“The Daily Show” is back, and for the first time since December 1998, someone other than Jon Stewart is the permanent host. There has been much discussion of how new host Trevor Noah will fare in regards to filling the shoes of a modern-day broadcasting legend. Tonight, we got our first taste of “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”.
The most immediately noticeable differences are the aesthetics; the show now sports a remodeled set as well as a very sleek new graphics package, And then of course there’s the other massive change, Trevor Noah sitting behind the host desk rather than Stewart.
Aside from that, however, it’s pretty much business as usual. The show doesn’t miss a beat, jumping right back into its usual format. With all the talk of how different the show may be under Noah’s leadership, it’s interesting that at least initially the show seems intent on playing it safe, likely planning on easing us into any future changes. Even the Moment of Zen is still there!
Noah, for his part, looks fairly comfortable in the host position. He handled a few instances of jokes tanking with the audience well, and gave off the confidence of someone who has been doing this for longer than just one night. However, he does have one immediately obvious problem area, and that’s interviewing. The Kevin Hart interview was painfully awkward, from the stumbling, nonsensical questions to the confused reaction to Hart’s welcoming gift. This is something that can be fixed with experience, luckily, and it didn’t derail the night too badly. It will be interesting to watch his interviewing skills evolve.
Overall, Noah’s “Daily Show” debut went as well as anyone could have hoped. It’s clear that the show plans to play things safe, at least initially, by easing us into whatever changes may lie ahead. In the meantime, it’s just nice to know that the show will continue to fight the War on Bullshit.