“Daily Show” Replacement Faces Controversy

By Erin Bloodgood

Elm Staff Writer

When beloved satirist and long time host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart announced that he was leaving, we all wondered who would take his place. With Comedy Central already having lost Stephen Colbert last December, Stewart and the network needed to find someone to fill his shoes in their late night timeslot. After waiting for what seemed like forever, it was announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, would take his place. However, soon after the news of Noah’s takeover spread, there was already backlash from the public as well as from other comedians.

Issues surfaced regarding past Tweets made by Noah that s large portion of the population found offensive. Although Noah deleted the Tweets, of course they still exist out there on the Internet. Several Tweets were targeted, and they included jokes that made stabs at “fat” women, Jewish people, and most recently at Bruce Jenner’s sex change decision. The jokes spanned all the way from 2011 to February 2015.  Although these were meant as comedy, they are considered offensive by a large portion of the population.

Still, many people came to Noah’s defense. Seth MacFarlane Tweeted “Hey press: Corporate pollution. Mass incarceration. Animal abuse. These are things to be offended by. Not Trevor Noah’s Twitter feed.” MacFarlane hasn’t always told the classiest jokes, but he does have a point. We do have many more things to be offended over than tweets dredged up from the depths of the Internet from 2011.

Noah defended himself on twitter by stating “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.” I agree with him, comedians make jokes all the time about various types of people and situations, some are tasteful and some make your jaw drop (mainly every single thing to come out of Daniel Tosh’s mouth). Also, things don’t always come across the way they should via social media. Just the other day Clorox was in the hot seat after posting a Tweet referencing Apple’s new emojis and the fact that they don’t have a bleach emoji, which people equated to the company wanting to whiten their skin color. So obviously discrepancies in social media jokes can occur. I’m not really sure that’s what happened in Noah’s case, but I think we need to see past Tweets and look to all the funny non-offensive jokes he’s made.  Noah is about to fill some pretty big shoes and since Stewart, who is Jewish, I doubt he’d want an anti-Semitic man taking over for him, and the rest of “The Daily Show’s” crew has decided that Noah is the man to fill them.

Noah has been on “The Daily Show” several times and has done well, usually comparing America’s and Africa’s views on race and raising awareness of Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist movement in Nigeria which Noah described as “Black ISIS” Noah’s standup is a hilarious comparison of his experiences here as a foreigner and his impressions of America as well as what being black is like in America compared to being black in South Africa. Noah grew up during Apartheid, a system of racial segregation in South Africa that was enforced by the government of South Africa from 1948 to 1994.  Being that his parents are a South African woman and a Swedish man whose very relationship was illegal under Apartheid (and would have been illegal in the US until 1967) means that his very existence as a child of an interracial couple was illegal. From his perspective he gives hilariously jarring commentary on race and also on the way America operates in general. He is witty and very funny I have no doubt that he will fit perfectly as the new host of the Daily Show. Please read his past tweets and watch his stand up comedy. You will see a bright young comedian who has made mistakes and is ready to move on to a new chapter in his life.

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