The Case For Giving Trevor Noah a Chance

Why experience, and room to grow, can trump a thousand armchair thinkpieces.

Image courtesy of Comedy Central.

Early into Trevor Noah’s first broadcast as host of The Daily Show, he promised the audience he’d “continue the war on bullshit.” It was a reference to beloved former host Jon Stewart’s parting words on his final broadcast and a confident way to kick off a new era. When you are newly at the helm of a pop culture product that a loyal viewer following holds so precious, it’s a courtesy to tip your hat to the man who made it so. But for Noah’s debut, it was also a necessity.

On the heels of the announcement that he would be taking over the post, there was a flurry of Internet deep-diving to “expose” Noah as a hack and unqualified to do the job. (Google “Trevor Noah not funny” and you’ll find pages of collected years-old tweets with the “evidence.”) And yes, a lot of the quips from Noah’s past were pulled from low-hanging fruit—namely “fat chicks” and dubious racial commentary—but, hey guess what, we’re supposed to get better at our jobs over time.

But before Noah could even utter the first words of his inaugural monologue, he was already being scrutinized. Writer and UPenn professor Sophia A. McClennan essentially “precapped” how he would fare as host over at Salon—good for FOX News, bad for the audience. While her piece was heftily supported by evidence of Stewart’s excellence at political satire and a critique of Noah’s international perspective (which is, arguably, a good thing as the presidential campaign and the issues of our global relations and positions on immigration continue to ramp up), it was missing one key thing from its critique: An actual episode of The Daily Show with Noah at the helm.

Noah, new correspondent Roy Wood Jr., and TDS’s writing staff all performed well last night, riffing on the newly-discovered flowing water on Mars (with apt racial commentary that is becoming part of Comedy Central’s fabric) and John Boehner’s departure as Speaker Of The House. It was with the latter that they were able to make even more fun of how much Noah seems unwelcome by the public, using the name John/Jon as marker for fear of change. And, again, no matter the host, “Jon Is Gone” jokes would have been written.

What doesn’t need to be written, however, are “hot takes” on something that doesn’t yet exist. And the main takeaway from last night’s show should be that new things not only need time to breathe before they are put under a microscope, but also need to happen before declarations can be made about what they are. McClennan wrote, “Thus far Noah seems to neither get the significance of ‘Bullshit Mountain’ nor even care.” Instead, it was the first pledge Noah made behind the desk. Perhaps thinkpiece writers should make that vow, too.


September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less