It was, truth to be told, an impossible—and unenviable—task, filling the shoes of arguably this generation’s greatest political satirist, Jon Stewart. Add to that the murderer’s row of comedians rumored to have turned down the gig, including Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Louis CK, and Amy Schumer (news broken by The Daily Beast), and you’ve got quite the pressure cooker situation.So naturally, there would be growing pains, and Trevor Noah’s first go-around hosting The Daily Show was a bit like the first time a boy has sex—clumsy, crude, and overly reliant on dick.
One of the biggest questions about Noah has been whether the show will retain Stewart’s progressive bent, teeing off on the litany of hypocrisies perpetuated by the GOP and Fox News. The fresh-faced 31-year-old fanned the flames by acknowledging in the lead-up to the premiere that he’d be focusing on “a bigger lens” than “Fox News,” taking equal aim at “the Gawkers, the BuzzFeeds.”
In his second show, it became abundantly clear that Noah will also direct his ire at the shamelessness of celebrity.
“I was very glad when I came in this morning to find that my security card still worked,” joked Noah, his boyish charm and watery-eyed nervousness endearing as ever.
After lobbing a few jokes that hit (Wolf Blitzer’s zoned-out face reporting on Obama and Putin’s meet-awkward) and missed (we’re so united in our hatred of ISIS that “Drake and Meek Mill cut a diss track”), as well as airing a dreadfully unfunny Home Shopping Network parody segment featuring new correspondents Desi Lydic and Hasan Minhaj hawking ISIS-pillaged antiquities, Noah announced a new slogan: PANDERMIC 2016, wherein candidates “desperately try to appear hip.”
Noah then threw to glowing comments Kanye West made to Vanity Fair about GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, which then led to a heart-to-heart between the two.
“Congratulations, doctor,” said Noah. “The man who hangs out with [the Kardashians] all day thinks you’re a genius. I love the Kardashians! No, no, I love the Kardashians! But I love jokes more.”
“Kanye, man, do your research!” he continued. “You can’t just look for the black guy. You’re picking a president, not who’s on your basketball team. Just look at the things Ben Carson says,” Noah added, before referencing a comment Carson made in April about how “we allow the hip-hop community to destroy” our values.“And I’m sure Dr. Ben Carson could find something he likes about hip-hop, for example the rampant homophobia,” joked Noah. “Perhaps you guys have more in common than you think! No homo.”
Next up was Hillary Clinton, who recently sat down for a video interview with Lena Dunham to help attract the millennial women’s vote.“That’s right, Hillary knows how to win the nation,” said Noah. “First you have to win the butt-smotherers,” he added, pointing to a clip of Allison Williams’s character getting her salad tossed on Dunham’s HBO series Girls.
Then Noah aired clips from the interview of Hillary repeatedly referencing the lack of “excitement” on the part of voters. “If you can’t get excited, be pragmatic and do it anyway,” Clinton said about voting in the upcoming presidential election.“If you can’t get excited, be pragmatic and do it anyway!” That is the worst hype speech I’ve heard in my life!” joked Noah.
Arguably the funniest moment in the interview came when Dunham brought up Lenny Kravitz’s viral pants-splitting video, in which the rocker was shredding so hard onstage that he ripped his leather pants, revealing his pierced twig and berries.
“Did you see the footage where, like, his pants split?” asked Dunham.“No, I missed that… do you think I could get that… on YouTube? OK, I’ll look for that,” joked a grinning Clinton.
“That was a dick joke. Hillary Clinton just made a joke about Lenny Kravitz’s penis. And just like Lenny Kravitz’s penis, it was pretty impressive,” said Noah.Sadly, it was more impressive than many of the jokes on Tuesday night’s edition of The Daily Show. But there’s plenty of time for improvement.