(CNN) – There’s a new player in the 2016 presidential line-up. He’s not a Republican or a Democrat. He’s not even an American.
This is Trevor Noah, the South African comedian picked to replace Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. And today, he’s officially arrived.
Comedy Central just announced that after only three appearances on ‘The Daily Show’, the 31 year old comedian from South Africa will replace Jon Stewart who has hosted the program for 16 years.
Stewart said, “In my heart, I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity.” Stewart announced his departure in February, when Noah had logged fewer than 12 minutes on screen with his future predecessor.
“I lived a dream”, Noah tweeted after his first appearance, posing backstage more like a fan than a protégé. But the dream of hosting the show with more than one million regular viewers, is one many fans had hoped would be fulfilled by a woman. Former daily show correspondent Samantha Bee and contributor Jessica Williams were widely discussed as breakthrough options.
What Noah’s got going for him is international appeal. He’s a huge star in South Africa. But his relatively new arrival to the states may be his biggest challenge. Noah says, “I never thought of it as a career or anything, comedy wasn’t in South Africa, comedy wasn’t a career choice.”
The son of an African mother and a German/Swiss father, Noah speaks six languages. But as the 2016 political races heat up on America’s preeminent political satire show, Noah must quickly learn the rhetoric of Washington as well.
Noah joked about his past on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2013. Stewart also appeared with Letterman just before he was called to suit up for The Daily Show in 1996.
Noah has a big leg up on some of his competitors. He’s at least been on TV before. When Conan O’Brien started hosting NBC’s late night in 1993, he had written plenty of jokes, but had scarcely any on-camera experience.
Seems like Comedy Central executives are praying the parallels are profitable.