September 29, 2015 – After months of build-up, South African comedian Trevor Noah slid comfortably into the anchor chair of Comedy Central’sThe Daily Show. Noah’s early minutes were spent praising his predecessor Jon Stewart, the patriarch of the franchise and the audience.
“I can only assume this is as strange for you as it is for me. Now it feels like the family has a new stepdad and he’s black. Which is not ideal.”
The comedian, known internationally for his tackling of social and political issues, gracefully segued into the controversial topic of his own selection as host for the flagship program – in doing so, he openly admitted that he was no one’s first choice. Noah noted that many had wanted a female anchor, and at least one (Amy Schumer), turned down the gig. Others wanted a comic from the United States – several of those passed as well, lobbing this punchline to the new host:
“Once again a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant.”
Throughout the opening Noah held a fine balance of humility and appreciation, but also an underlying confidence that he was thoroughly up to the task.
“This is surreal for me. Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed one day I would have two things — an indoor toilet and a job as host of ‘The Daily Show.’ And now I have both. I’m quite comfortable with one of them.”
References to Jon Stewart continued throughout as Noah promised to make the best of the opportunity in hopes that Stewart wouldn’t end up “look(ing) like the crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid from Africa.”
Noah finished his opening with a final callback to Jon Stewart and his faithful flock.
“Thank you for joining us as we continue the war on bullshit.”
Enjoy Trevor Noah’s first appearance as The Daily Show anchor here courtesy of Comedy Central: