The Daily Show: A change is gonna come

To show you how important Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” was in the cultural Zeitgeist, the announcement of his replacement, the South African comedian Trevor Noah, made the front page of yesterday’s New York Times paper issue.  I wish him well, for he’s got big shoes to fill.

That said, it’s not clear how friendly he’ll be to the likes of us, given these tw**ts  forwarded by reader Chris (granted, they’re from four years ago):

csYJrpr bTk6uUv 91VtMRiAnd, just doing a random search, I found that the New York Times had just published another story on his controversial tw**ts, noting this:

Within hours of the announcement that he had been named the new host of “The Daily Show,” the comedian Trevor Noah was subjected to the full scrutiny of the Internet. As potential audience members scoured his past work and his social media for more clues about the South African comedian, they uncovered many posts on his Twitter account that they deemed to be offensive to women or Jews.

You can see some of those tw**ts at the Times link right above.

Well, I’m not going to vet him right now for that stuff, for what he’ll do on the show now, and what he says going forward is what’s important. And, after all, perhaps he’s just an equal-opportunity comedian who makes fun of everyone. Still, though, he’s taken the mickey out of religion, but no indication he’s made fun of faith.  And the tw**ts above show not a soupçon of comedic intent. When so many young people watch this show to get not just news analysis, but news itself, it would be nice if they didn’t hire someone who osculates the rump of faith.

 

70 Comments

  1. Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    At least with Jon Stewart hosting I’ve felt like I’m missing something not watching the show. In the future, I will be not-watching for the same reason – I’m a man out of time! – but I bet I will feel less bad about it. It will be interesting to see how things go with the new guy. My prediction is a new show will come along to grab lefty attention – maybe John Oliver’s show will be the main attraction – it’s really good!

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Oliver’s segment on the tobacco industry last weekend was terrific.

      • gunnerkee19
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        HBOGO hasn’t posted Oliver’s show from last week, so I haven’t been able to watch it. I assumed he had the week off.

        • Posted March 31, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          He was off this past Sunday (back next). The tobacco episode was from a couple of weeks back, if I recall correctly.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Yes a repeat of his older show & Jeff the Diseased Lung is actually getting used all over the world – a later episode showed that.

          • gunnerkee19
            Posted April 1, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            Ah. Then I’m not missing out. I just can’t recall the bit that was mentioned. My memory seems to be not working that way more and more. Thanks, Carissa.

  2. jaxkayaker
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Jon Stewart should be congratulated on finding someone with even more idiotic ideas about atheism than he has.

    • merilee
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Is Stewart a believer?

      • sensorrhea
        Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        At the very least he is a big-time faitheist.

        • Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          I’ve never noticed him saying anything “faitheist”.

          • GBJames
            Posted April 2, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            He’s a Respecter Of Faith. ROF types go out of their way to disrespect atheists in order to demonstrate how open minded they are.

          • sensorrhea
            Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

            Did you see his interview of Ayaan Hirsi Ali? It’s in his entire attitude to religion. It’s hard to miss.

            • Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

              I thought his interview was abysmal, but I guess I missed his faithist attitude…

  3. Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    How’s James Cordon doing on The Late Late Show?

    /@

    • merilee
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      I watched the first one because I loved James Cordon in the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Governors. He was OK on the show, but the guests were Tom Hanks and the young woman who married Demi Moore’s ex-boy-toy, ashton K., and the discourse was pretty banal. Anyone seen beyond the first one? I might be more likely to watch it if it were only 1/2 hour.

    • Chris
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:29 am | Permalink

      Badly, by all reports.

      Not surprising, though, as I personally find him hugely a-humourous (increasingly so as his profile has increased)!

  4. mordacious1
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Rosanne Barr has been tweeting that Noah’s jokes are in bad taste. This causes me concern, since when I need help deciding what’s in good taste, the first person I turn to is Rosanne Barr.

    I’m okay with atheist jokes, as long as they’re funny. Those tweets…not so much. How about: Two atheists walk into a Barr?

    • ploubere
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Oh the irony!

  5. ploubere
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    The whole thing is depressing, losing both Colbert and Stewart. I tried watching Larry Wilmore and his show is good, but doesn’t come close to the razor-sharp dissection of social and political events that Colbert and Stewart do. It doesn’t look like this new guy will come close either, but yeah, I’ll give him a chance.

    With HBOgo becoming available without the need for cable subscription, I will probably switch to Oliver.

    • Benjamin Branham
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Oliver is spot on and his show is rather brilliant. A must see for the intellectually inclined. He posts much of his content on YouTube.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        My one complaint with Oliver (and it’s a minor one) is his odd compulsion to repeat every punchline three or four times. His jokes are good and right on target, but he can’t seem to let go of them until he’s beaten them to death.

        • gunnerkee19
          Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          He went to the Jay Leno school of punchline delivery.

          For some reason I’m okay with Oliver’s delivery where Leno’s drove me nuts. I’ve never been a fan of repetition for repetition’s sake, whether in lyrics or punchlines or conversation stand ins (blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, etc.)

          Whew! My contributions to this post are so highbrow!

      • Starr
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        I generally like Oliver, but I realized I need to take his “reporting” with a few grains of salt after his piece on U.S. Territories. While I agree with the point he is arguing, his reference to one of the Insular Cases, and some of it’s racist language, as the reason that territories don’t have the vote was just flat out wrong. The fact of the matter is that the territories don’t have the vote because of the Constitution (which is why it took an amendment to give D.C. the right to vote for President). What makes the findings of the Insular Cases terrible, is in their finding that U.S. territories are not incorporated as a matter of acquisition, meaning that not all constitutional protections apply to residents of the unincorporated territories, whether or not they are citizens. The fact that the U.S. is holding onto territories with civilian populations without the intention of making them States is the real problem. We don’t need to give territories the vote, we need to make them States, or give them full independence.

        • Filippo
          Posted April 1, 2015 at 5:00 am | Permalink

          ” . . . their finding that U.S. territories are not incorporated as a matter of acquisition, meaning that not all constitutional protections apply to residents of the unincorporated territories, whether or not they are citizens. . . . ”

          The “acquisition” of The Philippines comes to mind. Have just finished a pretty good book on that, “God’s Arbiters.”

          “The fact that the U.S. is holding onto territories with civilian populations without the intention of making them States is the real problem. We don’t need to give territories the vote, we need to make them States, or give them full independence.

          The indefinite detention and speedy justice at Guantanamo come to mind.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I think one of the funniest things about Oliver’s delivery is the way he uses his hands and arms His imitation of penguins, octopuses and various other animals is just hysterically funny because of the way he uses his hands and arms.

        • merilee
          Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          And he started that great Carlos Danger dance about Anthony Wiener’s wiener

  6. Ann German
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    why I “religiously” read PCC’s site: “osculates the rump of faith”

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      AHA! See, you’re religious too! #weallneedadog #justkidding

  7. alexandra
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    He won’t last long if he is a funnyless
    faithist. meanwhile, hope JS chose wisely.

  8. Grania Spingies
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Christ almighty. I kinda used to like Trevor Noah’s brand of humor. But those tweets are borderline moron. Does he even know a single atheist?

    #ProjectMuch?

    • Kevin
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

  9. Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Damn. Looks like maybe he’d do better by replacing Colbert. Then we could just pretend it was parody.

  10. nickswearsky
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it is just time people stopped getting their news of the world from a comedy show. I know Stewart didn’t intend that, but that is what he ended up with. Now seems a good time to stop.

    • Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Total agreement. Jon Stewart was funny and his show was great, but his legacy as a some kind of a George Carlin meets Walter Cronkite figure is, in my estimation, rather over-sold. Stewart made mistakes, chief among them his “Rally to Restore Sanity” in 2010 which boiled legitimate policy disputes down to a petty argument on cable TV and, rather bizarrely, implied that the left and the right were equally to blame for the dysfunction and hyperbole in contemporary politics. Sure there is a lunatic fringe to both camps, but I don’t know one single Democrat that went on record stating that 9/11 was in inside job, which Stewart implied at the rally, yet the notion that President Obama is a Nazi, Communist, Socialist, Muslim who wants to kill your Grandmother was GOP orthodoxy for a year and a half.
      Stewart was mostly great, but there were times that he “stepped in it” too.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I had been looking at these, and for now my feeling is that an edgy comedian is routinely given a lot more leeway than the rest of us. But when an edgy joke is analyzed, or if it is delivered in just slightly the wrong way, the comic effect vanishes like vapor and what is left can seem entirely different. Don Rickles, for example, was a master at making people laugh over the most outrageous, uncomfortable things imaginable.

  11. Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    You never want to be the guy who replaces the hall-of-famer. You want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaced the hall-of-famer.
    Trevor Noah has a tough job ahead of him.

  12. GBJames
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Well, this is disappointing news.

    • ChrisKG
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it is.

  13. Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I guess I’m not that concerned about a sort of dumb riff over three years ago. (If that stuff were from December 2014, I’d be surprised, given that he was surely already being considered for this role by then, and those tweets are kinda lame.) For someone in a line of work where they’re constantly generating materials, throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, dumbass comments like that Satan tweet in particular can even be a teachable moment — good comedians realize that something has to have a grain of truth to be funny.

    I was amused to see him comment that he expected criticism because we live in a world where some people say Beyonce can’t sing. Like his jokes about fat chicks are totally in the same league with anything Beyonce does.

    But hey, he knows he’s going to get raked over the coals. Let’s see whether he rises to the occasion.

  14. Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Q: Without God, Atheists wouldn’t exist?
    A: Well, without Atheists, God would exist.

    Q: I always wonder, why atheists don’t spend as much time questioning satan’s existence?
    A: Well, it is not as much fun as questioning God’s existence.

    Q: Christopher Hitchens died, you spread the word of his greatness and tell everybody to read his books?
    A: Well, Jesus died, you spread the word of his greatness and tell everybody to read One Book.

    Q: So Christopher Hitchens wrote a book that Atheist live by? They worship him and believe in his teachings?
    A: Well, Hitchens wrote many books that no atheist lives by, but we read them all, concur when the points are correct (like God Is Not Great, or Religion Poisons Everything), and are skeptical about other points (the arguments for the Iraq War). Plus we “meme” the message (God is Not Great, or Religion Poisons Everything), not the messenger and without even reading “The Book.”

    Q: Christopher Hitchens – For Atheists his words are the truth. And *gasp* his name begins with… CHRIST!
    A: Well, some of Christopher’s words are “the truth” (like God Is Not Great, or Religion Poisons Everything). And we *gasp* only when somebody’s last name is NOAH!

    Now, on a less serious matter. Here is the prediction: Noah will be to The Daily Show, what Morgan was to the Larry King Show.

    • DSG
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes I agree Mr. Noah has a little bit of attitude in his deliveryand not in a good way like Jon Stewart,
      And these tweets are rather disconcerting.
      A Year from now the show landscape will probably be much different and there is a good chance that Mr. Noah will fail when he takes over.
      We don’t know how many of Jon Stewart’s writers are going to stay on board to help the new guy.
      I for one will watch the first few shows and if it turns out that the daily show becomes the comedic equivalent of the 700 club, it will only take me a second on my direct TV recorder to hit one button to stop recording it and never watch the daily show ever again.
      If wise and just and decent people can boycott any state like Indiana ,wise and smart people can boycott a “good show” turns into a “bad show”

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      One would think that he would see the vacuousness of his tweets, and expect the obvious response: Without unicorns, people who disbelieve in unicorns wouldn’t exist. So your point is …??

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      At least Hitchens died in real life, and wrote his own material. Jesus only died inside a fairytale, as far as anyone knows.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Would that The Hitch were available to be invited on Noah’s show so that Noah could “walk the talk.”

  15. Randy Schenck
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I am pretty sure that I’ll be taking a pass.

    Additionally – the idea that Stewart is anywhere comparable to George Carlin…I do not think so. Richard Prior is up there but not Stewart.

  16. EvolvedDutchie
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard to make an atheist joke, because it’s not a philosophy.

  17. Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh oh, another atheistophobe.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      We should silence his atheistophobia with threats of violence, because that’s what atheists do. (sarcasm if it was missed by anyone).

      • Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Yes, we shall mock him until he dies, for he hath blasphemed and desecrated the holy book…. Unless he repenteth by reciting a vaguely misogynistic limerick and proclaim one of the three lame literary excuses for it.

  18. Jeff Rankin
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh but those tweets are dense. #noahneedstothink

  19. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I mostly found those tweets unfunny and that was offensive.

    The atheist ones were just stupid.

  20. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I will support T. Noah. So what if he does not share the views on religion that I do? He can still be insightful, funny, wise, and all that good stuff. I look forward to seeing what he can do.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      To my eye these tweets don’t show much evidence of insight, humor, or wisdom. Nor have I been impressed by Noah’s performance on the show so far.

      I would have liked to see Aasif Mandvi take over Stewart’s job, but apparently he’s getting ready to launch a show of his own on the web.

      Jordan Klepper is also very sharp and funny, though he did a bit of gratuitous atheist-bashing himself a few weeks back with a piece ridiculing FFRF for going after restaurants that offer discounts to people who pray.

      • Jeff Rankin
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Great to learn Aasif Mandvi is going to have his own show, he’s terrific!

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Looking at those (and some other items online), I do see what you mean. But I for one am trying to overlook them for now.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Colbert was too soft on religious people on his show but otherwise okay.

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, that’s fair.

  21. Roger
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    He wonders why atheists don’t spend as much time questioning Satan’s existence, and I wonder why Christians spend exactly zero time praying for Satan’s salvation. I guess that makes us even.

  22. Roger
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Man those are some dumb tweets. He has the benefit of “comedian plausible deniability” though. If he gets called on something, then maybe he was just goofin around being a comedian.

  23. merilee
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    and sub

  24. frednotfaith2
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    This guy isn’t intelligent enough to recognize that atheists disbelieve in devils just as much as they disbelieve in gods??? And he thinks we take Hitchens’ or anyone else’s words as holy writ to live by??? What an ignorant twit. Well, maybe he’s gotten a clue or two since he sent those twits but I’m not encouraged. I haven’t had cable or satellite service in over 8 years now and I certainly won’t be getting myself connected again to see this guy take over Stewart’s spot.

  25. Wayne Tyson
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    It will be difficult to find one so quick of mind as Jon. They come along about once a century or half-century. The 21st has Stewart, the 20th George Carlin and Will Rogers, the 19th Mark Twain and the forgotten Henry Wheeler Shaw.

    Of course, there were people like Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. Then, there were perhaps millions of anonymous unknowns who quite cleverly attributed their humor to someone known, just so it would be savored by the sheep of many generations who had to follow Authority.

  26. Posted April 1, 2015 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I was quite surprised when I saw an article mentioning how Trevor Noah was offensive. I’m not hugely familiar with him but I couldn’t recall hearing anything like that before. Then I read the article and realised it was just people that think if you make a joke about something that you must be against it.

    He may or may not be religious but remember that for many people in South Africa that is not the same as being religious in America. He makes jokes about atheists and Jews and whoever else. That’s fine. It’s more worrying when people that making a joke about something or someone means you can’t like or agree with that thing.

    Also from what I’ve seen South African comedy has a much broader scope than American comedy. Race still features highly because it’s a big issue. One of the biggest comedians in SA often put on make up to look black and then pranked people. That would probably get a huge outcry in America.

  27. Alex
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    What worries me about those tweets is not so much that they are not funny or against atheism, but that they are stupid. They don’t read like they were written by someone who is capable of thinking clearly and deeply about things.

  28. Posted April 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I read the first tw**t, and thought it was just a comment on the fact that atheist wouldn’t even be a thing if people didn’t believe in God, but then I read on, and nope, the guy is a moron.

  29. sensorrhea
    Posted April 2, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I used to work in comedy, so I tend to free speech for comedians, even when it’s offensive.

    As you point out the big problem with Noah, aside from his apparent faitheism, is how unfunny his tweets are. I looked at many of them not just the “offensive” ones. I’m offended by how banal and humor-free they are.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 2, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I favor free speech for everyone, not just comedians. It includes the right to call out comedians’ irritating and unfunny tweets.


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