Trevor Noah analysis By Admire Kudita
When South African stand up comedian Trevor took over John Stewart’s gig on American television’s the Daily Show, it was really the beginning of an improbable journey for the young Mzansi creative. But the odds were highly staked against an African outsider to succeed as anchor on a popular television property such as the Daily Show
To begin with, Noah started out at age 18 with a cameo role in Isidingo in 2002. Other roles were as a presenter on SABC Sports (Siyadlala), hosting The Real Goboza in 2007 and his own radio show Noah’s Ark on Gauteng’s leading youth radio station, YFM. Other television credits are hosting the South African Music and Film and Television Awards.Noah’s career is now in the same coveted league with Jay Leno and The David Letterman Show in America.
When Noah assumed the host position on the Daily Show the ratings took a knock which, of course, translated into a dip in advertising support for the television networks with the most compelling programming. When John Stewart left the show, 1.7million viewers were watching the show nightly. Trevor has recently hit a high of 1.045million. His 2015 debut was viewed by 1.019 million viewers. Ratings are all that matter in this business. According to Pew Research Center, 74 % of the viewership belongs in the well educated 18-49 age demographic.
The Daily Show is a news satire and late night talk which tackles the most trending socio- political topics in America and is produced by Comedy Central. Since February 2017, the show is now simulcasts on Black Entertainment Television and industry watchers attribute the development to Trevor Noah’s race as a man of colour.
More recently, Noah, riding a wave of popularity as the host of The Daily Show in the US, earned $3 million (R49m) for the deal with publishers, Spiegel & Grau in 2016. The book is “a collection of personal stories about growing up in South Africa during the last gasps of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that came with its demise”.
It gives insight into his life living on ‘madora’ caterpillars during times of extreme poverty, to being thrown out of moving cars by gangsters and spending time in jail. It also chronicles his family life in apartheid South Africa. The book is published in South Africa by Pan Macmillan. Entitled Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood’. When explaining his reason for writing the book which is more or less a memoir of eighteen personal essays, Noah said: “I couldn’t find a good book about myself so I decided to write one. And just like me, this book doesn’t have an appendix.”
The book has been New York Times bestseller! The book’s audio version has garnered the number two position on Audible which is part of Amazon the online selling platform. Trevor Noah has also won the favourite African Star trophy at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles. He was named one of Time Magazine’s top ten Next Generation Leaders with the magazine calling him “the master of the eloquent Trump-takedown”.
Amongst his many accolades, the now A-list Trevor Noah has won the Outstanding Literary Work (Debut Author) and Outstanding Literary Work – (Biography/ Autobiography) to cap a meteoric rise in showbiz. ” (It is)Such an honour to receive two NAACP Image Awards for my book “Born a Crime”. Thank you to every single person who has shared in my story,”
Trevor commented upon receiving the award in the aftermath of the awards. Trevor Noah may well be Africa’s biggest entertainment export.