×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Daily Show’: Trevor Noah Emerges on Short List to Replace Jon Stewart (EXCLUSIVE)

Trevor Noah joined “The Daily Show” as a contributor only at the end of last year, but he could soon find himself serving as an integral part of the program.

Noah is gaining consideration as a potential successor to Jon Stewart, the Comedy Central mainstay’s longtime host, according to a person familiar with the matter, and if successful, could get a crack at becoming one of the more influential voices in latenight.

There is no guarantee that Noah will inherit Stewart’s seat, and no final decision has been reached, this person cautioned. Comedy Central’s selection process has accelerated in recent days, this person said. And Noah, a South African comedian, has moved to a short list being put together by executives at the Viacom-owned cable outlet.

A Comedy Central spokesman declined to comment on whether Noah was under consideration, or on efforts to identify a new host for “The Daily Show.”

The looming choice is crucial for Comedy Central. “The Daily Show” is arguably the network’s signature show, and Comedy Central last year bid farewell to another latenight mainstay, Stephen Colbert. He anchored “The Colbert Report,” a half-hour program following “The Daily Show” that gave Comedy Central a one-two punch in the fight to woo young audiences to its schedule. He will soon take up David Letterman’s place on CBS’ “Late Show.” The search for Stewart’s successor takes place as Comedy Central is showing a new program in Colbert’s 11:30 p.m. slot, “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore,” which uses comedy to explore culture, politics and race.

Comedy Central is already the only network to feature an African-American host in latenight: Larry Wilmore, a veteran producer and writer whose program has won some plaudits even as it continues to experiment with its format. Should Noah get the nod, the network would add a black comedian to the timeslot as competitors rely on white males and as many TV networks recognize the need to appeal more directly to America’s growing multicultural viewership.

Like Stewart, Noah is no stranger to tackling thorny issues. In South Africa, he was known for riffing on the topics of race and politics, even using his mixed-race parentage to get laughs. Noting that his mother is a black South African and his father a white Swiss, he once told an audience, “I was born a crime,” according to a 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal.

And he has experience with wee-hours programming, He hosted a latenight show in South Africa for two seasons, according to a biography located at his website, which bills him as the first standup comedian from South Africa to appear on either NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” or CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman.”

Since Stewart announced in February he expected to step down from his perch at the program sometime between July and the end of 2015, a number of obvious candidates to succeed him have made plans of their own. Samantha Bee, a veteran “Daily Show” contributor, has accepted a deal to start a similar “funny-news” program at Time Warner’s TBS. Both she and her husband, “Daily Show” contributor Jason Jones, are also producing a comedy for that network, in which Jones will star. Jessica Williams, another rising “Daily Show” presence, recently took to Twitter to declare herself “unqualified” for the role.

“The Daily Show” has had just two hosts since launching on Comedy Central in 1996: Craig Kilborn and Jon Stewart. Both were in their 30s when they took the reins of the program, and both were seen as up-and-comers, not entrenched players in the TV business. Noah was born in 1984, which would make him about 31 years old.

Under Kent Alterman, president of original programming, Comedy Central has sought people able to articulate a unique world view. The network has found success with programs featuring comedienne Amy Schumer as well as Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, a duo who star in the program “Broad City.”

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

More TV

  • Longtime '60 Minutes' Producer Alan Weisman

    Longtime '60 Minutes' Producer Alan Weisman Dies at 68

    Alan Weisman, a longtime producer for “60 Minutes” known for his work with Morley Safer, died Thursday at his home in New Jersey of natural causes. He was 68. Weisman produced some of Safer’s most memorable “60 Minutes” segments, including the 1984 profile of Jackie Gleason and the 1989 jailhouse interview that brought national attention [...]

  • Khloe KardashianKhloe Kardashian, Emma Grede and

    Khloe Kardashian To 'Bachelor' Creator: 'Stop Or You Will Be Hearing From My Lawyers'

    UPDATE: Khloe Kardashian slams “Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss’ claims she could be the next “Bachelorette.” And her sister Kim Kardashian West has her back. I’m not fucking clickbait right now. Stop or you will be hearing from my lawyers. How insensitive!! https://t.co/vTKi83nLUJ — Khloé (@khloekardashian) February 24, 2019 The time has come to choose a [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content