how trevor know get the daily show
Source: Getty Images

Trevor Noah Went From a South African Comedian to Hosting "The Daily Show"


Jan. 7 2021, Published 2:14 p.m. ET

Trevor Noah, the host of The Daily Show, has made a name for himself in the world of social and political commentary. Originally from South Africa, he replaced Jon Stewart as the host of the show in 2015. Stewart hosted the show for over a decade.

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Noah may feel like a natural fit for the show now, but before he got the role he was relatively unknown in the U.S. Although he made a name for himself in South Africa, he didn't have much exposure to U.S. audiences before he landed his current role.  

trevor noah tv career
Source: Getty Images
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How Trevor Noah became famous

Being the host of The Daily Show made Noah a household name, but he started his career as a standup comedian. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Noah said that the laws in South Africa limited what he could say as a comedian and what he could do as a black man. 

"If you were gathered in a group, especially if you were black people, you would go to jail, because obviously you were planning something," said Noah. He also said that speaking out against the government is also illegal in South Africa. 

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Noah told Fallon that he got into stand up comedy because his cousin got drunk and started taunting other comedians. When they were confronted, his cousin told him to go on stage and show these comedians what he could do. "I still don't know what I'm doing," he said. "I just talk and when the people stop laughing, I'll just wave and go home."

Source: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon YouTube Channel
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Noah wasn't well known in the U.S. comedy scene and only had a few appearances on TV in front of U.S. audiences before he got his current role. In a few of those appearances, Noah was a correspondent on The Daily Show while Stewart hosted.

Numerous people turned down the opportunity to host The Daily Show including Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler, and Chris Rock, according to Variety. When Stewart was in talks to leave the show, Michele Ganeless, the president of Comedy Central, suggested Noah. 

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Is Trevor Noah a U.S. citizen?

It isn't clear if Noah is currently a U.S. citizen. In 2016, he told Lindsey Graham that he wasn't and that he didn't have a green card. Graham warned him, "If I were you, I'd’ be in a hurry. If Trump wins, your days are numbered, pal. Young Black liberal guy from Africa is not going to work with him."

Noah's status might have changed because the interview was back in 2016. Noah moved to the U.S. in July 2015, according to his interview with Fallon. 

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Who are Trevor Noah's parents?

Noah was born to a black South African mother and a white European father. At the time he was born, his parents' relationship was illegal in the country because The Apartheid made interracial relationships illegal. 

In an interview with The Howard Stern Show, Noah talked about how his father didn't "understand racism in that way" and his mother really wanted a baby. Noah painted her as a rebel saying that she chose to have a baby with a white man because the government told her she couldn't. 

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Source: The Howard Stern Show's YouTube Channel

Trevor Noah went to college

According to The Independent, Noah went to Maryvale College in Johannesburg. However, the article didn't mention what he studied or if he got a degree.


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