NEW YORK >> Trevor Noah says that he’s leaving “The Daily Show” as host, after seven years of a Trump and pandemic-filled tenure on the weeknight Comedy Central show.
Noah surprised the studio audience during Thursday’s taping, dropping the news after discussing his “feeling of gratitude” that it was the seventh anniversary of when he took over for Jon Stewart.
“I realized, after the seven years, my time is up,” Noah said.
Neither Noah nor Comedy Central offered a timetable for his departure. The network said it was “grateful to Trevor for our amazing partnership” and indicated that it was excited “for the next chapter” of “The Daily Show.”
Television late-night comedy’s ranks have been shrinking, with Conan O’Brien pulling the plug on his show last year and Samantha Bee ending hers this year.
Noah, a relatively unknown comic from South Africa, was a bold choice to replace the popular Jon Stewart in 2015. But he slowly made the show his own and built a dedicated audience.
“So many people didn’t believe in us,” he said. “It was a crazy bet to make. I still think it was a crazy choice — this random African.”
He said hosting the show has been one of his greatest challenges and joys.
“I wanted to say thank you to the audience for an amazing seven years,” he said. “It’s been wild. It’s been truly wild.”
Like most of his fellow comedians, he dealt with the firehose of material during Donald Trump’s presidency and, when the pandemic started, found himself suddenly thrust into the challenge of producing a program without an audience.
He said he realized there was more that he wanted to do recently when he was able to travel again.
“I miss learning other languages,” he said. “I miss going to other countries and putting on a show.”