Trevor Noah is getting candid about the chilly reception he received when he became host of The Daily Show.
In a new interview with 60 Minutes, Noah said the initial response was brutal. “Oh I mean everybody hated me. People didn’t even know me and they hated the idea of me,” the 37-year-old comedian told 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl.
Stahl then noted that Noah’s saving grace came via former President Donald Trump. Once the Comedy Central host started doing bits on Trump, his ratings jumped.
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But before he found his rhythm, Noah said it was “terrible initially.”
“Don’t take The Daily Show, Lesley. When they offer it to you, whatever you do, don’t take The Daily Show,” he quipped.
Noah started hosting the late-night show in 2015, when he took over for beloved host Jon Stewart. The Emmy-winning show has continued win awards on Noah’s watch and picked up the Emmy for outstanding short form variety series in 2017.
The 60 Minutes segment also focused on Noah’s upbringing in South Africa and growing up during apartheid. He wrote about his experiences in his memoir “Born a Crime,” because during that time it was illegal for his Black mother to marry his white Swiss father.
In another part of the interview, he discussed his views about his friend Dave Chappelle’s controversial comments in his Netflix special The Closer.
“Did Dave Chappelle cross the line? Yes, no. It immediately puts me in a position where I have to choose a side when I think that the matter is a lot more complex than that. I think everybody is defining the line for themselves,” he said.
“If half of society is saying Dave Chappelle is right and half of society is saying that he’s wrong, then that means there is no line. It means society is seeing the line from two different sides. And so that’s why I say you cannot say did he cross the line because which side are you looking at the line that defines whether or not he crossed it,” he continued.
60 Minutes airs Sunday nights on CBS. Watch the preview clip below:
“People didn’t even know me and they hated the idea of me,” Trevor Noah says about the beginning of his tenure as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” https://t.co/c2ANACRJeW pic.twitter.com/HzlYWymGGj
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) December 20, 2021