Comedian Russell Peters: Trevor Noah is a Joke Thief


Daily Show successor Trevor Noah has been scrutinized for his joke choices since an announcement he would take over for Jon Stewart later this year, but now he is being accused of stealing his material, altogether.

Channel NewsAsia recently sat down with comedian Russell Peters, who was critical of Noah on an episode of Conversation With. Host Lin Xueling asked the successful Canadian comic if he was jealous of the 31-year-old South African native for grabbing the reins of the show.

“This is not jealousy speaking just because he’s cute and skinnier than you?” Xueling asked.

The former panel judge for NBC’s Last Comic Standing, hastily replied: “He’s also a thief, but that’s irrelevant.”

Peters continued, stating, “He’s stolen material from David Kau, he’s stolen material from myself… you know, but whatever. That’s his gig now, and congratulations! That’s all I can say.”

Peters maintained he would be the “wrong guy” for such a political show, but was ardent in his stance that Noah is unoriginal.

Xueling also asked if Noah had maybe just been “borrowing” from Peters, to which he retorted, “That’s not borrowing! You don’t borrow in this business. If you are a comedian, that’s like stealing somebody’s underwear and putting them on. That doesn’t make any sense. Why would you do that?”

Watch the clip below:

During the 2012 Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyr, the show’s first African roast, fellow South African comedian David Kau publicly accused Noah of stealing his jokes and using them on the Tonight Show.

In 2013 he responded to the accusation during an interview with Mahala:

…this is something that comes with comedy you know, you’ve got to learn what comedy is. If you don’t study your art form you are prone to make mistakes in that world …Nobody owns comedy, nobody owns a premise, nobody owns an idea.

Comedy is your personal take on a thing. … Like, half the jokes young black comedians are doing in America right now, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy were doing 20 years ago.

Noah also insisted every successful comedian in South Africa has gone through “a phase where guys have gone after them.”

The comedian has been under fire from critics since old posts surfaced from his Twitter account in March, which many deemed racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic.

He was handpicked by Stewart as the next host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, after contributing for only four months.



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