Trevor Noah to make his debut on US’ The Daily Show

Tinashe Kusema Film & Tv review
\nThe wait is finally over — in little over 72 hours, South African stand-up comedian Trevor Noah will make the “long walk” from the backstage area of the Rockefeller Centre right up to the auditorium. Sweaty palms and all, the 31-year-old comedian will take his seat, probably recite a silent prayer, look up at the cameras, and with a huge smile on his face utter those 12 famous words: “Good evening everybody, and welcome to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”

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Indeed, the United States of America is a land of opportunity.
\nWho could have imagined this?

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Yes, after months and months of build-ups, small cameos and huge amounts of scrutiny, Trevor Noah will on Tuesday make his long-awaited debut as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.

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He takes over from Jon Stewart, a veteran of over 15 years and the man single-handedly credited for imprinting this show into the fabric of American culture.

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While a cameo or two from former members of the cast are to be expected – cue in Jon Oliver, Stephen Colbert and maybe outgoing boss Jon Stewart – there is little evidence to suggest that Trevor’s debut is going to be some elaborate affair.

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Anyone familiar with these kinds of shows will probably get the reference.
\nTrevor’s debut is most probably going to go down as some surreal, low key event, whose focus will probably be more on the former than Trevor himself.

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So, expect the name Jon Stewart to come up a lot.
\nThis is, however, not to say that Trevor’s debut is not a big deal.

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One of us has penetrated the Hollywood machine and from now on you can expect African eyes to be totally glued to our screens every Monday to Thursday up until something bigger comes along.

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While I can go on and on, for months even, celebrating Trevor Noah’s achievement, a man I have never met and does not even know I exist, the writer in me has told me to concentrate on the impact of Trevor’s new gig rather than anything else.

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Trevor finds himself in a situation similar to that of Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States some years back.
\nA lot of Africans including African-Americans had great expectations from the man who traces his roots to Kenya and they supported him even as he was being ridiculed and vilified by some sections of the unrelenting American public.

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As a simple case study of both Obama and Noah, one has to look at the Twitter and birth certificate debacles of 2015 and 2008, respectively.
\nUpon the announcement that Trevor Noah would be replacing Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, the American media went into a frenzy, with some unearthing old tweets that portrayed the 31-year-old as a sexist, among other things.

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Now, some may be asking how a seat at some show can be compared to running a country, but in America’s case, the difference is smaller than one might actually think.

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Jon Stewart, and more specifically The Daily Show, while it started and continues to some extent to be a variety show, has over the years grown into so much more.

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The satirical twist in which the show lampoons and exposes popular culture and politics in America has become a phenomenon over the years.
\nCredited and awarded for their work during the 2004 and 2008 elections, where they brought in the 18-28 demographic into the electorate, the show has become the main source of news for teens and adolescents.

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Today, the show also works as a watchdog of sorts over the media, often calling out networks such as Fox and CNN whenever they go astray.
\nPoliticians, mostly democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have over the years made numerous appearances as a way of reconnecting and humanising themselves in the eyes of their electorate.

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Now, does Africa have a vested interest in Trevor’s new gig and can he really do the job well?
\nWell, no and yes?

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Africa has nothing to gain from Trevor Noah hosting The Daily Show. We are just proud of a brother and the chapter in his life that he is set to embark on.

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As far as his ability to do well, Trevor is actually better placed to do a better job than Jon Stewart ever was.
\nThe assumption here is that only Stewart has left the show and the 17 or so writers behind the scenes will continue to do the same work they did before Trevor arrived.

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Another thing Trevor has going for him is that unlike Stewart who slowly settled into the show’s thrust and angle, he has been doing this for years and built his reputation on the wit and sense of humour that the show requires.
\nHe can never complain about running out of material.

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After all, America is headed towards another election and Donald Trump, or The Trump, simply won’t shut up.
\nTrevor has experience dealing with such characters and America seems to be the factory where they are all made.