Trevor Noah said farewell to the Daily Show after seven years as host on Thursday evening by expressing gratitude both to viewers and to the Black women who shaped him. “I’m grateful to you. Every single one of you,” he told his studio audience. “I remember when we started the show, we couldn’t get enough people to fill an audience.”
That’s like comedy, he assured, recalling his early days doing standup to empty seats and why he doesn’t take an audience for granted now.
“Every seat that has ever been filled to watch something that I’m doing, I always appreciate because I know the empty seat that sits behind it, so thank you,” he said. “Thank you to the people who watch, the people who share the clips, everyone who’s had an opinion, everyone who’s been kind enough and gracious enough.”
He thanked viewers who critiqued the show, as well as those who hate-watched it – “we still got the ratings, thank you.”
Noah then delivered an emotional shoutout to Black women. “I’ve often been credited with having these grand ideas,” he said. “Who do you think teaches me, you know? Who do you think has shaped me, nourished me, informed me? My mom, my gran, my aunts, all these Black women in my life.
“I always tell people: if you truly want to learn about America, talk to Black women,” he said, tearing up. “Because unlike everybody else, Black women cannot afford to fuck around and find out.
“Black people understand how hard it is when things go bad, especially in America, but any place where Black people exist.” he added. “When things go bad, Black people know that it gets worse for them. But Black women, in particular, they know what shit is, genuinely.
“If you truly want to know what to do or how to do it, or maybe the best way or the most equitable way, talk to Black women,” he concluded. “They are a lot of the reason that I’m here. And so I’m grateful to them, and I’m grateful to every one of you. This has been an honor, thank you.”
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert celebrated the release of the WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian detention on Thursday morning in a prisoner swap. “It’s a big win for freedom, big win for Joe Biden,” said Colbert.
Griner was detained in February and sentenced to nine years in prison after Russian airport security found vape cartridges with 0.7g of cannabis oil in her luggage. “They gave her hard time for seven-tenths of one gram,” Colbert lamented. “That’s the amount of weed Willie Nelson scrapes out of his belly button.”
Griner will return to US soil in a one-for-one prisoner swap with the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death”. “So to get a sports star who had less than one gram of weed, we handed over the Merchant of Death. This is how it always goes with Russian prisoner swaps,” said Colbert, breaking out a Russian accent. “OK, we give you back tourists who took unflattering photo of Red Square. You release Gargog the Flesh-Manglers.
“Welcome home, Brittney,” he added. “A lot of has changed. Don’t Google ‘Kanye Hitler’.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers continued to enjoy Republican bafflement and frustration over Herschel Walker’s defeat in the Georgia runoff election. Sean Hannity, for example, seemed “utterly mystified” as to why Republicans were more hesitant to vote early or by mail than Democrats, saying on Fox News: “I think Republicans have been unwilling for whatever reason – reluctant, resistant – to voting early and voting by mail.
“Dammit, if only we knew who was responsible,” Meyers joked. “Who in the Republican party has spent years relentlessly and obsessively harping on mail-in voting as a corrupt way to rig elections?
“It’s so funny how they just have to pretend they can’t remember a single thing Donald Trump said over the last like six years,” he continued. “We’re at the point where they’re going to start acting like they had no idea who Donald Trump is. He’s going to fade out of all his photos with Hannity like Marty McFly in Back to the Future.
“Republicans are dancing around Trump and bending over backwards not to pin the blame on him because they’re still afraid of him,” Meyers later added. “They all know that Donald Trump doesn’t care one iota about the future of the Republican party. He only cares about Donald Trump.
“They’re terrified that even if they beat him in a primary, he will do everything in his power to burn it all down and make life miserable for whoever the GOP nominee is,” he concluded. “If he can’t be the next Republican president, he’d be perfectly happy to be the last Republican president.”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel tepidly cheered news that the House select committee on January 6 is considering criminal referrals for Donald Trump and his associates. The referrals would be symbolic, “which, of course they would. Nothing bad ever happens to Donald Trump,” said Kimmel.
“I guess we all knew the committee couldn’t prosecute Trump,” he continued, “but it’s a bummer to remember that Liz Cheney and her crew are basically just a neighborhood watch group hoping the cops show up after they file a report about a guy in a red hat urinating on their front lawns.
“How have you not been charged?” he wondered. “It’s amazing how long this is taking. I mean, he’s not the Zodiac killer. He’s right there at home in Florida eating pork chops with Nazis. Go get him!”