As He Gets Ready to Host 'The Daily Show,' 7 Things You Didn't Know About Trevor Noah
Later this month, South African comic Trevor Noah will take over at the helm of The Daily Show.
With more than 20 million views on YouTube and more than two million Twitter followers, the 31-year-old is now set to take on late night comedy.
So who is he?
1. He Was a Soap Star When He Was 18
Before being an international star, Noah had a cameo role in the South African soap opera Insidingo in 2002, when he was just 18.
He also had his own radio show in his late teens called "Noah's Arc" on South African radio.
2. He Started Doing Stand-Up Because His Ex-Girlfriend Told Him He Couldn't
Noah told Interview magazine that when he was dating his ex-girlfriend, she discouraged him from trying his chops at comedy, which only made him want to pursue it more.
“I was dating her and I said: ‘I want to be a comedian.’ And she said, ‘You’re not that funny, don’t be stupid.’ So I said, ‘Okay.’ And I didn’t do it. Then, after we broke up, I thought, ‘This is the perfect time to do everything I couldn’t do when I was with her, like date other girls and do comedy.’ So I did,” he said.
He told Jimmy Fallon that after a night out drinking with his buddies, they forced him to go onstage and tell jokes at a bar.
He said: “They started heckling the comedians and I didn’t even know what was going on. The host of the show was like ‘You think you are so funny, why don’t you come on up?’ My cousin was like ‘I can’t go up, but he can.’
“So, I got up and I spoke and I spoke and I spoke some more and people laughed so I just carried on.”
3. His Stepfather Shot His Mother in the Head
In his documentary, You Laugh But It’s True, he explained: “The guy shot her in the head, there was blood everywhere. She sees me and she is trying to talk and I am just like, 'Whoa!'"
According to published reports in South Africa, Noah said his stepfather threatened to kill the young comic.
Noah, then 25, was reportedly so concerned about his safety that he moved to the U.S. for a time.
4. He Came to America Because He Wanted to be Proud of His Black Heritage
In 2013, Noah told Life and Times that growing up biracial in Apartheid-era South Africa, he was considered “mixed." During that time, it was forbidden for blacks and whites to be together. He yearned to come to the U.S. so he could connect with his ancestry.
He said: “A lot of Black Americans don’t even realize how cool they are.
“It’s so interesting to travel the world and see how people view themselves. Black Americans still have that cool, it’s not going anywhere. It’s entrenched in the culture, the music, the movies, it’s part of who the people are. In South Africa, we have slowly started becoming proud of who we are.”
5. He Initially Turned Down The Daily Show Gig
Noah, who made his Daily Show debut in December 2014, told James Corden on The Late Late Show how he initially turned down the role:
While he was in London, Jon Stewart called him to appear on his show. Noah told him he couldn't take the gig because he was touring in London.
6. He Once Performed for the Queen
In December 2014, Noah not only made his debut on The Daily Show, he also performed for The Queen of England and the rest of the Royal Family at the annual Royal Variety Performance.
7. He Was in Dubai When He Got The Call That Changed His Life - And Couldn't Get a Drink
When The New York Times announced that he was taking over for Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah wasn’t in New York - nor even America.
He was on tour in Dubai when he got the news. He told the Times: "You don't believe it for the first few hours. You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you're in a place where you can't really get alcohol."
Trevor Noah will take over from Jon Stewart on September 28.
Watch Below: Trevor Noah's Stepfather Shot His Mother in the Face and Reportedly Threatened Him