Trevor Noah is suffering from a severe case of media whiplash.
On Monday, Comedy Central announced the 31-year-old South African comedian would be replacing Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show. Just as quickly as the news broke, a deluge of listicles and blurbs exploded to the tune of “What You Need to Know About Trevor Noah.” On Tuesday, the media slammed the brakes when insensitive tweets from Noah surfaced. The conversation around Noah switched from “fresh, young comedian of color…yay!” to “anti-Semitic, sexist douchebag…boo!”
Comedy Central was quick to rush to Noah’s defense in a statement:
Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included…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.
Noah himself took to the site that bit him, tweeting:
Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi then jumped into the conversation during an event last night at LinkedIn’s New York City office. “I think it’s much ado about nothing. The guy made some off-color, irresponsible tweets, but he was trying to be funny,” Mandvi says. “I don’t think we’ve quite decided what Twitter means. Because you can read that and act like he said it yesterday and it defines him now, but do we all want that?” (skip to 27:45 in the video below).
But no defense of Noah, or of comedy in general, can measure up to the greatness of Patton Oswalt’s 54-tweet-long rant (it’s numbered to 53 but has two different tweets marked as no. 8). It starts with a painfully lame joke we’ve all heard (and told) before. And soon, you’re tumbling down the rabbit of hole of the comedic hypersensitivity:
Jon Stewart’s Best Moments: