Trevor Noah has been picked to fill Jon Stewart’s larger-than-life shoes as host of The Daily Show. Here are five key facts about the relatively unknown – at least until Monday morning – new face of the Comedy Central program.
1. This isn’t his first hosting gig. Based on social media reaction, no one in the US seems to have a clue as to who Noah is. However, he has a major international following, having hosted a variety of TV programs in South Africa over the past decade.
In addition, he has hosted major award ceremonies there, such as the South Africa Film and Television Awards in 2009, and the South African Music Awards in 2010. He was also nominated for Personality of the Year at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards and was recently featured on the cover of GQ South Africa.
The comedian made his debut on US TV in 2012, appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the following year he appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.
2. He is well-versed. Noah speaks six South African languages, in addition to English and German.
3. He offers a global perspective. As Noah grew up in Johannesburg, South African politics, race, and ethnicity are prevalent themes in his comedy routines.
When debuting on The Daily Show last December as a senior international correspondent, he used the opportunity to discuss the Islamist group Boko Haram's violent attacks in Nigeria.
"Sometimes it just feels like Africa's the Vegas of Islamic terror," he said on the show. "What happens in Africa, stays in Africa."
He also brought up ignorance about topics such as Ebola and Africa and carried the same conversation to his performance on the UK televised charity event Red Nose Day earlier this month, recounting his experience as an "Ebola threat" on an American flight.
4. He has no problem being controversial. Noah received flack from celebrities and fans on social media in February 2013, when, in response to fellow South African Oscar Pistorius’ arrest for murdering his girlfriend, he tweeted: "And the Oscar goes to – Jail."
And the Oscar goes to - jail— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) February 14, 2013
5. He has spokesperson experience. Noah became South African cellular provider Cell C’s spokesperson in 2010, with campaigns portraying him as a customer experience officer, or "CEO." But the brand ended its relationship with Noah in anticipation of new products in 2012.