Trevor Noah celebrates his last episode hosting “The Daily Show” after seven years behind the desk

A packed audience, a full cast of correspondents, and star-studded farewell messages marked Trevor Noah’s final night as host of Comedy Central’s satirical news program “The Daily Show.”

“Don’t be sad,” Noah said in his closing monologue, adding, “It doesn’t feel like seven years. Well, not at the desk. Obviously I went home in between. But still, it’s been a wild ride.”

Noah was ushered through the night by a lineup of correspondents’ tribute segments and a video montage of goodbyes from Oprah, Issa Rae, Kamala Harris, Tracy Ross, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, and others.

“I would never pretend to understand America, you know, in the relatively short time I think I’ve been here,” said Noah, whose perspective as a South African comedian brought an outsider’s perspective to the show. But he did offer a few lessons he has learned.

Noah urged his audience to consider issues beyond democrat or republican ideals by pointing out the strong influence of American political parties.

“As we live in a society where we increasingly introduce ourselves to things that separate us, we forget that real friendships come from the similarities, and then the disagreements are how we polish each other as human beings,” he said.

“Issues are real, but politics are just an inventive way to solve those issues,” Noah said. “It’s not a binary. There are not just two ways to solve any problem. There are not just two ways to be.”

Noah thanked Black women, particularly those who took the time to “inform me, educate me, and argue with me,” in the show’s final minutes.

“I’ve often been credited with, you know, having these grand ideas … Who do you think teaches me? Who do you think has shaped me, nourished me, informed me. From my mom, my gran, my aunt – all these Black women in my life,” the host said.

“If you truly want to learn about America, talk to Black women,” he continued.

In 2015, Noah took over the show from Jon Stewart, who had hosted it for 16 years and made it a late-night staple.

Before he was chosen to be the anchor, the comedian had only been a correspondent on “The Daily Show” for a few months. Noah had already established a significant following outside of the United States, despite being little known to American television viewers at the time.

He quickly made the show about him, laughingly guiding his audience through unique national experiences like the Covid-19 pandemic and the Trump presidency.

At the end of September, when Noah announced his departure from the show, he gave the impression that his decision was motivated by a desire to perform from behind the desk.

“I spent two years in my apartment, not on the road, and when I got back out there, I realized there’s another part of my life out there that I want to carry on exploring. I miss learning other languages. I miss going to other countries and putting on shows,” Noah said.

The comedian will only be absent for a short time before returning to the stage. He begins his talk, “Trevor Noah: Off The Record” tour in Atlanta on January 20.

Chelsea Handler, D. L. Hughley, Leslie Jones, Hasan Minhaj, Kal Penn, and Wanda Sykes will take over as host when the show returns on January 17th, according to the network’s announcement.

The network has yet to announce whether guests hosts will rotate indefinitely or whether a permanent host will be installed in the chair, so the show’s long-term future remains uncertain.

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