Noah laughing all the way to 2022
Two years after replacing Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah is riding high, attracting the largest audiences of his career and getting a long contract extension.
Comedy Central, owned by Viacom, said yesterday it extended Noah’s run as host of the late-night progamme through 2022. The company also asked the 33-year-old to take on year-end specials and has made him an executive producer of the forthcoming late show The Opposition.
“We never had any doubts or lack of confidence, but as he’s done the job he just keeps elevating,” Comedy Central president Kent Alterman said.
That success is welcome relief for a network that’s struggled in recent years. Like MTV and BET, two other Viacom networks, Comedy Central has lost viewers to online competitors Netflix and YouTube, and its prime-time ratings continue to suffer. The parent company, which has undergone its own management upheavals in the past couple years, recently pulled Comedy Central shows from Hulu.
A relative newcomer to The Daily Show who wasn’t all that well known to US viewers, Noah was a controversial choice to succeed Stewart two years ago. More-popular Daily Show disciples – Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and John Oliver – left to host programmes on other networks. Another, Larry Wilmore, didn’t last as successor to Colbert at Comedy Central.
While Noah struggled at first, he gained traction with viewers by blending his sharp, worldly sense of humour with repeated attacks on a ripe target for many comedians: President Donald Trump. In the past couple months, Noah taped segments titled Trump Has No Idea How to Handle North Korea, President Trump: America’s S**ttiest Miss America and Ivanka Trump’s Fake Feminism.
The audience for The Daily Show has grown 14% in the past year and 6% among viewers ages 18 to 49, a demographic advertisers favour. None of Noah’s late-night competitors – even the surging Colbert at CBS – has managed both feats.
On a nightly basis, he’s averaging 1.51 million total viewers and 672 000 in the 18-to-49 group, according to the network.
Meanwhile, Comedy Central’s prime-time ratings have slumped about 6%. The network is hoping the return of South Park and Broad City, as well as new programmes like The President Show will reverse that trend.
It’s also discussing fresh ideas with Noah.
“Trevor is just a prolific brain,” Alterman said. “He’s always spinning ideas.” – Bloomberg
Comedy Central has extended Trevor Noah’s run as host of the late-night programme to 2022.