Trevor Noah Delivers Tribute to Jon Stewart and Gets a Kevin Hart Welcome Gift on 'The Daily Show' Premiere

How did the new Daily Show Host's first show go?

Photo: Peter Yang

[BRIGHTCOVE “INSERT ID HERE” “” “” “auto” ] Trevor Noah has finally taken a seat behind the desk.

“I can only assume this is as strange for you as it is for me,” the new The Daily Show host told his audience at the top of Monday’s premiere.

“This is surreal for me. Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed I would have – well two things really: an in door toilet, and a job as the host of The Daily Show.”

Noah acknowledged former Daily Show host Jon Stewart throughout the episode, calling Stewart America’s “political dad.”

“Dad has left. Now it feels like the family has a new stepdad. And he’s black. Which is not ideal,” Noah joked.

He thanked Stewart for believing in him, and promised to work hard to live up to his legacy.

“And I will make you not look like the crazy old guy who left his inheritance to some random kid in Africa,” Noah said.

Noah comes to the show with big shoes to fill. So what’d he keep from the Stewart-era, and how is he shaking things up so far?

What’s the Same?

Noah’s first episode kept a lot of the Stewart trademarks – from playing the straight man to correspondent Jordan Klepper to ending the show with a Moment of Zen.

Don’t expect a more international Daily Show, with him dismissing speculation that the show would have a new global perspective because of his South African origins.

What’s Different?

Noah tackled the hot topics Stewart would have discussed if he were still hosting, including the Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. and Speaker of the House John Boehner’s resignation, but put his own spin on things – making a few risqué jokes that got groans from the audience, including one about Whitney Houston‘s death and another about the Pope having a big penis. He wasn’t farid to show he’s his own comedian with his own perspective.

His age also is poised to change the tone of the show. By the time Stewart, 52, wrapped his run, he was an elder statesman of comedy. At 31, Noah’s youth showed when he interviewed Kevin Hart, 36. Likely because of how close they are in age, Hart acted like more of a peer to Noah than when he was interviewed by Stewart last year.

Ahead of the taping, Hart revealed he immediately agreed to be Noah’s first guest when the new host asked, saying he s a big fan of his standup.

“It’s a big deal,” Hart told PEOPLE of Noah’s new job.

Hart showed his affection for Noah by bringing him a box full of ties as a congratulations gift.

“It’s a thoughtful gift,” Hart said, adding he thought Noah would have a bigger reaction to it. “I thought you were going to dance or something.”

Noah’s transition to The Daily Show marks the end of an 18-month game of late-night host musical chairs, which saw Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, James Corden and Larry Wilmore all transition into new late night gigs in the wake of the retirements of Stewart, Jay Leno, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs weekdays at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.


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