NEW YORK (JTA) – Trevor Noah, a biracial comedian from South Africa, will succeed Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central.
Noah, 31, joined the show as recently as September, and has had only three appearances on the program, according to The New York Times. In one, Noah lampooned the dearth of attention that the Western world devotes to Africa, particularly the misdeeds of the Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.
Stewart, 52, announced last month that he’d be retiring this year from “The Daily Show,” which he has hosted since 1999 and has become a cultural touchstone in some ways more influential in U.S. politics than serious-minded evening news programs. Stewart, who was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz and is from New Jersey, often references his Jewish background on the show.
The winner of several Emmy and Peabody awards during Stewart’s tenure, “The Daily Show” also has become a launching ground for myriad successful comedians, including Steve Carell, star of the groundbreaking NBC comedy “The Office”; Stephen Colbert, who is slated to take over CBS’s “Late Show” from David Letterman; John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”; and Larry Wilmore, host of “The Nightly Show” on Comedy Central.
Noah made his U.S. television debut in 2012 on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno and also has appeared on Letterman; on both shows he was the first-ever South African stand-up comedian, according to Comedy Central. In his native South Africa, Noah hosted his own late-night program, “Tonight with Trevor Noah.”