Trevor Noah Is Leaving. Late Night Is 'as White' as Ever

Diverse guests added to 'sly radicalism' of 'The Daily Show' under his tenure: Adrian Horton
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2022 1:51 PM CST
Trevor Noah Is Leaving. Late Night Is 'as White' as Ever
Trevor Noah appears at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

After more than seven years as host, Trevor Noah's final episode of The Daily Show airs Thursday. The South African comedian previously described his exit as "a joyous thing," noting the pandemic gave him a chance to consider what he'd "like to do differently," per Entertainment Tonight. "I'm so excited to do everything,” he added. But joy isn't quite the reaction of the Guardian's Adrian Horton. "The field post-Noah is as white, straight, and male as when he arrived" and "will feel less spirited without him, for he is leaving a Daily Show that, for the most part and against many bets, succeeded as his own," she writes.

Though the "age for late-night or political comedy passed" before Noah took over from Jon Stewart in September 2015, he "managed to make The Daily Show his own, one that appealed to younger audiences with short online clips, digital culture-heavy jokes, and references rooted in Noah's experience as a (sometimes) single millennial attached to his phone," writes Horton. "Noah and his writers capitalized on his perspective as an outsider, both as an immigrant to the US and as one of the few late-night hosts of color" and turned the show "into informative, irreverent, at times essential viewing."

"Less prone to anger than Stewart, endeavoring to see multiple perspectives, more thoughtful than spiky but still keen to needle a predominantly white liberal audience," Noah interviewed "more women, more people of color, more experts and authors who could inject a sly radicalism (on, say, prison abolition) that no network late-night show reached for," Horton adds. And his show became "one of the most dynamic and actually insightful in a genre that has long felt stymied." Noah's replacement hasn't been announced, though upcoming guest hosts include Al Franken, Chelsea Handler, DL Hughley, Leslie Jones, Hasan Minhaj, Kal Penn, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, John Leguizamo, and Marlon Wayans, per CNN. (More Trevor Noah stories.)

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