Exactly two months before his Sept. 28 “Daily Show” debut, and just about one week prior to Jon Stewart’s final bow, Trevor Noah entertained a crowd full of reporters and critics at an intimate comedy show hosted by Comedy Central Tuesday evening, as a special event for the annual Television Critics Association press tour.
Donning a casual yet dapper look in a navy blazer and sneakers, the late night newbie impressed the theater at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage with his spot-on accent impressions — not to mention his very own charming South African accent.
During his set, Noah brought attention to hot-button headlines, including a hysterical bit on Ebola and a more somber moment about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Throughout much of his time on stage, he discussed racial inequality, emphasizing recent police attacks on African Americans, making a mention of Trayvon Martin. Many of Noah’s jokes ended with commentary on the media coverage surrounding these events.
“It’s always gang-related,” Noah said of news reports jumping to quick conclusions, when covering crimes involving African Americans.
He also made fun of Paula Deen’s racial slur faux pas, leading into an extended run on racism in America. “In my opinion racism is a disease,” Noah said.
During the show, the new TV host sprinkled in bits about his family, such as having a younger brother 20 years his junior and growing up in a poor community, allowing the audience to get to know him on a more personal level — smart, on Noah’s part, as he’s about to enter the homes of Americans every week night.
While bringing levity to serious topics about race and religion, as comedians do, Noah continued to comment on the conflicting media coverage of current events regarding minorities, garnering roaring laughter (and wrapping up with a standing ovation) from the audience, proving his tact to present topical situations successfully in a comic manner.
As for his own recent media coverage, in which many of Noah’s resurfaced tweets were called sexist and anti-Semitic, the comedian opted to stay quiet, at least for now.