Trevor Noah to replace Jon Stewart as host of 'The Daily Show'

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It’s official: Comedy Central has announced that Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as the next host of “The Daily Show.”

Noah, a 31-year-old South Africa native, joined “The Daily Show” as a contributor in December 2014, and in recent days, had been tapped as the network’s likely choice for Stewart’s replacement.

“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent,” Comedy Central President Michele Ganeless said in a statement. “He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny.”

Noah has appeared on “The Daily Show” only three times, but he has plenty of talk show experience.

He hosted his own late-night talk show, “Tonight With Trevor Noah,” in South Africa, and he became the first South African stand-up comedian to perform on late-night television in the United States, appearing on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in 2012 and “Late Show With David Letterman” the following year. And his comedy special about growing up as a biracial child under Apartheid — "Trevor Noah: African American" —  premiered in the U.S. on Showtime in July 2013.


In February, Stewart announced that he would step down from “The Daily Show” later this year after more than 16 years as host.

“This show doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless host, and neither do you,” Stewart told the audience. “Seventeen years is the longest I have ever in my life held a job by 16 years and five months — the upshot there being, I am a terrible employee. But in my heart I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity.”

The choices for Stewart’s successor were limited by the departures of two of his cohorts: Stephen Colbert, who left Comedy Central in December after nine years as host of “The Colbert Report” and will eventually take over for Letterman on CBS; and John Oliver, who filled in for Stewart last summer before departing “The Daily Show” to launch his own late-night show, “Last Week Tonight” on HBO.

Other rumored replacements included current “Daily Show” correspondents Samantha Bee and Jessica Williams.

“We talked to women. We talked to men. We found in Trevor the best person for the job,” Ganeless told The New York Times. “You don’t hope to find the next Jon Stewart — there is no next Jon Stewart. So, our goal was to find someone who brings something really exciting and new and different.”


Stewart himself welcomed the choice of Noah.

“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Stewart said in a statement. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with. ... In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”


Other comedians, including Chris Rock, applauded the decision, too.


But those unfamiliar with Noah were perplexed.