Trevor Noah opened his first episode as host of The Daily Show by addressing the elephant in the room: Jon Stewart.
“I can assume that this is as strange for you as it is for me,” Noah said at the start of The Daily Show. “Jon Stewart was more than just a late-night host. He was often our voice, our refuge, and in many ways, our political dad. And it’s weird, because dad has left. And now it feels like the family has a new stepdad — and he’s black. Which is not ideal.”
Noah, getting loud laughs from the audience, also discussed why Comedy Central didn’t choose a woman to replace Stewart. “Well, it turns out that Comedy Central did ask women to host, and the women they asked turned the job down because they had better things to do and clearly knew something I didn’t,” Noah joked.
But he wrapped up the opening by paying tribute to Stewart, who hosted The Daily Show for 16 years before signing off in August. “Many people are part of the reason that I’m sitting here today, but above all I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge one man, and that’s Jon Stewart,” Noah said. “Thank you, Jon. Thank you for believing in me. I’m not quite sure what you saw in me, but I’ll work hard every day to find it. And I’ll make you not look like the crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid in Africa.”
During Stewart’s farewell show, the outgoing host made an impassioned plea against “bullsh–“ and said, “The best defense against bullsh– is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.” Noah picked up that baton at the end of his monologue, addressing the viewers directly.
“To you, the Daily Show viewer, both new and old — at home and on your phone — thank you for joining us, as we continue the war on bullsh–.”