SA ac­claims ‘home­boy’ Noah af­ter de­but

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment -

LON­DON — They may have got it a day later than the US, but the re­cep­tion was no less en­thu­si­as­tic as South Africa tuned in to Trevor Noah’s de­but per­for­mance host­ing the Daily Show on Tues­day night.

Na­tional celebri­ties, gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and the Twit­terati all clubbed to­gether to give the Soweto-born co­me­dian a hero’s au­di­ence as he took over from Jon Stewart – the much-loved an­chor who’d been a fix­ture on the show since 1999.

“Need­less to say, our home­grown guy re­ceived ap­plause from lo­cal celebri­ties, all inspired by what Trevor has man­aged to achieve,” said Chanel 24 as TV pre­sen­ters Basetsana Ku­malo and Bo­nang Matheba and DJ Black Cof­fee hailed him a hero.

“Grow­ing up in the dusty streets of South Africa I never dreamed that I’d have - well, two things re­ally: an in­door toi­let and a job as the host of The Daily Show... now I have both, and I’m quite com­fort­able with one of them,” said Noah in his open­ing gam­bit.

Noah’s hum­ble begin­nings be­came the in­spi­ra­tion for South Africans online as they united around the hash­tag #Iftrevor­can. This was the mo­ment for peo­ple to work hard at school, try harder at re­la­tion­ships and re­alise their dreams.

Gov­ern­ment cheer­lead­ers

South Africa’s gov­ern­ment is im­mensely proud of their en­ter­tain- ment ex­port and the coun­try’s for­eign min­is­ter took time out of his United Na­tions gen­eral assem­bly to visit Noah on set in New York on Mon­day night.

Not only was the coun­try be­hind him, Maite Nkoana-masha­bane said, but the whole con­ti­nent.


Mon­day’s #Trevornoah­day spilled over to Tues­day and started trend­ing in South Africa as it was screened on South African TV a day later. Most said how proud they were of Noah; Twit­ter user known as Nchema asked why they hadn’t been granted a public hol­i­day. Oth- ers shared a quote from his mum first aired in April: “Trevor has caused Africa’s drum to beat again, he has en­cour­aged many to walk on the wa­ter and stand on the sea.”

Johannesburg-based co­me­dian Daniel Fried­man, known as Deep Fried Man, cre­ated an Eminem rap par­ody de­fer­ring to Noah’s great­ness. Noah was born to a Xhosas­peak­ing black mother and a white Swiss fa­ther when in­ter-racial re­la­tion­ships were still illegal and has been vo­cal about grow­ing up in post-apartheid South Africa.

“Racial pol­i­tics runs through his com­edy like a stick of Black­pool rock” said the Guardian’s David Smith re­view­ing his fi­nal South African show be­fore he headed for the US. This what makes him the per­fect front man for an Amer­i­can prime time show, Smith added.

US re­ac­tion in con­trast

Re­ac­tion from the US crit­ics was more tem­pered. The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter said it was still The Daily Show but his chal­lenge in the next few months would be to make it the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The New York Times likened it to a new iphone “sleeker, fresher and re­designed” but “es­sen­tially the same thing.” The Daily Beast said it was “crude and clumsy” and The Guardian de­scribed the per­for­mance as “groan-wor­thy” in parts but saved by “flashes of in­spi­ra­tion” – if only just. — Guardian

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