Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Watch Trevor Noah say farewell on his final Daily Show

"This is it, my final show, and I've got a ton of cleanup to do so I can get the security deposit back on the studio," Trevor Noah joked on Thursday's Daily Show, his swan song after hosting Comedy Central's late-night topical comedy program for seven years.

The hour-long episode was "a celebration of the fact that we fixed America," Noah deadpanned. "When I started the show, I had three clear goals: I'm going to make sure Hilary gets elected, I'm going to make sure I prevent a global pandemic from starting, and I'm going to become best friends with Kanye West. I think it's time to move on."

Each Daily Show correspondent got a chance to say goodby to Noah — and wryly poke him for refusing to say what he's going to do next. Michael Kosta got nostalgic, Desi Lydic sought affirmation, Dulcé Sloan criticized his life choices, Ronny Chieng feigned emotion, Roy Wood Jr. tried to elicit a confession, and Jordan Klepper had New York City say goodbye to Noah for him.

Noah ended by thanking the audience, viewers at home — even "the people who hate-watched, we still got the ratings" — and Black women. 

Comedy Central surprised everyone when they named Noah, a little-known comedian from South Africa, to replace Jon Stewart in 2015. And Noah's replacement is still a mystery — a series of guest hosts will hold down the fort when the show returns in January. 

"Departing at age 38, after just over seven years in the chair, Noah won't have stayed long enough to define an era in late night, unlike Stewart (16 years), [Johnny] Carson (30) or [David] Letterman (11 years with NBC, 22 with CBS)," James Poniewozik writes at The New York Times.

But what a seven years it was, "not just for Noah but for life itself, when unprecedented times became exhaustingly very precedented," Elahe Izadi writes at The Washington Post. "There was a reality-TV-star president and subsequent norm-busting presidency. The largest civil rights protests in a generation. An insurrection. The pandemic. One could only imagine how Stewart would have handled all the twists and turns every night: outraged, sarcastic, bemused, flabbergasted. But Noah could bring something Stewart and his once-rumored possible replacements couldn't: a comedic view that could be given only by an outsider, who offered it while a part of the inside."