Trevor Noah made his hosting debut on Comedy Central's The Daily Show Monday night. The 31-year-old South African-born comedian quickly paid tribute to his predecessor Jon Stewart, saying he 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 and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad... and he's black," Noah said, he acknowledged that he has large shoes to fill, as Stewart created America's favourite political satire and was the host for 16-years.
Noah quickly addressed the lack of diversity in late night, saying that Comedy Central offered the hosting job to a female comedian [Amy Schumer] and to other Americans who ultimately turned it down: “Once again, a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant.”
Noah began his tenure with his monologue on Pope Francis, who wrapped up his tour of the states this past weekend. He said that the pope “hates inequality, climate change, loves immigrants — he’s like a young Bernie Sanders.”
He touched on House Speaker John Boehner's resignation calling him the former bouncer at "Club congress." And that Boehner's replacement must have a “hair trigger set of tear ducts that go off any time a child picks a flower.”
Correspondent Roy Woods Jr surprised as a breakout star and provided a fresh voice while covering the recent NASA discovery that water exists on Mars: “Great news for NASA but depressing news for California," Noah quipped.
Woods Jr quickly reminded Noah that he may not have a ticket to Mars: "You've only had the show for one commercial break — these white people ain't decide if they like you yet!"
Noah's solid debut was slightly hindered by his interviewing skills. The comedian conducted a lackluster interview with actor/comedian Kevin Hart, who brought Noah a box of ties and Noah only barely cracked a smile.
"I was expecting a bigger reaction, but okay," Hart admitted. Interviewing was also one of Jon Stewart's weakpoints, asking softball questions to his guests. Noah would be smart to look to other Daily Show alumni namely Stephen Colbert and Jon Oliver.
Comedy Central streams each episode for free live on their website, and their parent company Viacom debuted Noah's premiere on several broadcasts including Comedy Central, VH1, MTV and more.