Trevor’s still tops

Two years in and Daily Show host Trevor Noah seems to have won over his crit­ics. And his for­mula? Not so top-se­cret…

TV Plus (South Africa) - - COMEDY -

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Tue-Fri Com­edy Cen­tral (*122) 21:55

Crit­ics sav­aged SA fun­ny­man Trevor Noah when he took over from Jon Ste­wart as host of The Daily Show (1996- cur­rent) in 2015. But guess who’s hav­ing the last laugh now? “I wasn’t scared. I was ner­vous,” Trevor told The Fi­nan­cial Times. “I was plucked from ob­scu­rity, in terms of a US au­di­ence. The worst thing? I don’t live up to Jon’s le­gacy, don’t live up to any­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions, I lose the show. What’s hap­pened? Noth­ing! I knew what I was in­vest­ing in and I’ve lim­ited my li­a­bil­i­ties. But if I suc­ceed, the up­side of my in­vest­ment is way be­yond what I would have lost.”

RAT­INGS ROLLER­COASTER

If you look at Trevor’s stats when he took over, they weren’t amaz­ing. “But that’s to be ex­pected,” says a TV critic. “When you re­place some­one es­tab­lished, like Jon, with some­one un­known, you won’t keep that same au­di­ence.” While the show lost al­most half of its 1.6 mil­lion view­ers in the first year of Trevor’s reign, 2017’s been bet­ter as the US mar­ket got used to the 33-year-old. He’s upped view­er­ship to 1.5 mil­lion in early Feb this year (also im­prov­ing his ap­proval rat­ing with the all-im­por­tant 18- 49-year- old group), but it’s on­line where the fig­ures tell the real story. Ac­cord­ing to Com­edy Cen­tral, “The Daily Show gen­er­ated the high­est latenight show en­gage­ment: over 6 mil­lion ac­tions (likes, shares, retweets, etc on so­cial net­works). That is a 42% in­crease since Feb 2016.”

LEVEL PLAY­ING FIELD

The Daily Show’s core prin­ci­ple is latenight satire and it pokes fun at any­thing and ev­ery­thing… es­pe­cially pol­i­tics. And that’s no prob­lem for Trevor, who joked that “South African politi­cians write their own jokes. I’ll be out of a job soon”. And now that he’s learnt more about US pol­i­tics, Trevor is on fire. “Don­ald Trump isn’t bad for com­edy. If you’ve got a clown and that clown runs in a field, it’s not funny. But if you put a clown in a small room and the clown runs into walls, now that’s funny!” And he’s laugh­ing all the way to the bank too – Trev re­cently bought a $9.5 mil­lion (R130 mil­lion) pent­house in Hell’s Kitchen, Man­hat­tan.

It’s all smiles for Daily Show host Trevor Noah, who’s turned things around.

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