Comedy Central announced Monday that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old South African comedian, has been chosen to succeed Jon Steward as the new host of “The Daily Show.” He will succeed longtime emcee Jon Stewart after he departs later this year.
Trevor Noah, who made his debut as an on-air contributor in December, has appeared on the satirical news program just three times. He is a successful stand-up in his native country and hosted his own popular late-night talk show there.
“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny,” Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said in a statement, adding that Trevor Noah “has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America.”
The news was first reported by the New York Times. In a phone interview with the Times from Dubai, Noah said he is bracing for a big challenge.
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Noah told the newspaper. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”
Stewart, 52, said on Feb. 10 that he was leaving the popular series after 16 years at the mock-anchor desk. An exact departure date has not been announced.
In a release from Comedy Central, Jon Stewart said: “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with…In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”