The font and the graphics were different. The globe and the desk were different. The correspondents and the host were different. But, Trevor Noah erased any doubts critics and Daily Show fans had when he made his debut as the Daily Show’s new host on Sept. 28. No, Jon Stewart was not there, but Noah seamlessly transitioned to being the program’s host and is starting a new era of the Daily Show.
Noah humbly took the spotlight in the opening segment of his debut. As he said himself, it was undoubtedly strange for viewers to see someone other than Stewart at the helm of the Daily Show. Noah payed homage to Stewart and referred to him as our “political dad,” and now, as Noah said, “dad has left.”
Fear not, however. Noah said in reference to Stewart, “I’m not quite sure what you saw in me, but I’ll work hard every day to find it. And I’ll make you not look like the crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid from Africa.” That line was peppered in among other self-deprecating jokes, and, yes, the Daily Show is still funny.
When Stewart retired, some felt that he left a major void that would be incredibly difficult to fill. However, Noah has successfully followed the show’s formula and structure that Stewart left behind. The bare bones of the show are still a 10-minute opening segment followed by another eight-minute segment, which may feature a report from the correspondents and an interview to close the show. It still feels like the same Daily Show.
The Daily Show’s staff can peer through the abyss that is news coverage and pull out all the outrageous clips they want, but it still takes someone who is funny to bring it all together. The humor, along with the sharp political criticism, is what accentuates the ridiculousness of the topic and helps people see past the hypocrisy. Stewart mastered and perfected this technique, but Noah has shown in his first week that he can be just as good.
The political satire did not disappear with Stewart’s exit. Noah compared Trump to African dictators through a slew of videos showing both saying the same thing – somehow his staff was able to find clips of Trump and former president of Uganda Idi Amin both saying “I have got a very good brain.” The news reports filed by Daily Show correspondents are still as satirical and comedic as they always were.
The point in saying all this is that the same Daily Show we all watched and loved is still here. Noah has gotten off to a hot start and has the whole election cycle to make a name for himself.