewart left it. It was Pope-eriffic.

Noah-Roy WoodHe introduced a new correspondent, Roy Wood, Jr., who did a bit about water being discovered on Mars. After Noah joked about scientists discovering water on California too.

Jordan Klepper returned for a segment about John Boehner resigning, only to turn it into a bit about Jon Stewart leaving. Both bits were pretty funny and it’s obvious the Daily Show has kept the same staff that provided the research and jokes that made Jon Stewart a household name.

His first guest was comedian and actor Kevin Hart. It was awkward, but Noah and Hart got more than a few laughs.

Trevor Noah’s first episode has host of The Daily Show was a success.

Besides keeping the show’s staff intact, the producers kept the opening sequence and music, with some changes to the bottom graphics. It is The Daily Show, just with a new face.

The new look of The Daily Show graphics, with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
The new look of The Daily Show graphics, with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Usually when hosts change in late night everything about that show changes. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert looks nothing like the show when David Letterman was the host. Same with The Tonight Show, which isn’t even in L.A. anymore. When Jimmy Fallon took over it moved back to New York.

So The Daily Show is doing something different: it’s keeping most of the show intact, just changing the ass in the chair. Noah acknowledged the viewers watching on their phones, giving a nod to the new technology of these times.

That could be the one criticism of the new show: it looks and sounds too much like the Jon Stewart version. At some point Noah is going to have to put his imprint on the show, give it his flavor, his mark — in other words make viewers think of him before Jon Stewart when they think about The Daily Show. There’s a lot to be said for changing everything, as Fallon and Colbert did. For Noah and the staff at Comedy Central, they will have to find that balance.

The show ended with the moment of Zen, which really has never been Zen-like. Last night it was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stammering about whether she would miss John Boehner or not.

Trevor Noah lamenting the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner, right when he was taking over the show.
Trevor Noah lamenting the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner, right when he was taking over the show.

From there it went to Larry Wilmore, who follows with The Nightly Show. Wilmore is hip and confident, delivering humor and very sharp pokes at people in the news, as he did last night when he took down Jeb! Bush for accusing the Democrats of giving black people “free stuff” to win their votes. Larry Wilmore was a great choice to follow Colbert in that time slot.

With Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore heading up late night on Comedy Central — with Chris Hardwick bringing up the rear on @Midnight — the network could still be the best TV after 11 p.m.

We knew it was going in the right direction when Noah assured us The Daily Show would continue, “The War on Bullshit.”