After 16 long years building a dynasty on Comedy Central, it was never going to be a walk in the park for whoever took over from Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
Add to that the fact that South African born Noah’s appointment virtually came out of left field, and you discover the scrutiny on his debut Monday night was at its highest peak.
Noah had a great debut night, delivering with his own brand of humour not too indistinguishable from Stewart’s. A final segment of a Kevin Hart interview might have been the night’s only patchy segment, but I’ll say he knocked it right out the ballpark.
The media gave their reviews after Noah’s appearance. Whilst he earned praise from some outlets, others were not too enthused. What most agreed on though, was that as his debut, and with a long reign ahead of him; there is more room for improvement.
The Guardian notes the topsy-turvy nature of Noah’s first night….
“Noah had an average first night, neither killing it nor completely embarrassing himself. It will take him months to really find his rhythm and must distinguish himself with how he tackles certain key events – something Stewart did with career- and zeitgeist-defining gusto.
“Those are big shoes to fill, and it’s almost like Noah is too close to Stewart’s style.”
Which should not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, that could be what would save him from extinction, if fans who miss Stewart so much can see that spark in him.
USA Today follows a similar tack, noting time must be given to Noah to grow into his role.
“Someday, The Daily Show may truly belong to Trevor Noah. But not yet.
“To be fair, how could total ownership of that Comedy Central staple transfer in just one night, when Jon Stewart had 16 years to turn it into an institution?
“It was a less than spectacular debut Monday — one that focused a bit too heavily on Noah’s status as host, and as an unexpected choice for one.
“Still, there’s talent there, and a skilled staff behind the scenes. And it’s just one night.
“Odds are Noah will find his way, Daily by Daily.”
The New York Times waxed more lyrically. The review was impressed with Noah’s debut, likening it to the release of a new iPhone model.
“The post-Jon Stewart version of “The Daily Show” that Trevor Noah and Comedy Central unveiled on Monday night was a bit like a new iPhone. It was sleeker, fresher and redesigned. There were tweaks here and there — look, even a new font!
But it still does essentially the same thing.”
Entertainment review site IGN continued the praise for Noah’s debut night.
“Right off the bat, you could easily see what Stewart and Comedy Central saw in the beaming young Noah. In addition to leading with great material, the comedian’s delivery and charm were spot-on. Almost all of his jokes landed too, including a reference to Stewart’s beloved New York Mets. “I don’t know what that is, but Jon told me it would work,” he said.
The Daily Beast gave a real mixed review, disagreeing with the directions of the jokes but noting the show should be familiar to Stewart’s fans.
“The man replacing Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ opted for curses and d*ck jokes over keen observational humor in his first outing. Trevor Noah’s version of The Daily Show, on the surface at least, should be reassuringly familiar to Jon Stewart fans.”
Still, Noah got a thumbs up from a man whose opinion on any topic should trump everyone else on planet earth’s- Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The astrophysicist noted that the globe in the opening credit to the show is spinning correctly now. For the entirety of Stewart’s tenure it was spinning the other way, so there’s something he’s got a leg on over Stewart already.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 29, 2015
Congratulations to Noah on the new job. Watch his opening monologue below…