Comedian and talk show host Trevor Noah is leaving The Daily Show after seven years at the helm during which the late-night infotainment show’s viewership declined dramatically.
Noah, 38, who hails from South Africa, took over the show from former host Jon Stewart in 2015.
He revealed the news to a stunned live audience during Thursday’s taping of the show, which runs from Monday-Thursday on Comedy Central.
Although the show is regularly nominated for Emmy Awards, it has not won since Stewart left.
Viewing figures were typically around 1.5 million for each episode during Stewart’s tenure and rose as high as 2.5 million in 2013.
Nine years on, and viewing figures for the week of September 19-25 showed The Daily Show pulled in an audience of just 363,000, according to television and film ratings site ShowbuzzDaily.com — a drop partially attributed to the rising popularity of YouTube and streaming platforms versus legacy media, but also associated with the show’s increasing political bias and perceived tilt towards embracing ‚woke‘ ideology.
Viewing figures for the week of September 19-25 showed The Daily Show pulled in an audience of just 363,000, according to television and film ratings site ShowbuzzDaily.com
Fox News‘ Channel also launched Gutfeld! as a direct cable competitor in the same 11 p.m./EST time slot in the late-night satirical space last April, becoming late-night television’s most-watched program with an average of 2 million viewers.
Noah said he had a feeling of ‚gratitude‘ and thanked the audience. ‚It’s been wild,‘ he said.
‚I remember when we first started, so many people thought it was a crazy bet, I still think it was a crazy choice, this random African… what a journey it’s been. It’s been absolutely amazing,‘ he said.
‚After the seven years, my time is up. In the most beautiful way. I’ve loved hosting this show,‘ he said to audible gasps from the crowd – though the decision to step down may not come as a surprise amid dwindling viewing figures.
Noah’s exit announcement comes after he was spied in New York’s East Village with Dua Lipa, sparking rumors he is dating the popstar 11 years his junior.
The pair were seen enjoying an intimate dinner, later sharing a warm embrace and a smooch before going their separate ways.
Trevor Noah plans to leave The Daily Show, the flagship Comedy Central series after seven years at the helm
The news came as a complete surprise to the crowd on Thursday night who gave him a standing ovation
Noah took over from Jon Stewart in 2015 who began the show in 1999. It was not immediately clear when Noah’s actual exit would take place
New romance? Dua Lipa and Trevor Noah set rumors that they are dating flying after the two were pictured kissing and hugging on a cozy date night out in New York City on Wednesday. The 27-year-old pop star and the 38-year-old host of The Daily Show were seen enjoying an intimate yet low-key dinner together at Miss Lily’s, a Jamaican restaurant
In his exit speech, Noah noted the length of his tenure and the eras the show has endured including the Trump presidency and the pandemic.
Noah added that he will figure out the timing of his departure but that he will continue hosting the show for the ‚time being‘.
‚It has grown all around the world. I am filled with gratitude for the journey. It is something that I never expected,‘ he went on.
‚I realized that after seven years my time is up but in the most beautiful way. I’ve loved hosting the show. It has been one of my greatest challenges and greatest joys. I’ve loved trying to figure out how to make people laugh even on the worst days. We’ve laughed together. We’ve cried together. After seven years I believe it’s time.‘
Noah said that it was only after life returned to normal once the pandemic had subsided that he realized just how much he missed being ‚out on the road.‘
‚I spent two years in my apartment not on the road and when I got out there again I realized there is another part of my life I want to carry on exploring.
‚I miss learning languages, going to other countries putting on shows. I am really grateful to everyone. It’s a weird thing to say. I’ve never been good at goodbyes.
‚I am grateful to a network who believed in this random comedian who nobody knew. I want to say thank you and to everyone who listened and came to see the show. I never dreamed I would be here. I came in for a tour of the previous show and the next thing I knew I was handed the keys.‘
Noah earned plaudits on social media for his seven-year stretch as host, but many pointed out that viewership plummeted once he took over from former host Stewart.
Noah earned plaudits on social media for his seven-year stretch as host, but many pointed out that viewership plummeted once he took over from former host Stewart
Trevor Noah is pictured during his show in July 2016
Noah appeared tearful as he delivered the emotional message to his loyal fans on Thursday night
Noah’s style was vastly different from that of his predecessor and increasingly focused on millennial viewers and more youth-aimed news sources, rather than Stewart’s continual skewering of Fox News. Stewart is pictured in 2015
Jon Stewart sits behind a desk in his office in December 2002
Noah is believed to have been negotiating with the network for a ‚long time‘ to try and figure out how he could maintain such a demanding daily schedule for the show which airs Monday through Thursday.
He is the latest late-night host to leave following the exit of James Corden from The Late Late Show and the cancelation of Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal.
‚We are grateful to Trevor for our amazing partnership over the past seven years. With no timetable for his departure, we’re working together on next steps. As we look ahead, we’re excited for the next chapter in the 25+ year history of The Daily Show as it continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences make sense of the world around them,‘ said a Comedy Central spokesperson.
Noah also offered a number of new comedic talents the limelight while on the show, including correspondents Roy Wood Jr., Desi Lydic, Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Jaboukie Young-White, and Dulcé Sloan.