Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show for the past seven years, announced Thursday night that he will be leaving the show. He is the latest late-night comedian to depart amid a general ratings slump in the post-Donald Trump era.
The 38-year-old Noah surprised fans and the studio audience by announcing his departure in the final segment of Thursday’s show:
“It’s been absolutely amazing,” Noah said, describing his gratitude for hosting the show. “After seven years, my time is up.”
The Daily Show has been one of the few late-night comedy shows to criticize President Joe Biden on occasion, after more than four years of focusing almost exclusively on anti-Trump humor. Still, it lost ratings, along with much of the rest of the anti-Trump lineup.
Noah was well-known in his native South Africa before being asked to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes in 2015. Though relatively new to American political humor, Noah learned quickly, and soon became one of the voices driving political commentary, not just reacting to it. He defied a legion of skeptics and built a loyal — albeit somewhat diminished — audience, as well as an international profile.
Still, Noah was — with a few exceptions — a reliable megaphone for the progressive left. As such, he offered little that was fresh or different from other late-night comedians, leaving Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld to exploit a neglected market and soar in the ratings.
Mainstream political comedy has suffered since the Barack Obama era, when comedians preferred to mock the Republican opposition rather than taking on the left’s messianic president. The advent of wokeness in Hollywood and on college campuses has also damaged comedy in general. Only a brave few — Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais, and Gutfeld, among a handful of others — dare to challenge the left-wing “progressive” orthodoxy to which Hollywood has clung, like an anchor on a sinking ship.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.