Trevor Noah is leaving The Daily Show after hosting it for seven years, indicating he wants to dedicate more time to standup comedy.
The 38-year-old comedian, who moved to the United States in 2011 and was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, had big shoes to fill when he took over in 2015 after the exit of longtime host Jon Stewart.
He quickly established himself with his own brand, suited for an era where online influence was often greater than that of content on cable television.
His reign on The Daily Show on Comedy Central required him to delicately cover some crucial moments in American history, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2021 attacks on the US Capitol.
“I spent two years in my apartment [during Covid], not on the road,” Noah told his studio audience late on Thursday. “Standup was done, and when I got back out there again, I realised that there’s another part of my life that I want to carry on exploring.”
The Daily Show posted a clip of Noah’s remarks on social media.
“We have laughed together, we have cried together. But after seven years, I feel like it’s time,” he said.
Noah ended his remarks by thanking his viewers as his studio audience stood up to applaud him.
Noah, who roasted US politicians and the media at the White House Correspondents Association dinner in April, did not mention his exact departure date in his remarks on Thursday. It was not known who would succeed him.
The key to addressing current affairs through a comedic lens lies in a comedian’s intention, Noah said in a 2016 interview, adding that he learned from his mistakes.
He said of succeeding his legendary predecessor: “I don’t think I would ever have been ready, but that’s when you must do it – you will not be ready.”