South African comedian Trevor Noah is to take over from Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, Comedy Central has announced.
Stewart, who has fronted the US satirical news programme since 1998, revealed in February that he is stepping down later this year (2015). Noah, who joined the The Daily Show as a contributor last year (2014), will make his debut as host at a date to be confirmed.
“It’s an honour to follow Jon Stewart,” Noah said in a press statement. “He and the team at The Daily Show have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world. In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.”
Departing host Stewart added: “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with… In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”
Noah, 31, began his stand-up career is his native South Africa before becoming the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on The Tonight Show in 2012 and the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on The Late Show With David Letterman the following year. In the UK, he has made TV appearances on QI and Eight Out Of Ten Cats.
During Stewart’s tenure, The Daily Show has attracted audiences of up to 3.6 million viewers, around 80% of whom are aged between 18 and 49. Although it is conceived as a “fake news programme” offering a comically exaggerated take on current events, The Daily Show has been hailed as an important source of genuine news among young Americans. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Al Gore have all appeared as guests on the show.