Trevor Noah took over the reigns of “The Daily Show” tonight, September 28, and he eased us into to the change with familiarity. It was hard for many to reconcile with the fact that Jon Stewart wanted to retire from being the host, so viewers can be rest assured that the format is primarily the same. Noah appeared likable, animated, and giddy and the studio audience was riled up and appreciative.
Before going to the regular first segment of current and political comedy including photographs and clips with humorously commenting, Trevor introduced himself in a way that reassured us that this is weird for him, too. The way he expressed it killed:
“This is surreal for me…growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed that I would one day have, well, two things really- an indoor toilet and a job as host of “The Daily Show”and now I have both and I’m quite comfortable with one of them.”
Noah thanked and honored Jon Stewart, calling him, “More than just a late night host. He was often our voice, our refuge, and in many ways, our political dad. It’s weird because dad has left and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad and he’s black.” Trevor acknowledged that a few women were offered the gig, as well as some other men from the United States, by quipping, “So once more a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant.”
The subject of John Boehner retiring was made into a comedy metaphor about another ‘Jon’ (Stewart) retiring and “Daily Show” correspondent, Jordan Klepper, freaking out about whether or not the replacement would work out. The second segment featured a new correspondent, Roy Wood, Jr. The final segment was the time allotted for the guest interview, as it has always been. Before the show ended, there was a “Moment of Zen”. So, this was all familiar territory.
Trevor Noah did a respectable job at filling the deeply revered seat of Jon Stewart on his first episode. The only visible awkwardness was during the interview segment with Kevin Hart, but I think that a lot of the problems there was brought on by the guest looking outwardly toward the studio audience instead of interacting face-to-face with Noah. As the interview went on, they both got better.
Trevor thanked the home audience for joining him and the staff at “The Daily Show” as they continue “The war on bullsh**.” This was a reference to what Jon Stewart said on his final episode as the host when he made a speech about it as he expressed, “Bullsh** is everywhere…If you smell something, say something.”