At the end of his broadcast Thursday night, Trevor Noah shocked the live audience and viewers at home by announcing that after seven years, he would be stepping down as host of The Daily Show.
“My time is up,” Noah said to audible gasps from the crowd. “Yeah, but in the most beautiful way, honestly.” He called hosting the show, which he took over from longtime host Jon Stewart in 2015, “one of my greatest challenges and one of my greatest joys.”
But after seven years, he added, “I feel like it’s time.”
Noah went on to say that he came to the decision after he was finally able to get back out on the road as a stand-up comedian after two years of hosting the show from his New York apartment. “I miss going to other countries and putting on shows,” he said. “I miss just being everywhere and doing everything.”
After thanking everyone who helped him get where he ended up, Noah said, “I never dreamed I would be here,” comparing himself to the title character of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who was “handed the keys” by Stewart’s Willy Wonka.
He ended by assuring viewers that this was not his last episode and will “still be here for the time being,” adding, “all I can say is thank you very much.”
Earlier in his comments, Noah described himself as a “random African guy” who was picked to host one of the most influential shows on television. And it’s true that when he was first announced as Stewart’s successor he was virtually unknown to American audiences.
In the seven years since, his profile has not only risen as an internationally successful stand-up comic, with Netflix specials, a best-selling memoir, and gigs hosting the Grammys and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner just this past year.
When Noah spoke to The Daily Beast just a few months into his tenure in 2016, he said, “I never intended to replace Jon Stewart. I’m not replacing him. Jon Stewart left and then I’m taking up the vacancy. Replacing Jon Stewart is impossible and something I would have never tried and have never tried,” adding, “So all I keep doing is working to be myself and working to get my point of view across in the best way possible.”
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