Trevor Noah is last piece in late-night puzzle

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

8 things we learned on the set of Trevor Noah’s revamped ‘Daily Show’.

For millions of Americans, that routine once started with “wash face, brush teeth” and ended with “watch David Letterman” (33 years on two networks) or Jay Leno (22 seasons, a total of 4,610 episodes) or Jon Stewart (a relative newbie at just 17 years on “The Daily Show”). Most of his peers would kill to get the platform he’ll officially command on Monday, when the first episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah debuts on Comedy Central. In the last two years, though, the cozy late night TV scene has been turned upside down and shaken so thoroughly that it’s a wonder any of us have been able drift off comfortably. • First, in February 2014, Leno left “The Tonight Show” for a second time, replaced by Jimmy Fallon, moving up from “Late Night.” Seth Meyers was already in place to take over that show. Stewart is so associated with the program that it may be difficult for some viewers to remember “The Daily Show” has seen this passing of the baton before: Craig Kilborn hosted the program from its inception in 1996 to 1998. At the same time, they must be relieved that they won’t face Noah’s formidable challenge: winning over the same passionate audience that made former Daily Show host Jon Stewart the most trusted man in late-night — and maybe even across TV news itself. “Of course there’s pressure,” Noah told a group of journalists who gathered for a Q&A session at The Daily Show’s studio Friday morning. “When it matters, there should always be pressure.

And in a Q&A with reporters on Friday morning, he offered a preview of what viewers can expect — and also offered his thoughts on a wide range of issues, from Ryan Adams’ Taylor Swift cover album to the very recent news of Speaker John Boehner’s resignation. Although he made a couple of appearances on Stewart’s “Daily Show” and more recently turned up for a chat with Colbert, Noah is still pretty much a question mark.

He made his American television debut in 2012 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, becoming the first South African comedian to do so. During the session, Noah explained the decision-making process that went into crafting the show’s first week of guests, which includes Kevin Hart, Chris Christie, and Ryan Adams. “Every single guest is there for a reason,” Noah said.

At 31, he’s a stand-up comedian who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa; his mixed-race heritage puts another person of color (after Wilmore) on late night. Make that especially because they aren’t: “I come in on a clean slate, I feel, with a lot of the politicians, with a lot of the news media outlets,” Noah explained. “I want to be in a position where I get to start over fresh with some of these people, and try something new — a different approach where I don’t have any preconceived notions about how I should or should not feel about them.” That said, Noah of course won’t be working alone; he’ll still have both The Best F#@king News Team Ever and many of Stewart’s writers on his side.

He jests from the standpoint of someone born to a black mother and a white father 10 years before apartheid ended (“I was born a crime,” he sums up) whose mother had to walk ahead of him as a toddler, pretending not to know him if she saw the police. “I come from a crazy place,” he says. “When I was 25, my mother was shot in the head by my stepfather, an abusive alcoholic. Not since Conan O’Brien was named host of NBC’s “Late Night” in 1993 has such a virtual unknown been picked to headline a late-night series. (Mr. He’s now gone into a world where he was the ‘the best black comedian,’ and now he’s just Kevin Hart.’” “And Ryan Adams, I think was a beautiful mix of many different worlds of music,” Noah went on. “He comes from … I wouldn’t say an extreme underground world, but he’s not an ultimate pop star, let’s say. Then you’ll be setting yourself free.’” He found a certain freedom in comedy, which he pursued, he says, not to vent his spleen, as with many comedians, “but because I made people laugh.” A man of mixed race and a stormy childhood, he saw himself as a perpetual outsider. Noah: He’s a biracial 31-year-old comic from South Africa who speaks seven languages and began as a “Daily Show” contributing correspondent last year.

From the beginning, he joked about things that were on his mind, but even when they touched on painful social issues he was never fuelled by anger, he insists. Comedy Central, which called Noah “wickedly funny” in announcing the “Daily Show” job, said in response: “Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included. Adams, who recently covered Taylor Swift’s 1989 in its entirety, was also chosen as the new ‘s inaugural musical guest for a very specific reason: “He’s done in essence what we’ve done here,” Noah said. “He’s taken something that was loved by many, cherished by many, and he’s created a new version of it for himself. But he has the best team in the business behind him, so he is going to be great.” Executive producers Steve Bodow, Jen Flanz, Tim Greenberg, Jill Katz and Adam Lowitt have signed contracts to continue in the job.

But I also saw my mother come out of that domestic abusive relationship. … I see a country that’s come out of that madness into something that is progressive, still challenging, but it is leap years ahead of the way it was when I was a young child. Many of the writers remain. “In terms of the content of the show, issues are not really changing in America and in the world, so it’s just a different angle. Noah, too, plans a similar shift — away from the Fox News and MSNBC talking heads Stewart loved to savage and toward more contemporary news sources, like social media.

It’s my angle,” Noah was quoted as saying. “The show still has its voice, but it’s just I’m at the helm taking things in a slightly different direction. We’re still trying to get to the same end place.” For Comedy Central, Noah’s arrival is a chance to nudge its audience younger, to the millennials who are leading the way away from broadcast and cable TV and to online streaming. Hits on the network’s website may be even more important to a network like Comedy Central than ratings for the show itself, which may be consumed in bites, after the fact, on platforms like YouTube. “We will start moving to ‘The Daily Show’ not being thought of as that half-hour slot on TV, but having a presence that transcends that location and hopefully being available to people where and when they want to watch it,” Comedy Central’s Kent Alterman told the Hollywood Reporter this month. Noah said. “Jon believes in me. … So there’s an immense pressure for me personally to live up to that legacy, to keep the flagship going.” Comic Kevin Hart will be Mr.

The comedian returned again and again to this theme, saying that his South African upbringing allows him to view American politics and media through fresh eyes. And so what I’ll do is try to create it into the home of my dreams using my new family.” Noah also mischievously added, “But you’ll know that there’s a new person living in the house, because you’ll be complaining about the noise.

Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. But I don’t plan to break anything initially.” Unlike focusing heavily on the cable news industrial complex as Stewart often did, Noah promised to spin his source material forward a little bit. “What we do is look at a wider berth of materials now,” he explained. “So our go-to source is no longer dictated by a small group of cable outlets. Well, no — at least not initially. “Jon and Stephen’s relationship came out of working together for eight years, and being around each other all the time,” Daily Show EP Jennifer Flanz told Mashable after the Q&A. “We’ll have to see where Trevor and Larry’s relationship evolves to. So that’s something we’re definitely looking at and finding ways to explore every day.” Interestingly, he got taste of just that during the Q&A: When news broke that Speaker John Boehner was resigning from Congress — and upon hearing about it for the first time, Noah was quick to react. “Aw, this is sad! Trevor and Larry never overlapped on the show.” Noah’s coworkers were shocked to see how much their new host embraced the Kentucky senator during the last Republican primary debate. “He did seem thoughtful, and I think that’s progression for me,” Noah said by way of explanation. “He wasn’t gung ho.” But when asked to name a specific Paul statement that resonated with him, Noah came up short.

Noah said in late July following a stand-up performance in Santa Monica, Calif. “We are where Jon was when Stephen Colbert was around, when Steve Carell was around. He noted that as an outsider, he’s “coming in with a clean slate” and very few hardened biases. “Myself and Steve [Bodow, Daily Show producer] were watching the debate together, and I was complimenting every single thing that Rand Paul said. Half of it is online now,” he said. “Now you’ve got the Gawkers and the BuzzFeeds, and the way people are absorbing their news in sound bites and headlines and little click links has changed everything. Noah said. “I understand people with an issue going, ‘This guy’s not Jon Stewart,’ and I’m glad I’m not because that would be a disservice to him if I could come in without 16 years of experience and equal what he does. And Donald Trump is an interesting one, because the truth of the matter is that he doesn’t say much, and really what we’re doing is enjoying the spectacle of it all.

He’s somebody who doesn’t seem vexed by what he’s saying, because I think he understands he’s trying to elicit a response, or one that makes people think.” And if you’re wondering, Noah said that he thinks he’ll have no problem relating to the peculiarities of American culture. “I found [while] traveling around the world, America was the one place I innately understood what was happening because South Africa and the United States of America have a very similar history,” he said. “Different timelines, but you know, the directions we’ve taken and the consequences and then dealing with the aftermath of what we then think is the beginning of democracy – and then realizing that that’s just the first step.

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