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Jimmy Fallon welcomed Trevor Noah to The Tonight Show Friday evening, where the duo discussed a variety of topics, including The Daily Show, Jon Stewart and politics.
Noah, who moved from South Africa to New York a week ago, joked about the number of unnecessary sirens in the city: “It’s noisy. It’s loud. I’ve never heard so many sirens. I don’t know why there’s so many, ’cause you can’t go anywhere. I don’t understand why you need a siren.”
Fallon asked the soon-to-be Daily Show host if there is a big stand-up comedian scene in South Africa: “No, because there wasn’t a big freedom scene. It sort of limits you,” Noah quipped.
“If you were gathered in a group, especially if it was black people, you go to jail because obviously you were planning something. They didn’t think black people just hang out; they [think they’re] here for a reason.”
Noah said that because comedians are unable to speak out against the South African government for fear of being jailed, it limited his “need or want to be a comedian.” He explained that he got into comedy by being pushed on stage by drunk friends at a bar one evening and was put on the spot to do stand-up.
The comedian landed the job as Stewart’s successor after serving for three months as a Daily Show correspondent. “Jon was like, ‘go forth kid,’ and he gave me a little magic pen and he was like, ‘this pen will keep you safe.’ It’s a normal pen, but I believe it,” Noah said about taking over for Stewart after the current host announced his retirement.
“Jon has some great advice and some of it I don’t understand, but I just nod. You know when smart people tell you things, you just have to do like a mmm,” the correspondent said, looking down and nodding his head. “The most important thing he said was: ‘Go out there and have fun. Do the best show that you feel you can do and the show you feel needs to be done.’ We agree on many topics and we come to it from different angles, but the most important thing is to be funny and have fun.”
Fallon told Noah that he’s stepping into the hosting position at a prime time, with the 2016 presidential race providing material for his new gig. “This is insane. I’ve never seen anything like it. Sometimes it looks like a fighting game and it’s all the characters you can choose. It’s like who do you select?” Noah said. “It’s insane. It’s the most ridiculous thing. I’m excited for it; I’m ready. I feel like it’s Game of Thrones. We need a map to show you who goes where and how.”
He concluded: “We just got democracy, so this is like I’ve gone into the future. I want to go home and tell people: ‘You don’t know what’s coming! It gets crazy!'”
On Sept. 28, Noah will take over for Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
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