“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”?
Trevor Noah, the new host of Comedy Central’s program “The Daily Show,” made his debut on Sept. 28 and critics seem to agree that at least for the premiere, not much seems to have changed since host Jon Stewart, under whose leadership the show became a cultural institution, departed earlier this year. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up for the viewer to decide.
Noah served as a correspondent on “Daily” before it was announced that he would serve as host after Stewart left. All of the correspondents who served under Stewart are reportedly still there and the writers are mostly the same, with a few added for Noah’s tenure.
For those who missed seeing Stewart at the desk, Noah addressed the ghost in the room pretty quickly.
“I can assume that this is as strange for you as it is for me,” Noah said. “Jon Stewart was more than just a late-night host. He was often our voice, our refuge, and in many ways, our political dad. And it’s weird, because Dad has left.” He also added, “Thank you, Jon. Thank you for believing in me. I’m not quite sure what you saw in me, but I’ll work hard every day to find it. And I’ll make you not look like the crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid in Africa.”
From then on, the format of the show wouldn’t have startled any longtime “Daily” viewers. Noah covered the headlines of the day, such as news about Mars and about the departure of Speaker of the House John Boehner, and spoke with Jordan Klepper and Roy Wood Jr., who are correspondents. The interview for this show was comedian Kevin Hart and it was all wrapped up with a “moment of zen,” with this one featuring Nancy Pelosi.
One joke Noah made near the opening of the show acknowledged a presence that’s still missing in late night, even as the hiring of Noah, who is from South Africa, is a step forward. “It turns out that Comedy Central did ask women to host, and the women they asked turned the job down because they had better things to do and clearly knew something I didn’t,” Noah said.
A recent issue of Vanity Fair that featured the current late-night hosts brought home anew the lack of women in the late-night lineup. Samantha Bee, who is formerly of “The Daily Show,” will debut a late-night program on TBS in January and Chelsea Handler, who hosted a late-night show on E!, will reportedly debut a talk show on Netflix in 2016.