In honor of Black History Month, we continue to recognize the economic, cultural, political, and social contributions of influential black immigrants and refugees who’ve helped shape the vibrant tapestry of America. Today we salute award-winning South African comedian, author, and television host Trevor Noah.
Trevor Noah is a world-renowned South African comedian, author, and television host. Best known for this tenure hosting Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Noah was awarded South African Comics’ Choice Award Comic of the Year and Africa Personality of the Year before moving to the United States in 2011.
Born under South Africa’s racially-segregated, apartheid era, Noah has often reflected on the challenges of having been born to his South African mother and white Swiss-German father, an interracial relationship considered illegal. In his award-winning autobiography Born a Crime, Noah fleshes out the myriad of challenges his family faced growing up, including his parents need to hide both their relationship, and him in fear of being taken by the police. The deep poverty and fear his family endured galvanized Noah’s comedic work, which often uses the racial dynamics of his native country as inspiration.
In 2009, Noah launched his one-man comedy show, The Daywalker, while also hosting the South African Movie awards. The next year he debuted his own talk show in South Africa. After touring the U.S., Noah landed a correspondent role for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with John Stewart, before taking over hosting duties himself from 2015-2022.
Noah has won multiple awards for his work, including an Emmy for Outstanding Short from a Variety Series, multiple NAACP honors and a Nickelodeon award under Favorite Actor category. He has hosted the Grammy Awards twice and has written, produced and starred in 12 comedy specials including I Wish you Would, his third Netflix special released in November 2022.