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Trevor Noah leaves ‘The Daily Show’: Viewer begs for another black or brown host
America has enough white, male late-night hosts
Writer’s note as of March 2, 2023: I originally wrote at length about how Hasan Minhaj should be the next host. But watching him as a guest host by day three has proved to be a letdown. That melodramatic scene about leaving Twitter and just randomly singing the “Happy Birthday” song instead of actually discussing news is not what I want “The Daily Show” to be.
Of the guest hosts, Wanda Sykes has been the only one (so far) who I thought was deserving of being the replacement. D.L. Hughley was winning me over until he went on yet another tirade about VP Kamala Harris and his comments on “The Breakfast Club” in February about how Trevor Noah doesn’t have any “skin in the game” as though growing up during apartheid and his entire life isn’t proof of someone who understands what black folks deal with every day. Leslie Jones was OK on Day One, but the yelling and random sex rants grew old by Day Two. Chelsea Handler was better than I thought she’d be until the unnecessary panel discussion with random people. Sarah Silverman? There’s not enough money in the world to make me watch her do anything.
I am tired of getting my news from white men. I just don’t have time to nice this up. I dropped my head and a few tears fell to find out Trevor Noah confirmed he is leaving “The Daily Show.” I don’t watch Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon anymore; I tried, but they just couldn’t keep my interest past a few video clips. John Oliver? No. Seth Meyers? No — unless he drinks with Rihanna again. Although I think Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart have funny moments — the latter of which has a really good podcast when he’s not justifying white men like George Carlin using the n-word — I couldn’t stick it out with either of their shows. (Again, I tried hard.)
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I have binge-watched James Corden singing but lose interest in his talk show. (Him snuggling up to Idris Elba made sense though. Who wouldn’t?) I adore Stephen Colbert’s show, but I never watched it until the Trump presidential campaign started. Yes, the man can rap, and he’s a good interviewer (although he misses his mark with funny men like Roy Wood Jr.). But I’m always puzzled by why Colbert makes so many jokes about age. Fifty-eight years old is no spring chicken, and he has been notoriously ageist with his own guests and drowns in Biden age jokes. (Honestly, the hip-hop news and slang don’t hit the same either.)
Trevor Noah is my relief. Not only is he consistently funny (the bathroom humor and dick jokes could get a little awkward), but he brings a world view to the show — as a black man, born in Africa and well-traveled. For six years, I’ve kept a quote from his book “Born a Crime” on my website and read that book twice. Many many times, this Millennial would discuss American breaking news and compare it to something from his stomping grounds. I’d get a little bit of African history in my American history, and it is always done effectively, thoughtfully and even made me change my mind on a couple of issues.
After he recently decided to part ways with the show after seven years, I expected to hear the Trump enthusiasts, the diehard Jon Stewart viewers and people who never watched the show to weigh in. I went straight down the Twitter thread and blocked them as I read their tweets. Their opinion matters to me as much as garbage littered on a curb. One of the more disappointing tweets that I did not block was one asking for Jordan Klepper to be the new host.
Late-night talk show TV is dominated by white men giving their take on the news. Is it too much to ask to not suggest the one field correspondent who isn’t oddly obsessed with MAGA? Even after Trump’s term ended, Jordan Klepper couldn’t wait to interview January 6 Capitol rioters, do an entire show on MAGA, constantly do field pieces on MAGA, etc. I am fucking tired of this group getting coverage. Leave that b.s. on Truth Social. I have constantly changed the channel or skipped past Jordan Klepper’s segments. I already dealt with this crew from 2016 to 2020. I don’t want to hear about them in 2022. Investigating MAGA about racism and politics makes as much sense as me interviewing a whistling tea kettle to see if the water is hot. You will NEVER learn anything new, but that seems to be all he’s interested in.
There are a flood of black and brown people on the show, and women. Why not consider Roy Wood Jr., who is killing it on “Beyond the Scenes” podcast? Why not consider Ronnie Chieng, who is accidentally funny even when he’s not trying to be purposely funny?
What about a woman of color — or a woman at all?
When I think of funny and intelligent, Keke Palmer comes to mind, but she just started her own network: KeTV. She’d also have to get to know the Dick Cheneys of the world without the “sorry to this man” memes. But you know who does know who Cheney is? Jessica Williams, former field correspondent. Years later, I still miss Jessica Williams’ interviews and field pieces on “The Daily Show.” I know she’s busy promoting “Entergalactic,” which was amazing enough for me to watch it twice, but her voice would be highly appreciated.
A third contender who comes to my mind is Robin Thede. I slept through all 24 episodes of “The Rundown with Robin Thede” because I didn’t know who she was. It wasn’t until “A Black Lady Sketch Show” came out that I realized I really should’ve supported her show. She’s yet another person who knows how to balance intelligent conversations and humor. Unfortunately, she told Jemele Hill in an “Unbothered” interview that she has no interest in late-night TV because of its heavy news load.
(I know someone is going to ask me about Dulcé Sloan, but I just cannot get into that random podcast with her and Josh Johnson. I do not need to know her views on bagels versus croissants or window seats versus aisle seats. “Dul-Sayin’” is good though!)
If I can’t get Roy Wood Jr. to do the show, and Robin Thede is busy, why not Desi Lydic? I have held my sides many times during Desi Lydic’s field pieces. She’s smart and funny, and she’s fun to listen to. Although American viewers have had some white women in daytime talk shows (and of course the almighty black woman Oprah Winfrey), none have left a solid mark in late-night shows. I am neither a mother nor white, but Desi Lydic is still relatable (for me).
Arsenio Hall walked so Trevor Noah could run
Trevor Noah has been the first late-night talk show host since Arsenio Hall that caught the eye of black viewers of all ages and consistently kept an intelligent, comedic debate going. Of course, Comedy Central does have Charlamagne tha God, who is less of a troll than he was during his early years on “The Breakfast Club.” However, he thinks “Sloppy Joes” and “hangry” jokes are funny when speaking about Jeffrey Dahmer. The crowd’s silence said otherwise.
Even without guests (or a guest panel), Trevor Noah perfected humor, education and political savvy in one neatly wrapped box. That is a very hard talent to find in any talk show host. He nailed it, and I fully understood why Jon Stewart insisted that the South African guy be his replacement. Although I’m aware that his 2.5 million viewers didn’t stick around as much as they did when the show started, he managed to loyally hold onto viewers like me who found “The Daily Show” to be the highlight of her socially isolating days.
Still, we need a new BIPOC voice if Trevor Noah insists on leaving (and breaking my heart). Black viewers have heard the same voices over and over and over again. Give another BIPOC a chance. There’s room for the both of us. Thank you.
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