Noah "will earn your trust and respect ... Or not. Just as I earned your trust and respect ... Or did not," said Stewart

By Amanda Michelle Steiner
Updated April 07, 2015 08:50 AM
Credit: Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty; Rick Kern/Getty

Soon after the announcement that Trevor Noah would replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, some unsavory jokes from his Twitter feed were brought to light that resulted in some controversy for the South African-born standup.

The Daily Show returned from its hiatus on Monday, and Stewart, 52, made it clear that he’s standing by his man.

Acknowledging the Twitter “kerfuffle,” Stewart said, “without hesitation,” that Noah “will earn your trust and respect … Or not. Just as I earned your trust and respect … Or did not,” he joked. “Or sometimes earned it and then lost it and then kind of got it back and then it was like, ‘F— that guy!’ “

More seriously, Stewart went on to say that he has full confidence in his successor – and that he hopes loyal Daily Show viewers will give Noah a chance. “My experience with [Noah] is that he is an incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual, and I think if you give him that time, it’s going to be well worth it.”

Comedy Central at large, too, is standing behind Noah. “Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included,” said the network in a statement released to PEOPLE following the controversy. “To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central.”

Later, Noah, 31, defended himself in a Tweet: “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.”

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