The Daily Show will soon have a new host. Trevor Noah, who joined the fake news program in 2014 as a contributor, was named to the post today in a surprise announcement.
“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny,” says Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless. “For the next host of ‘The Daily Show,’ we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor. He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America, and we are thrilled to have him join Comedy Central.”
Noah is a 31 year old South African comedian whose career began on the soap opera Isidingo in 2002. He later hosted several talk shows in South Africa and was part of that country’s stand-up circuit.
He made his American debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2010. He also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman before joining The Daily Show in December 2014.
Jon Stewart, who has hosted The Daily Show since 1999, announced his departure from the program in early February.
The change in Comedy Central’s 11 pm time slot will come only months after Stephen Colbert signed off from the Colbert Report, which aired at 11:30 on the network. Colbert left to take over the Late Show on CBS from David Letterman, who is retiring.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were fan-favorite choices to replace Stewart, although it is not clear whether either were ever seriously considered. Poehler is currently an executive producer for the NBC sitcom Welcome to Sweden. Fey created and produced the Netflix hit Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which debuted this year.
Noah’s rise to the top of The Daily Show adds to the increasingly diverse Comedy Central prime time lineup. Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show replaced Colbert’s time slot in January. The show will also likely aim to appeal to a new generation of viewers; Noah is 21 years younger than outgoing host Jon Stewart, who is leaving to pursue other career opportunities after a meteoric rise on The Daily Show.
“It’s an honor to follow Jon Stewart. He and the team at ‘The Daily Show’ have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world,” said Noah. “In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.”
Jon Stewart, whose final show has not yet been announced, congratulated his announced successor.
“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with. In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!”