Upon first hearing his name, South Africans would have been forgiven for thinking that Trevor Noah was the title of a teen re-imagination of a Bible classic. But, as much as we would all liked to have seen an acne-covered young Trevor trying to cope with the social pressures of high school while secretly building a wooden ship in his dad’s garage, what we got was much, much better.
When he first arrived on the local showbiz scene with a recurring role in Isidingo, no one yet knew his real potential. The fresh-faced 18 year old was magnetic, but, if we’re really honest, soap opera storylines are about as deep as a shower (but we all secretly love them just as much) and thus didn’t reveal his full talent.
Though Noah developed a wickedly intelligent form of comedy to cope with his extremely trying childhood experiences – which include being raised as a mixed race child under the Apartheid regime and witnessing the attempted murder of his mother – he didn’t get to display it early on as he spent much of his early career hosting television shows.
The Rise of Trevor Noah
It was when Noah decided to focus his talent on his comedy that South Africa really stood up and took note of this young man. Exceptionally witty and a keen social observer, Noah captivated South Africa’s imagination with his 2009 special, The Daywalker. The title applied to his childhood in the townships, and how everyone thought he was an albino with the ability to walk in the sun. His boldness when it came to tackling race issues in South Africa catapulted him to fame, and was responsible for numerous follow-up specials entitled Crazy Normal, That’s Racist, and It’s My Culture.
Noah’s talent was undeniable, and it soon garnered him the attention of international comedy acts. Aside from opening for Canadian Comedian, Russell Peters, Noah appeared on US talk shows The Tonight Show and the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as UK quiz show, QI.
Trevor Noah Is on His Way to International Stardom
Just about every South African knows about Noah, but he is well on his way to becoming an international celebrity. Thanks to his being named Jon Stewart’s successor as host of the Daily Show, things are looking very bright for Noah.
Aside from a couple of Twitter jokes that went down like a lead balloon (but which we won’t hold against him given that their reading on the insult scale is so tame that they wouldn’t even make it into a Donald Trump speech), Noah has been well received by audiences.
In fact, Noah’s response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has been described as the first truly great moment in the post-Stewart Daily Show – not bad considering he’s only been at the job a couple of months. If he keeps this up, Trevor Noah is going to become an international household name and finally leave all of those bad Noah’s ark references behind him. And it’s about time!
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