Comedy Central blew it when they chose Trevor Noah to replace Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.” Just check out his tweets, and you’ll see why:
There’s also the time when the South African comedian was a new correspondent on “The Daily Show,” and he said his arms were tired from the flight to the United States. “An oldie but a goodie.” No, that’s not what Noah meant. He had held his hands over his head the entire trip so he wouldn’t be harassed by the police because he’s black.
“I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” Noah said. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days back home.”
As you can see, there are lots of reasons not to be thrilled with Noah. Even Salon isn’t on board. And when Rosanne Barr doesn’t approve of a liberal choice, you know you’ve got problems.
It’s Not the Offense, It’s Trevor Noah’s Politics
Comedian Jim Norton in Time says Noah’s critics just need to chill; Americans are hypersensitive and too easily offended. “Being outraged and upset and feeling bullied or offended are not only things we enjoy, they’re also things we have become thoroughly addicted to.”
Norton has a point. Americans can be a bunch of whiners. But that’s not the problem here. The problem is that Noah has an agenda. He says he’s a progressive, and that’s what he’ll bring to the show: “I’ve learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space.” Don’t you just love how progressives talk? They sound so sophisticated when they say things like “global space.” What they really mean is, “American patriots are a bunch of close-minded bigots. Not me. I’m open-minded. I live in the global space.” Yay me!
Noah is also not an equal-opportunity offender. If you’re going to make jokes like those in these tweets and get away with it, you better be like “South Park” and offend everyone—blacks, whites, Jews, Muslims, Christians, straight people, homosexuals, unicorns. Everyone. But, since Noah is a Progressive, I have a feeling he won’t be doing that much. He lives in global space.
Try An Equal-Opportunity Comedian
Comedy Central should’ve passed on this card-carrying Progressive comedic cliché and gone with someone who doesn’t have a political agenda and really knows how to offend everyone. Someone like Daniel Tosh. He’s hilarious. Crude and brash, but funny. He’s also charming. There’s a sweetness to him that takes the edge off his most cutting jokes.
The only significant outrage leveled against him was when he supposedly made a rape joke and insulted women in the audience. Only it never really happened the way it was described. He apologized anyway. Unlike Noah, who can joke about harming Jews and refuse to offer even a peep of remorse, when a white guy makes an imaginary joke that offends chicks, he’d better say he’s sorry. Or else!
Of course, Tosh might be too white, too American, too middle-class, too cute, too much of a dude, or too politically incorrect to host “The Daily Show.” And he can be really politically incorrect. When the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma got caught chanting racist slurs, Tosh offered this socially acceptable chant that wouldn’t get the elitist frat boys kicked off campus.
The thing with Tosh is he makes fun of people in general: all people, silly people, stupid people, fat people, ugly people, pretty people. That’s why he’s funny. You don’t get the sense that he has a political ax to grind. He’s just making fun of people: women (tweeting that “the average woman spends 2.5 years of her life deleting pictures of herself”), celebrities (“and I’m AIDS-riddled Rob Lowe and I have cable”), and politicians (“I bet Mitt Romney was the kid in class that reminded your teacher that you had homework last night”).
If you’ve never watched Tosh.0, you’re in for a real ride. I’m warning you, though. He pulls juvenile craziness from the Internet and makes fun of it, mercilessly. It’s cringe-worthy stuff. A lot of you will be offended, but it won’t be because of predictable liberal talking points masquerading as comedy. It’ll be because he’s poking fun at people being people—on the Internet. That can be sick, disturbing, or downright insane, but you really can’t blame Tosh. He’s just holding up a mirror and forcing our Internet-crazed, narcissistic, self-indulgent, immoral selves to look at it. And he does it with a cute grin.