Trevor Noah Biography: Early Life | Career | Stand-Up Comedy | The Daily Show | Achievements
Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and former television host. He is best known for hosting The Daily Show, an American late-night talk show and satirical news program on Comedy Central, from 2015 to 2022.
He is also the author of the bestselling memoir Born a Crime, which chronicles his life under apartheid and his rise to fame.
Trevor Noah was born on February 20, 1984, in Johannesburg, South Africa. His mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah, is a Xhosa woman from South Africa, and his father, Robert, is a Swiss-German man from Switzerland. Under apartheid, Trevor’s parents’ interracial relationship was illegal, and Noah himself was classified as Coloured.
He faced discrimination and danger from both the authorities and the society. His mother and grandmother raised him in Soweto, a township near Johannesburg that was designated for Black people.
Trevor began his schooling at Maryvale College, a private Catholic school in Johannesburg. He showed an interest in performing arts and languages from an early age. Trevor Noah learned to speak several languages, including English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga and German. He also developed a talent for imitating accents and voices.
Trevor Noah And His Career in South Africa
Trevor Noah started his career in entertainment in 2002 when he had a small role in a South African soap opera called Isidingo. He then hosted an educational show on a family public television channel before hosting his own radio show called Noah’s Ark on YFM, a youth-oriented station.
In 2004, he made his debut as a stand-up comedian at a nightclub after being dared by his friends. He soon became popular for his humorous stories and observations about his life and society.
Trevor went on to host several television shows in South Africa, including a sports show called Siyadlala, a dating game show called The Amazing Date, and contested in Strictly Come Dancing. He also performed in various comedy festivals and tours across the country and abroad. He created and hosted his late-night talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah, from 2010 to 2011 on M-Net.
Trevor Noah Moves to the United States and Hosts The Daily Show
In 2011, Trevor moved to the United States to pursue his career in comedy. He became the first South African comedian to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2012. The stand-up comedian also appeared on other American talk shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He performed his stand-up comedy specials on Netflix and HBO.
In 2014, Trevor joined The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a contributor and senior international correspondent. He impressed the audience and the critics with his witty and insightful segments on global issues and politics. In March 2015, Comedy Central announced him as the successor of Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show. He took over the show in September 2015.
As the host of The Daily Show, Trevor continued to deliver sharp and hilarious commentary on the news and current events of the day. He also interviewed various celebrities, politicians, activists, authors, and experts on the show.
The comedian tackled topics such as racism, immigration, gun violence, climate change, health care, democracy, and human rights with humor and intelligence. He also brought attention to issues affecting Africa and other parts of the world that the mainstream media often overlooked.
Recognition For The Daily Show
Trevor received critical acclaim and recognition for his work on The Daily Show. He won several awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series in 2017 for The Daily Show: Between the Scenes. He was also nominated for multiple Emmys for Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.
The comedian was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2018. He was also honored with the Erasmus Prize in 2023 for his contribution to culture and society. He was the first comedian to win in since 1965 when Charlie Chaplin scooped it.
Trevor hosted The Daily Show until 2022, when he decided to leave the show to pursue other projects.
Other Projects and Achievements
Besides hosting The Daily Show, Noah also worked on other projects and achievements throughout his career. In 2016, he published his memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, which became a New York Times bestseller and won several awards.
The book recounts his experiences growing up under apartheid and his relationship with his mother. A film adaptation of the book is in development, with Lupita Nyong’o playing Noah’s mother.
Noah also hosted several major events such as the Grammy Awards (in 2021, 2022, and 2023), the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (in 2022), and the Global Citizen Festival (in 2019 and 2021). He also launched his own production company, Day Zero Productions, in 2018, which produces content for various platforms and networks.
Trevor also supports various charitable causes and organizations, such as the Trevor Noah Foundation, which provides education and career opportunities for underprivileged youth in South Africa.
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
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- Promo: Trevor Noah features on Jay Leno
- How Trevor Noah Became the Next Host of The Daily Show
- Trevor Noah bags 4 nominations at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards
- Comedian Trevor Noah wins prestigious Dutch Erasmus Prize
- Inside Trevor Noah’s Bombshell Decision to Leave ‘The Daily Show’ — and What Comes Next