NEW YORK – Replacing Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show was always going to be difficult bu Trevor Noah got off to a confident start, stating boldly ‘Jon Stewart was sh*t’ before tearing off his shirt and trousers and running around the studio practically naked.
Following an audible gasp from the audience, Trevor Noah went on to say in his first opening monologue as host:
Jon Stewart was yesterday’s man. He was rubbish. I’ve seen funnier dentists. Everything he said was wrong and dull, filled with mediocre analysis and second hand Groucho Marx schtick. [High-pitched mimicky voice] ‘I’m Jon Stewart, I’m Jon Stewart’. And now I have to sit in his chair and I have to tell you, it’s sticky. I, Trevor Noah, am much better. I’m the best. You won’t find anyone funnier than me. And I know my politics. What about that Pope? Huh!
At which point the South African host stripped off and went for a run around the studio audience. Things only got worse when the time came to interview his guest Kevin Hart. Noah set about the interview in what many considered an overly aggressive choke hold, before forcing Hart to sing an improvised song of praise to Noah himself to the theme music from Hart to Hart. Variety claimed that the debut was ‘eccentric but promising’, whereas Deadline said that the sight of the naked South African comedian throttling his guests was ‘refreshing’.