It’s been nearly three months since Jon Stewart signed off of the Daily Show for the last time, and the void he left has been felt by millions of satire-starved fans. While Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show has tried to fill that void, and Stephen Colbert’s new Late Night show launched a couple of weeks ago, the sustained satirical presence of the Daily Show has not been reproduced by any of the other late night comedy offerings.
Consequently, the anticipation for Noah’s premiere was at fever pitch when the show finally came to the air last night. And everyone, fans and critics, were bristling with suspense as to how he would perform, and whether he would make a suitable successor to Stewart.
Well, the best indication of success is wrapped up in the loathing of one of Stewart’s most notorious and mush-headed critics. John Nolte of Breitbart News said that “Awkward Trevor Noah Bombs In Debut.” And with that we know that Noah can be proud of his maiden outing. If the Breitbrats hated it, you know you’re on the right track. Not to dwell on the ravings of a knee-jerk …er… jerk, Nolte’s critique consisted mainly of childish insults and ignorance:
“For all of Stewart’s fascist, bullying tendencies, he did possess some talent. Noah is undoubtedly talented enough to land this gig, but he is unquestionably in over his head. Noah might grow into the gig. He might not. It won’t matter. He is politically correct and a left-wing extremist. […]
“Although fewer than 1% of the population ever watched Stewart, the media still managed to turn him into a Potemkin Phenom. When you’re a leftist, talent and popularity are not required.”
Isn’t that sweet? Nolte thinks Stewart was a talented fascist. That will undoubtedly make Stewart’s day. However, Nolte’s long-standing and inbred hatred for the Daily Show makes it impossible for him to express a coherent opinion. He even admits that “it won’t matter” if Noah is any good, because he’s a “politically correct left-wing extremist,” and therefore deserving of failure. It’s also rather amusing that Nolte condemns the influence of the program because fewer than 1% of the population watched it. He’s not far off, but what he doesn’t mention is that the Daily Show had more viewers than most of the shows on Fox News. So apparently Nolte also regards Fox as talentless and unpopular.
For the record, the Breitbrats predicted the failure of the new Daily Show months ago with a hilariously stupid article that only affirmed that they are as terrible at analyzing television and comedy as they are at analyzing politics.
As for Noah, his debut was a respectable effort with many hilarious moments. It will take some time for him to fully come into his own, but he is obviously smart and funny and is using the show’s producers and writers (held over from the Stewart regime) effectively to maintain a smooth transition. The opening segment (video below) was a perfect introduction that established an emotional connection to the audience saying that he is just as nervous as they are. He revealed a little personal information that explained how he felt about his new role:
“Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed one day I would have two things — an indoor toilet and a job as host of ‘The Daily Show.’ And now I have both. I’m quite comfortable with one of them.”
And with that he thanked the audience for “joining us as we continue the war on bullshit.” That, of course, was a reference to Stewart’s last monologue, and a neat trick to assure the audience that he had the same aspirations to produce the sort of quality satire that acts as a much-needed release mechanism for those of us who are outraged daily by the foolishness and dishonesty of our political and pundit classes. He’s off to a great start.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.