Trevor Noah is stepping down from his seven-year reign as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to devote more time to his first love, standup comedy.
In a surprising announcement on Thursday (Sep. 29), Noah told viewers, “I realized after the seven years, my time is up, but in the most beautiful way. I’ve loved hosting this show. It’s been one of my greatest challenges. It’s been one of my greatest joys.”
The comedian’s intelligent, thought-provoking views and quick wit made his commentary on politics and tragedy digestible. It’s what kept viewers smiling in tough times during the Trump Administration, the pandemic, and the George Floyd tragedy. It’s also the part of the job he enjoyed the most.
In the announcement, the 38-year-old said, “I’ve loved trying to figure out how to make people laugh even when the stories are particularly shitty on the worst days.”
Noah learned to find light in serious situations as a kid. As a biracial child born to a black mother and white father during apartheid, he dealt with poverty, abuse, and racism. He often shares these experiences in his comedy routines.
In his Grammy-nominated Netflix special Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia, he recalled how his mother consoled him after his stepfather beat her up and shot her in the head. She survived the attack that snipped off one side of her nose.
The comedian said his mom, Patricia, shared this revelation with her son as he wept during that turbulent time, “Look on the bright side. At least now, because of my nose, you are officially the best-looking person in the family.”
Comedy has not only been a place of comfort for Trevor but it’s also been the foundation for much of his success. In 2019, Forbes ranked the NAACP Image Award winner as the fourth highest-paid comic. The late-night show host made more than 70 stops on his international comedy tour that year. One of his most significant accomplishments was the success of his New York Times bestseller, Born a Crime.
In a previous interview with 60 Minutes, the native South African was clear about his passion and future beyond The Daily Show studio, “I don’t know where anything else will go in life. I know that I will be doing standup for as long as I am able to do standup comedy. It may be to 100 people. It may be to 1,000 people. It may be to 20,000 people. I will always be doing standup comedy for as long as I can. Everything else will come and go.”
No word on the host’s departure date or replacement. Currently, Trevor is on his latest standup comedy world tour, Back to Abnormal.