Trevor Noah is discussing his The Daily Show departure.
When he made the announcement in September during an unscripted moment during the show, the Daily Show showrunner, Jen Flanz, and head writer, Zhubin Parang, were both in the dark. So were two Paramount execs he had lunch with the day before. Even his reps found out as news broke as well.
After the taping, staffers were gathered to discuss the news. Flanz said it was “quick and very quiet” and Noah, who hosted the show for seven years, “apologized to everybody.”
“Maybe this comes with not being raised in America, but I believe that everything should end,” said the South African TV host and comedian.
Noah initially declined previous host Jon Stewart’s offer to become a correspondent on the show in 2013 because he was focused on his stand-up career. He eventually changed his mind and then took over for Stewart in 2015. After bumpy early days, he found his footing as host — with some thanks to former President Trump, whose antics made for good fodder. Noah also excelled while leading the show through the pandemic.
However, it was during the pandemic — as he shot the show from home — when it became clear he was getting worn down.
Returning to the studio in a post-lockdown world didn’t help. Noah said he loved floating around the Daily Show office, chatting with people and brainstorming. However, “Now, everybody in the building has masks and we’re limited in how many people can be there at a given time and where you can or can’t be, and because I’m the host, I’m in this bubble.
Noah said he has no part in who will replace him as host. However, he’s willing to serve as as a producer or consultant. Many names have been floated, including correspondent Roy Wood Jr. Noah said he’s talked to each one of his correspondent to candidly discuss what the job entails.
He recalled something Stewart said to him when he left the show: “‘Try to leave before it drains you, before it makes you tired and angry,'” he recalled Stewart saying.
As for what’s next, there’s a long list. For one, there’s Noah’s Zero Day Productions — a joint venture with Paramount — that will continue and it’s got more than 30 projects across multiple platforms in the hopper, including a scripted project based on Noah’s early days immigrating to the U.S. and a Broadway musical about apartheid. There’s also film in the works about Noah’s 2016 memoir, Born a Crime, with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o attached to play his mom.
A second book as well as podcasts, speaking gigs, voiceover work, writing screenplays and a video game are all in the works. Oh, and he’ll also embark on a 28-city North American comedy tour next year.
He will also maybe get a chance to date more privately. Noah, whose exes including Minka Kelly, laughed when asked about being photographed hugging Dua Lipa.