Trevor Noah takes over ‘The Daily Show’

Taking over for Jon Stewart is an impossible task for any comedian. So when assessing Trevor Noah’s progress on The Daily Show thus far, it’s important to keep in mind that he’s literally taking on an impossible task and that comparing him to Stewart rather than judging his personal progress is not the right way to approach this new era of the show. Trevor Noah was appointed as the successor of Stewart in March, a month after Stewart announced he would be leaving the show. The 31-year-old comedian from South Africa began his journey on Comedy Central earlier this week on Sept. 28 at 11 p.m.

The first episode began with an homage to Stewart and a quirky self-introduction: “Dad has left, and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad…and he’s black.” But Noah quickly, with lively enthusiasm and confidence, jumped right into his first topic: the Pope.

He seemed to do a very good job in carrying the show on his shoulders, cracking clever jokes and opening with a very impressive and smooth monologue. Noah showed no hesitation in making the show all his. Although there were a few times when it seemed he was trying too hard to be exactly like Stewart, it was clearly evident that he knew what he was doing and is going to lead the show with his own style.

The hardest thing to avoid in reviewing the host in the debut season of a show, especially a show with such a comprehensive legacy like The Daily Show or The Late Show, is making it a comparison to the previous host. This is simply because the hardest thing to avoid in watching a new host take over such a show is indeed comparing them to the previous host. One thing is very clear: there will never be another Jon Stewart. But that’s not a guarantee for the demise of one of the most influential talk shows of the past decade. Stewart has moved on, and so should we. Yes, he will be missed. But so far, Noah shows much promise and an undeniable spark.

Like any big change, it’s going to be difficult to adjust to for audiences. Most followers of the show will likely adjust and eventually settle into the new style. Some won’t, and that’s okay because the show clearly is not for everybody. The most important thing is to keep watching and to let Noah show us what he can really do. It’s going to be a very interesting next few months for old and new fans of The Daily Show.