Trevor Noah Talks Performing for Just a Camera, Being "Made for Social Distancing"

Trevor Noah - Working From Home - Publicity_H 2020
Courtesy of Comedy Central

The 'Daily Show' host, who has shot his show remotely for nearly five weeks, discussed canceling a recent world tour and finding freedom in isolation on a Monday appearance on 'The Late Show.'

Even after nearly five weeks of shooting his late-night show from home, Trevor Noah still finds performing without an audience deeply unsettling.

The Daily Show host — now emceeing The Daily Social Distancing Show — opened up about the experience of solo production on a Monday night appearance on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show. "I feel like one of two things will happen: Either I will come out of this as a better comedian, or I will have no sense of where comedic timing lies," the former stand-up comedian told Colbert, later likening the experience of performing without an audience to "doing this Zoom call by yourself."

Still, he's picked up a trick along the way: "I try to remember every audience I've had the privilege of performing for the last 15 years, and I try to think of where they would laugh," he said. (Before coronavirus hit, Noah sold out Madison Square Garden on a solo tour that was set to tour the world.)

Despite those road bumps, Noah told Colbert that overall he's adapted well to his quarantine in New York City. "I feel like I'm made for social distancing. I don't miss outdoors, I don't miss going to the movies, I don't miss going to the restaurants," he said. While he does miss other people being able to go about their lives (and complain about things besides quarantining), "for myself, I'm not going to lie to you, Steve, I feel like I was made for this." One perk Noah has especially enjoyed: not feeling guilty for failing to venture outdoors on a beautiful day.

When their discussion inevitably turned to politics, Noah suggested the worldwide pandemic had shifted President Trump's chances at reelection. Before the virus hit, the comedian said, he thought the president had a good shot at winning. At that point, "Trump's leadership had never been tested...every crisis had been something [the Trump administration] created themselves."

But the coronavirus is exposing the "lack of leadership and the comic cast of characters he has in the White House." Moreover, he added, Trump seems to him to be the only world leader fighting with the press and "the people in his own country" during the crisis rather than presenting a united front.

Colbert asked if Noah has a Biden impression, and the South African comedian said he doesn't. "Biden doesn't have a hook, and he's not consistent in his speech pattern," Noah explained. Then Colbert put on a pair of sunglasses and smiled, noting he could do an impression merely by being a "white guy" with "big sunglasses."