Everything to Know About Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart’s Successor

The virtually unknown South African comedian has only appeared on The Daily Show three times. Now he has the hottest job on American TV.

Byron Keulemans/Comedy Central

Comedy Central will announce today that Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show this year, The New York Times reports. Noah, a 31-year-old comedian, has only appeared on the show three times but will take over for 52-year-old Stewart as only the third host in the show’s history. “You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Noah told The Times upon learning of his new gig while on a comedy tour in Dubai. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.” Noah was born in South Africa to a black mom and a white Swiss father, and he speaks six South African languages plus English and German.

Noah likes to say that he was “born a crime” because interracial marriage and interracial sex were illegal under apartheid.

“Race is a big part of what South Africa is today—we’re still dealing with race relations, and it’s a huge part of what we are,” Noah told Time Out London. “I’m a product of that existence, of that world. My racial identity has been reclassified at least three times just in my lifetime, so it’s a very important to me.”

Don't expect him to be too serious, though.

“The first purpose of comedy is to make people laugh. Anything deeper is a bonus,” he told Interview magazine in 2013. “Some comedians want to make people laugh and make them think about socially relevant issues, but comedy, by the very nature of the word, is to make people laugh. If people aren’t laughing, it’s not comedy. It’s as simple as that. They can laugh at different times and maybe some shows are meant to be funnier than others—some comedians are very alternative so they won’t perform [for] a big laugh all the time. Without the laughter it becomes poetry or public speaking or a soliloquy; it isn’t comedy anymore.”