Skip To Content
The Schmooze

Get Ready for a ‘Daily Show’ That’s 75% Less Jewish

(JTA) — It’s no secret that Jon Stewart is Jewish or that Trevor Noah, his soon-to-be replacement on the “Daily Show” is not. So it might not be surprising that once Stewart leaves on August 6 and Noah takes over on September 28, the show will lose a lot of its Jewish flavor.

Noah emphasized on Wednesday that being a 31-year-old half-black, half-white South African man will significantly change the show’s perspective – after all, it will no longer be hosted by, in Noah’s words, a “52-year-old Jewish man who grew up in New Jersey.”

“The way we look at the same story will be completely different,” he said at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour on Wednesday, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We have different access to different jokes, different sides, different sensitivities … the most important thing is the place that you come from.”

Noah, who was born in Johanessburg, South Africa and immigrated to the United States in 2011, is actually one-quarter-Jewish. He told the Melbourne Herald Sun last October that his black South African mother is half-Jewish.

Nevertheless, Noah’s comedic style is very different from Stewart’s. Race issues take center stage in Noah’s shtick, as they do in fellow-Comedy Central-host Larry Wilmore’s.

Noah was also asked on Wednesday about some of his past tweets, which were heavily scrutinized when he was announced as Stewart’s replacement and drew the ire of Jewish organizations B’nai Brith and the Anti-Defamation League for their perceived anti-Israel content.

“I don’t strive to be offensive,” he said. “But you can never control what people find is offensive or not. Any joke can be seen as offensive … Luckily, Comedy Central hasn’t limited me to 140 characters on the show, so I should be able to [better articulate context].”

According to Entertainment Weekly, Noah also plans to focus less on criticizing Fox News and more on doing impersonations. Even the show’s set will look different.

Still, the South African comic didn’t mince words when it came to expressing his gratitude towards Stewart, whose influence helped land Noah the job.

“The biggest pressure is living up to the expectations Jon has for me,” he said. “Jon believes in me … for years we’ve been talking. I never dreamed I’d be sitting in this chair.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.