On September 28th, South African comedian Trevor Noah will replace Jon Stewart as the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
Noah’s succession hasn’t exactly been smooth, but the 31-year-old is confident he’ll work out the kinks once he’s in the hosting chair.
“I have a very vague picture of the show right now,” Noah tells GQ in a new interview. “It will be like a face-lift. Because, don’t get it twisted, I’m a big fan of ‘The Daily Show,’ and that’s what it’s still gonna be. It’s still gonna be ‘The Daily Show.’ It’s the same way, when Fallon took over from Leno, it’s still ‘The Tonight Show.'”
When GQ writer Zach Baron pointed out that Fallon has actually completely transformed “The Tonight Show,” especially when it comes to viral videos and social media, Noah agreed but explains that it felt like a natural shift, and he hopes to have a similar transition. “Just the mere fact that I’m gonna be there in the chair changes a whole bunch of the show, you know?”
And Noah is aware that he may face backlash after replacing the beloved Jon Stewart. In March, the comedian got a taste of controversy after some arguably offensive old Tweets of his were unearthed and caused a backlash against the host-to-be.
But Noah is ready for the criticism that comes with change.
“A guy doesn’t leave and another guy comes in and there’s no backlash. That never, ever happens,” he explains to GQ. “When Michael B. Jordan got cast as the new Human Torch in ‘Fantastic Four,’ there was backlash, because they were like, ‘How can this fictional character be a black man?’ The new storm trooper from ‘Star Wars,’ when he took his helmet off in the trailer, people lost their minds. ‘This is ridiculous. How can there be black people in space?’ I didn’t know what the backlash was gonna be, but I knew there was going to be backlash. The same thing when Larry Wilmore took over from Colbert: ‘Oh, this is never gonna work. This is horrible.'”
Despite any past controversy, Comedy Central stands behind their pick for Stewart’s replacement. With Noah being just 31-years-old, the network believes he can draw in his peers and add a new demo for the show.
“It is going to be really reflective of a millennial audience and a millennial point of view,” Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless assures GQ. “He is a student of our culture. But he looks at it from a very different perspective.”
Also, Ganeless adds, he is “super, super funny.” Noah “really understands our audience, because he is one of them.” Still, she says, “I will not lie. Yes: I have moments of great anxiety.”
Read Trevor Noah’s full interview with GQ here.
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