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Predicting Trevor Noah's Future Scandals

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It would seem that regardless of what kind of person Trevor Noah is in real life, he is now in a lose/lose situation with The Daily Show. It doesn't help that Comedy Central doesn't really seem to be doing anything to salvage things. Some well crafted web content would probably go a long way.

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Eats pizza with a knife and fork

If we get to pick, can it be this one and Stewart comes back to do the boot?

 

 

Is this supposed to be some kind of a joke?

Yes.

Edited by Actionmage
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While this piece is a joke, I think the main point behind it is totally real. Noah seems so far to have no real common sense. Even if he reclaims the attitude that TDS is more of a comedy show than a Current Affairs program I'm not sure he really understands that you can't just laugh off anything you say as "just a joke". You stick to your guns defending any joke of substance, but do a sincere mea culpa for crass idiocy, when necessary. Because to expect the audience to come to you rather than you to them requires a genius, and there's no sign he's a comedy genius. To expect otherwise comes off as real arrogance.

 

He also has a massive mountain to climb to prove he understands his audience. Being an "international comic" is all well and good in theory, but the show's ratings figures come from WITHIN the US, not from outside it. You don't have to pander, but playing the bemused foreigner snarking on American idiocy could be a dangerous game, if he winds up going that way. John Oliver can do it because he transparently loves America and understands it pretty well. The viewers SEE that. James Corden dodges the issue by having an infantile show. Noah's burden is that he's been here like... months... and if you sample some of his past comedy on the web it seems like he favors lots of subjects where he may stick his foot in it fairly often. Nobody in the market wants some smirking superior seeming type appearing to laugh AT us and not WITH us.

 

We shall see. A lot of this is pure speculation based on his past comedy and how he's handled the media. Of course he could prove us all wrong.

Edited by Kromm
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ratgirl, your choices are just so wrong. Though I suspect Noah is just as wrong a choice. What was once my favorite hour of the day, M-Th, has become dead space. I tried two months of Wilmore, and that was enough--he was great when he occasionally appeared on the DS, but I tired of him quickly on a regular basis. Guess I will be going to bed earlier. Even the new Colbert show is not worth staying up for.

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Unlike his twitter feed, the Daily Show material will be written by people who know how to be funny.

So I think Noah's test is whether he has the charisma and delivery chops to sell the material; also if he can restrain himself from ill-conceived ad libs. Lastly, he has to be comfortable with the guests.

I'm not optimistic, but I guess we'll see.

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Unlike his twitter feed, the Daily Show material will be written by people who know how to be funny.

So I think Noah's test is whether he has the charisma and delivery chops to sell the material; also if he can restrain himself from ill-conceived ad libs. Lastly, he has to be comfortable with the guests.

I'm not optimistic, but I guess we'll see.

 

I don't see this happening. Sure, for the first few months he'll be doing a show that resembles Stewart's show (the same way Stewart spent about a year doing Kilborn's show), but over time, for better or worse, the show will eventually be remade in his image and his comedic sensibility. Otherwise, the whole thing would just be pointless.

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I don't see this happening. Sure, for the first few months he'll be doing a show that resembles Stewart's show (the same way Stewart spent about a year doing Kilborn's show), but over time, for better or worse, the show will eventually be remade in his image and his comedic sensibility. Otherwise, the whole thing would just be pointless.

Well Stewart made the show his own through staff changes, and yes it took about a year. But I think he always knew where he wanted to go. And he wouldn't do "Five Questions" right from the get go (he did it a few times but obviously deliberately f'ed it up) because he saw that as stealing from Kilborn, no matter what the lawyers said. And maybe he also thought it sucked, but I really think he was just uncomfortable swiping Kilborn's signature bit.

 

I don't see Noah as having that kind of vision right from the start, frankly. Maybe I'm underestimating him, since he did hosting work in South Africa. Maybe his ideas about what to do next got him the gig. I don't see it, but it's possible. 

Edited by Latverian Diplomat

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I've been genuinely surprised at the negativity I've seen towards TN. It's not like he's Brian Williams. His job is to tell jokes and be irreverent. I see nothing that tells me he can't do that. He also seems to have Jon's love of history/politics while bringing the outsider perspective that made John Oliver so popular.

The MOZ showed me just how long and how many changes it took for TDS to become the force it is. In retrospect, the first days/months/years of Jon's tenure were unbearable.

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I've been genuinely surprised at the negativity I've seen towards TN. It's not like he's Brian Williams. His job is to tell jokes and be irreverent. I see nothing that tells me he can't do that. He also seems to have Jon's love of history/politics while bringing the outsider perspective that made John Oliver so popular.

The MOZ showed me just how long and how many changes it took for TDS to become the force it is. In retrospect, the first days/months/years of Jon's tenure were unbearable.

Why do you think there isn't a burden, a legacy, for a comedy show, every bit as much as any other platform?

Lets put aside the social commentary aspect of The Daily Show for a moment. Pretend we're simply dealing with a legacy akin to a new person inheriting The Tonight Show. Aren't there always expectations that go along with that? Expectations that actually got one person (Conan) FIRED? Whether we think it's fair or not, it's real.

And I don't think it's apples to apples comparing Noah to John Oliver. As I said upthread, Oliver doesn't work simply because he's an outsider. Oliver works because he clearly understands the American culture, the audience SEES that he clearly understands the American culture, and he's neither dismissive nor scornful of it. Oliver charted a very specific place where he can occasionally comment from the outside without pissing off the people on the inside, because he did the slog work to earn that status.

I'm not saying it's impossible for Noah to reach that same trust. He hasn't even put out a single show yet, so who knows. But it's logical to look at his existing body of work, his reactions in the media, and his apparent general vibe/attitude and draw preliminary conclusions. This isn't a matter of fairness, it's just again, how something is. If you assume a high profile public job, people pre-judge you. Fairness has little to do with it. And if Noah turns things around? Great.

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Expectations that actually got one person (Conan) FIRED? Whether we think it's fair or not, it's real.

Conan wasn't fired because he didn't live up to some imagined standard of the Tonight Show, he was fired because Leno's 10:00 show tanked, the affiliates were upset and it was cheaper to buy him out than it would have been to do the same to Leno

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Conan wasn't fired because he didn't live up to some imagined standard of the Tonight Show, he was fired because Leno's 10:00 show tanked, the affiliates were upset and it was cheaper to buy him out than it would have been to do the same to Leno

Heh. I knew the moment I posted that that someone would write back something approximating this.

It was both with Conan. I mean do you really think he would have been fired over a few million dollars difference between his contract and Leno's if his version of The Tonight Show had matched Leno's ratings?

That's not a defense of Leno, or a slam on Conan's (probably superior) talent. The Tonight Show somehow for America became a brand about bland inoffensive pre-bedtime pablum. The expectations for that job were that it would dominate the ratings and not offend anyone. Just like the expectations for The Daily Show now are going to be that it's not just what Marcelline said anymore ("His job is to tell jokes and be irreverent") but to hold onto Jon's viewers that it will fulfill similar expectations that have now become attached to the name. A legacy doesn't have to necessarily be a GOOD thing, or even fair, is my point. The legacy of The Tonight Show drummed out a funnier, edgier host, and the legacy of The Daily Show is that Noah has a higher bar to meet than just telling jokes and being irreverent.

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It was both with Conan. I mean do you really think he would have been fired over a few million dollars difference between his contract and Leno's if his version of The Tonight Show had matched Leno's ratings?

If Conan's numbers were better then he would have stood a better chance against Leno yes, but Leno's contract guaranteed him a show and 2 years of salary, It wasn't a few million dollars difference, it cost NBC 45 million to buy out Conan and his staff, it would have been in the range of 150 million for Leno. Once Leno's number went in the shitter that was it for Coco.

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Also, even with the legacy of the show or general comedic tradition, the discussion of TN seems excessively negative on very little evidence or experience. Based on North America's exposure to TN this is closer to when Conan took over his first show and had barely appeared on camera before.

 

ETA: I don't actually mean anything about Conan's show -- I don't know what was said about him back then and the Internet barely existed so it's not like there were similar forums and social media discussing him at length.  I'm just saying that we have almost nothing on which to judge Trevor Noah and yet the judgments have been coming fast and furious and been overwhelmingly negative.  Sure, as Kromm said, it doesn't have to be "fair" but it's also not based on his "body of work" -- he has hosted shows in South Africa, he is an award-winning entertainer over there, he has toured the world.  That's not what people are discussing or basing their assessments and predictions on.  I'm just agreeing with marceline, that the response has been rather surprisingly negative.

Edited by dusang
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I imagine Comedy Central will give Trevor a fair amount of freedom to find his stride, and it will take time with such and institution. Comedy Central has developed a strong reputation for staying hands-off with their shows.  

 

Larry's finally coming around with a good tight show on The Nightly Show, and they've had great success letting Key & Peele; Workaholics; Inside Amy Schumer; and Kroll show hit their stride. And as best as I can tell @Midnight runs smoothly even given Chris's schedule.

 

Obviously the Daily Show became the Flagship program under Jon, but their production budget has surely been cut significantly. They'll be paying Trevor a fraction of what Jon made. The senior writing staff and correspondents likely got a bump up, but I'm sure there's been some shuffling too. 

 

I think they'll be able to weather the storm while the show finds its voice and its audience.

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