Trevor Noah, the South African comedian who replaced Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, gave a wide ranging interview with Bloomberg Masters in Politics hosts Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin. The 32-year-old comedian who landed the most coveted job in comedy has some pointed words for cable news media and addressed the “strange” American political landscape and the high unfavorables of both major candidates.
Noah finds that young people are hungry for news that isn’t simply comedic, but truthful. “I find there is a ravenous appetite for the truth right now. When I say that I don’t mean fact vs. fiction. It almost feels at times as if people almost don’t want jokes, they just want a place where they can find the truth.”
For Noah, the reason behind this is that young people, including himself, have become disenchanted with traditional news sources. “I’ve come to realize it is partly due to the fact that so many other sources that are supposed to be providing that truth are not. So the news has become this world of opinion now. For most news corporations to call themselves news is a stretch because it’s really not completely news. It’s opinion with a few news bites here and there.”
As a native South African raised during the apartheid era, Trevor has a unique view of American politics, and has no trouble calling the state of the country’s politics out. “Everyday I’m perplexed at how America, a country founded on ideals and a country that really is based on an idea, is so behind in its politics. It’s a very strange thing for me. This was a country that had the most advanced Constitution, and at some point it stopped getting updated. It’s very strange. It’s like launching the first iPhone and then never updating the software.”
Noah finds that South Africa’s politics have advanced farther than America’s, and takes issue with the idea that Americans should “settle” with candidates that the majority of Americans view unfavorably. “Even the presidential election itself, to see two political parties, I mean one more than the other with the Republicans, but to see two political parties basically settling to a certain extent and saying, “Okay, this is our candidate. This is what we’re doing. We have to do it like this,” is very strange because where I’m from, the party would have no qualms replacing that person because the party and the voters and the ideals are more important than the individual.”
Asked whether he would have Donald Trump on the show Noah said, “I don’t think he would ever come. I think Donald Trump purposefully stays away from places where he feels like he’ll be tested so I don’t think that would ever happen,” while adding “We’d have him on the show, I don’t know what he would say. We’d have anyone on the show.”
The Daily Show show under Trevor Noah is the #1 daily late night talk show among adults ages 18-24, men 18-34 and men 18-34, and is also the #2 rated late night talk show with adults ages 18-34, with a growing young, millennial audience.
You can listen to Trevor’s full interview here.