A lot has happened since the last new episode of The Daily Show aired back on March 26th: Comedy Central announced that the show’s relatively new correspondent Trevor Noah would take over for Jon Stewart after the long-running host departs the program later this year. However, soon after Noah was designated the Daily Show‘s upcoming host, a rash of old and offensive tweets Noah posted threatened to derail the momentum of his new job.
Stewart defended Noah Monday night following the “kerfuffle” and asked his viewers to have faith in the young comic who will soon be sitting behind Stewart’s desk. “My experience with him is that he is an incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual,” Stewart said. “I think, you give him that time, and it’s going to be well worth it, I’m excited for where he’s going to take this thing.”
Stewart also touched on Noah’s controversial 2012 tweets that some have called misogynistic and anti-Semitic. “I can say this, I think, without hesitation: Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect. Or not,” Stewart told the audience. “Just as I earned your trust and respect. Or did not. Or sometimes earned it and then lost it. And then kind of got it back.”
Stewart is so excited about handing his baton to Noah that he proclaimed that “finally, after 17 fucking years” he was going to DVR The Daily Show to ensure he doesn’t miss the new host’s work. He also talked about the “elephant in the room”: His nemesis, Seth Rollins, winning the WWE title.
In Noah’s own response to the tweet controversy, the comedian said in a statement, “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.” Comedy Central similarly backed Noah, saying “Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included. To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair.”