Monday’s TV Highlights: ‘The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Daily Show will use Net to draw younger viewers.

The Big Bang Theory Sheldon and Amy (Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik) have spit up, and he’s not taking it well in the new episode. When Trevor Noah makes his official debut as host of “The Daily Show” on Monday night, you’ll be able to catch all the fun on a host of cable networks. There wasn’t much in Trevor Noah’s childhood in Johannesburg to suggest that he would one day host America’s preeminent satirical program, starting with apartheid-era South Africa having virtually no tradition of professional comedy – nor, for that matter, free speech.Last week, just days before he takes over the The Daily Show anchor chair from Jon Stewart, TV’s toughest act to follow, Noah acknowledged “it isn’t easy to reboot and recreate a new show from an old show in just five weeks.” Which he has been obliged to do, stepping in as host at 11 p.m. today on Comedy Central little more than a month after Stewart ended 16 years as the nation’s court jester who molded The Daily Show in his own savvy image. Noah, of course, is the 31-year-old South African comedian who until his ascension few had heard of, apart from a worldwide fan base including 2.6 million Twitter followers who flocked to his shows from Sydney to Dubai … and also, notably, Jon Stewart, who admired his work and reached out several years ago for a meet-and-greet.

Noah will fill Jon Stewart’s position as the third host of the show.(Photo: Todd Plitt, USA TODAY) “I love a piece of what everyone does,” he says when asked about his late-night influences. “I love the playful nature of John Oliver, I love the joy of Jimmy Fallon, I enjoy the laid-back nature, ironically, of Jon Stewart,” whom he replaces Monday as Comedy Central’s Daily Show host (11 p.m. CBS Gotham A breakout from Arkham Asylum puts Gordon (Ben McKenzie) back in action after he’s reinstated to the city’s police force in this new episode of the superhero-origin series. What hasn’t changed is a viewing audience that craves a funny voice at the end of the day to skewer the insanity of politics and culture and the news media. By his own account, Noah was a “nerdy little child” who spent most of his time indoors reading voraciously – everything from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to electronics manuals. “That was my world,” says the 31-year-old late one evening in his sparsely decorated office. “I just consumed – that’s all I’ve ever been, a consumer of information.” The comedian’s rise from the township to the pinnacle of American comedy is one of the more unexpected developments in an era of tremendous upheaval for late-night television.

Stewart’s reply, according to Noah: “Who do you think suggested you?” Defying social-media admonishments, Noah argues that a smattering of dumb tweeted jokes, like anything unearthed from a person’s digital past, serves usefully as evidence of what that person may have been and, more importantly, has moved beyond. Before he was named Stewart’s successor in March, Noah had made only a handful of appearances as a contributor on and was little known in the United States.

I remember for a brief period we had Sinbad.” Sure, he’s a stand-up comedian like some of his counterparts, but at 31 he’s both younger and considerably farther from the typical late-night mold. “I come from a very poor background of extreme poverty; I lived in a home of domestic abuse,” he says of his upbringing in Soweto, South Africa, during apartheid, the son of a black mother and white father, a Swiss national. “The world you come from, or the things you experience, always help you to relate to the experiences of others,” he says, just as Colbert’s touching interview with Vice President Biden this month, about his late son Beau, was informed by the deaths of Colbert’s father and two brothers in a 1974 plane crash. “You could not have had that had the two of them not shared loss,” Noah says, which “gives you the ability to ask and talk to people about things the way you would like to be asked and talked to.” Though he’s largely unknown in this country, Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless says Noah is a fitting replacement for the news satire. In contrast, the man he will be replacing is a widely revered comedian who over the course of 16 years on the job transformed into essential election-year viewing and the Emmy-winning jewel in Comedy Central’s crown. He was endorsed by Stewart, and rose to the top based on his qualifications for the job description: A funny, smart workaholic with a broad range of interests. “It’s the hardest job on TV, and that list gets very small, very quickly,” Ganeless says. “And the more time we spent with him in the process, the more it became clear he had a unique eye into the world” as a Millennial who can connect with the network’s audience. Noah may not yet have the recognition of a Chris Rock or an Amy Schumer – names who were floated as possible successors to Stewart – but there is little doubt that he will bring a unique perspective on race, politics and cultural identity to at a time when such issues dominate the news.

He saw himself as a perpetual outsider, but he found a certain freedom in comedy, which he pursued, he said, not to vent, “but because I made people laugh.” From the beginning, he joked about things that were on his mind, but even when they touched on painful social issues he was never fueled by anger, he insisted. I’m not going to break the house down.” The past few years have been a sea-change in late-night television with the retirements of longtime talk-show hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman, who were replaced by Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, respectively. Though politics remains “one of the core elements of the show,” Noah says, “we’re trying to find a way to comedically disseminate that information to people, because policy is horribly boring. While he plans some format tweaks, the biggest change will come in “the way we look at stories, or even how I present the stories to the audience.” That prism will reflect the hosts’ vastly different backgrounds: Noah grew up as a poor, mixed-race kid during apartheid, when his parents’ marriage was illegal, and he had no real connection to American politics.

Since he first began performing in his early 20s, Noah has gained an international reputation for his irreverent take on charged topics such as Western perceptions of Africa, his country’s scandal-prone politicians and, especially, race. I’m very cognizant of people who may watch the show and go, ‘Hey, I’m not a political guy.’ Don’t watch the show because you’re into politics, watch the show because you’re into laughing.” Noah plans to usher Daily firmly into the social-media age. And though Noah is firmly in the millennial generation coveted by television executives, he has a hard-earned wisdom and maturity that transcends his young age. “I was born in the middle. But the program’s success or failure rests largely on the comedic chops of a performer who, despite his international reputation, is still learning how to fine-tune his act for an American audience.

But a new team will produce original material for various platforms all week long. “For Jon, it wasn’t his world, and understandably so, (but) it’s very much a part of our lives. Unlike Stewart, who was easily riled up by hyperactive cable-news outlets, Noah will start out focusing more on people making news than those delivering it. “I’m less likely to skewer CNN or Fox and more to skewer (Kentucky court clerk) Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee,” he says. NBC I’ll Have What Phil’s Having TV producer Phil Rosenthal — a food and travel junkie — visits Tokyo for Ramen, sushi and other delicacies in the premiere of this new culinary series. 10 p.m.

Obviously, we hoped it would come later rather than sooner, but it came sooner.” Stewart’s bombshell also happened to land two months after the final broadcast of The Colbert Report and just a few weeks into the run of its replacement at 11:30, The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore. That will show you how far you’ve come.” Maybe that’s Noah’s way of saying that to size him up as host after his first night, or his first week, can’t address how far he plans to go. He’ll also make more frequent use of the show’s diverse team of fake-news correspondents, bolstered by three newcomers,. “We have this ensemble of different voices that, in my mind, represents America in different ways, which is a new thing to play with,” and as peers — he served briefly as one of them — “it’s not my job to say everything, which is really cool.” But he’s taking a measured approach. “I wouldn’t want to rush in and dismantle and destroy the show just because people are going, ‘You’d better make it different!’ Let’s start with what works and let’s evolve over time. KOCE Castle Beckett (Stana Katic) explains her disappearance from her perspective in the conclusion of a the “Rashomon”-like two-part season premiere of the mystery series.

He says such outrage is impossible to ignore. “We live in an age for better and worse where everyone’s opinion is heard, and that is a good thing, but it is also a very bad thing. You may have gotten a glimpse of his personality if you have seen him perform live, or via YouTube, or when he appeared on Colbert’s show last week to joke about everything from the GOP debate to having Stewart as a predecessor.

People can give you their opinions on politics and government and what’s happening in the world, but it also means people can tell you you look ugly in your Instagram picture.” But “for every crazy person on the corner shouting and screaming, there’s 100 people walking by with headphones on going, ‘This is none of my business.’ You have to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes it’s just noise.” He has little time for a personal life —“Right now, I’m dating my work; I don’t think I’d be a good boyfriend” — and says preparing for a job he couldn’t have dreamed of is “a petrifying experience. Although details about the first night’s show are locked down, Ganeless says that it’s still the same format: monologues, correspondent segments, interviews. Lizzie Velasquez (“A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story”); Danny Strong (“Empire”); Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Christina Milian (“Grandfathered”). (N) 7 a.m.

His first bit, called ‘Spot the Africa’, brilliantly flipped Western stereotypes of a continent “full of AIDS huts and starving children” to comment on the contentious state of race relations in the U.S. “I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” he joked. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days back home.” His multicultural background – a rarity in what remains the overwhelmingly white, male world of late night – was a bonus, not a prerequisite, says Ganeless. “We talked to white men and we talked to black men, and we talked to white women and black women. People go, ‘Oh, you don’t seem nervous at all.’ I go, ‘No, no, do not get it twisted; I am nervous.’ But it’s the same way I get nervous every time before I get on stage; you never lose that. As with Stewart, the guests will reflect a mix of pop culture and politics; the first week includes actor Kevin Hart, Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Noah and Comedy Central are well aware of the sky-high expectations for his premiere. “Every day I go, ‘What have I done?’ ” Noah joked to Colbert. “You can’t live up to Jon Stewart. Ganeless has high hopes. “The more time you spend with Trevor, the more exceptional you find he is — he really is so thoughtful about every part of the show . . . in how he is going to approach the correspondents, how he’s approaching the interviews, how he’s approaching the multiplatform aspect,” she said, adding, “He’s much less of an outsider than I think people think he’s going to be.”

The new host kept mostly quiet while his colleagues riffed on video footage of Pope Francis stopping his motorcade to greet a child who had broken through a security barricade, and of Donald J. He stumbled into comedy, quite literally, about 10 years ago, when he was thrust onstage during a raucous visit to a comedy night at a Johannesburg bar. When you laugh at somebody, when you laugh at something, all of a sudden, it seems surmountable.” Still, there are few life experiences that can prepare one for becoming the target of an angry Internet mob.

The excitement that followed the news of Noah’s hiring in March gave way almost instantly to a firestorm over tweets, written by Noah as far back as 2009, that many viewed as misogynistic and anti-Semitic. Noah also gave pointers to one of his new correspondents, Ronny Chieng, who would be featured in a sketch where he reluctantly reports news for children, called “Ronny’s Cutie-Patootie News Cabootie.” “Don’t be afraid to change it to your style of speaking,” Mr.

Noah was taken aback by the criticism and viewed the tweets as the work of a less polished and mature comedian. “It’s very difficult for somebody to go back into your past or into things you’ve done and no longer do and then tell you to change. Noah told him. “All those little bits between you and I, don’t worry about it — switch it up, the way you’d normally sound.” These segments appeared to reflect Mr. It’s like someone telling you to quit smoking, and you quit smoking seven years ago.” Now that the virtual dust has settled, the outrage seems misguided. In person, Noah is less reminiscent of a frat boy than the cute, earnest guy in your philosophy class who stayed up late drinking coffee and talking about Camus.

He says things like “as human beings we have children, so that we ourselves can learn again” and speaks using constant metaphors and analogies. (Watching Raw as an aspiring comedian was like “someone showing you a skyscraper when you’re busy building Legos”; society is always moving in the direction of progress, “like an iPhone.”) It’s a trait he says comes from growing up in a Bible-reading household where “everything was a parable.” In the weeks since Stewart signed off in early August, nearly every waking hour of Noah’s day has been consumed by a blitz of promotion, writing sessions and test shows. Throughout the process, Noah has impressed his new colleagues with his “self-possession and charm and unflappable nature,” says Alterman, who adds that “it’s possible that he’s a cyborg.” Executive producer Steve Bodow praises Noah as a “quick study” in American politics, which comes in handy as the race for the White House gains momentum. He’s also developing a voice distinct from that of his predecessor, who was fond of calling out political hypocrisy and media distortions. “Trevor approaches it more as someone who’s new to the process.

By way of explanation, he invokes another metaphor: As a child, Noah would ask his mother for help locating misplaced belongings and she would gently steer him in a more self-reliant direction. “She would always say, ‘If you look like you know I’m going to come and look for you, you’ll never find it. After years drawing for iconic DC titles such as Wonder Woman, Teen Titans and Superman, Scott is branching out on her own, collaborating with writer Greg Rucka on Black Magick, a new “witch-noir” police procedural. “Being a girl, and especially an Australian one, helped me stand out – people remembered me and could see that I was improving every year and had a certain ambition and bullishness,” she says. Originally an actress, Scott started attending San Diego Comic-Con in 2002 to try and get her work noticed, returning each year to build contacts and get work before being hired by DC in 2005. “When you’re working on licensed property like DC’s superheroes, part of your job is playing by the rules but also bringing in a sense of your own vision and contributing to the decades-long legacies of these iconic characters,” Scott says. “As a female artist you’re straight away bringing in a different perspective, and I definitely think there’s a little bit of a unique attitude and flavour that comes with being an Australian working in the American industry,” Scott says. “After getting steady work there for about three years I realised it was probably a really bad idea to get entrenched – I pictured myself in 20 years and realised that I didn’t want to be producing work that although paid well, I didn’t own,” she says. “While that was a pretty scary, everything that’s come since has sort of confirmed that I’ve made the right decision – everyone at DC has been so supportive, but they do still encourage me to come back if I ever have free time.” Nicola Scott speaks at GRAPHIC: A festival celebrating the art of graphic storytelling, illustration, comics, animation and music, at the Sydney Opera House on September 28.

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