Trevor Noah: Born a Crime, living a comedic journey

South African comedian Trevor Noah has recently made headlines after landing a R33 million deal to promote SA tourism. Many South Africans remain unimpressed with the news citing that the money was too much. However, even with the controversy, there is no denying that the man has represented SA well internationally.

Comedy aside, Trevor is a TV personality popularly known as the former host of the American late-night talk programme, The Daily Show. He held the position for over 7 years, from 2015 to 2022. Additionally, he is an actor, writer, producer, and political commentator.


During the apartheid regime, Trevor Noah’s mother was classified as Black, while his father was classified as White. Trevor himself was designated as Coloured. His parents’ interracial relationship was illegal when he was born, which he emphasises in his autobiography.

Noah’s on-screen debut happened in 2002 when he featured in a minor role in one episode of the South African soap opera Isidingo. Apart from this, he also hosted a radio show called Noah’s Ark on YFM. However, when he turned 21, his friends challenged him to perform a comedy routine at a local nightclub.

With amusing tales about his life and friends, Noah entertained the audience, leading to him consistently performing at comedy clubs and receiving positive feedback for his performances. Noah hosted TV shows from 2004 to 2008, including Run the Adventure, The Real Goboza, Siyadlala, The Amazing Date, and Strictly Come Dancing.

Trevor Noah hosted several events in South Africa, including the SAFTAs and the South African Music Awards. He also became a spokesperson for Cell C, a mobile phone network provider. Furthermore, Noah has performed in various comedy shows and has released several stand-up comedy specials in South Africa.

The comedian moved to the US in 2011 appearing on The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman. He starred in a one-man comedy show called Trevor Noah: The Racist and was the Roastmaster in a Comedy Central Roast. Noah also performed in the comedy special Trevor Noah: African American.

In December 2014, Noah became a recurring contributor to The Daily Show. In March 2015, Comedy Central announced him as Jon Stewart’s successor. Noah officially became the host of The Daily Show in September 2015.

He hosted the show for seven years and on 29 September 2022, he announced that he would leave the programme to embark on his stand-up comedy career.