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Trevor Noah: South Africa‘s Funniest Export

Full Name Trevor Noah
Born February 20, 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa (age 38)
Medium Stand-up, Television, Film
Nationality South African, Swiss
Partner Single
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah is a world-renowned comedian, television host, actor, and bestselling author who has become a household name in the entertainment industry. Hailing from Soweto, South Africa, Noah overcame adversity stemming from his birth during the apartheid era to become one of the most recognizable Black comedic voices in the world.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born to a Black South African Xhosa mother and a white Swiss-German father in February 1984, Noah‘s very existence was illegal at the time due to apartheid laws forbidding interracial mixing. His parents‘ relationship was considered a crime, resulting in his mother Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah being jailed and fined.

Noah spent his early years living in both Soweto and with his maternal grandmother in the suburbs. He became fluent in English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Afrikaans and German – languages he weaves skillfully into his comedy today.

While Noah undoubtedly faced immense struggles growing up mixed-race under apartheid, his unconventional upbringing also bred a resilience that paved the way for future success. It gifted him the adaptability to weave between contrasting cultural and economic worlds – a talent he later translated brilliantly into comedy.

Noah began his career in comedy in 2002 at the age of 18, a remarkably early start in an industry where most get their big break in their late 20s or 30s. He quickly built a name for himself, performing stand-up at clubs and shows in Johannesburg. I still remember watching clips of a young Trevor Noah absolutely killing it on the small South African comedy circuit.

By 2009, Noah staged his first one-man show "The Daywalker" at Johannesburg‘s Soweto Theatre. As a South African myself, I recall the immense buzz surrounding Noah‘s rise at this time. He received a standing ovation on opening night – a sign of the greater things to come.

Television Hosting and Global Stardom

Noah made his US television debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2011. But his big American break came on Comedy Central‘s stages. He premiered his first Comedy Central special "Trevor Noah: Crazy Normal" in 2011 and absolutely shone with his masterful command of comedy.

Noah continued his upwards trajectory over the next few years, consistently impressing American audiences. By 2015, Comedy Central took a huge yet well-deserved gamble by naming the 31-year-old Noah as host of The Daily Show, replacing the beloved Jon Stewart.

At the time, many questioned whether the South African funnyman could fill Stewart‘s shoes. But Noah quickly made the show his own. Under his hosting, The Daily Show went on to win multiple Emmys and become a beacon for political satire, just as Stewart envisioned.

As a Black South African myself, seeing Noah ascend to American late night TV stardom sparked immense pride. He demonstrated that South African talent could captivate global audiences. To date, Noah remains the first African host of an American late-night talk show.

Chart-Topping Comedy Tours and Netflix Specials

While television hosting propelled Noah‘s star power, he remains devoted to his first love – stand-up comedy. He has released a staggering 9 comedy specials so far, including several Number 1 hits on Netflix like 2018‘s Son of Patricia.

Noah is renowned for selling out huge arenas on his tours like the recent Back to Abnormal tour. He performed over 100 North American dates in 2021 and 2022 to rave reviews. I was lucky enough to catch his show in New York; seeing Noah own the stage for two hours straight was unforgettable.

Beyond the numbers, what makes Noah such a phenomenal live act is his ability to tackle tough topics with incisive wit. He masterfully weaves between jokes and social commentary, utilizing comedy to enlighten.

Some highlights from Noah‘s touring repertoire that showcase his brilliance include:

  • The Racist (2009) – Explored racism and stereotypes
  • It‘s My Culture (2013) – Examined cultural differences
  • Loud and Clear (2018) – Dissected politics, race relations, wokeness and cancel culture

Accolades and Records

Noah’s illustrious career has earned him numerous accolades and world records:

  • 2017 MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Host
  • 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series
  • 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
  • 2022 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album
  • Included in Time 100 Most Influential People list (2018)
  • First African stand-up comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden (twice!)

Both his comedy tours and bestselling memoir Born a Crime (2016) have received huge critical and commercial success, cementing Noah’s status as an African trailblazer.

Personal Life

While Noah keeps his personal life very private, a few nuggets are known. He dated South African TV host Dani Gabriel from 2015-2018 before splitting amicably. Rumors linked him to actress Minka Kelly in 2020 though this was unconfirmed.

Noah splits his time between luxurious homes in New York and Los Angeles. When not touring or filming, he enjoys soccer, video games, and watching European football – he‘s a huge fan of Manchester United.

Despite his immense fame, Noah remains deeply proud of his South African roots. He started The Trevor Noah Foundation to empower youth through education in South Africa. He also frequently performs in South Africa and incorporates local references into his global comedy sets.

Why Trevor Noah is an Icon

As a devoted Trevor Noah fan for over a decade, here are the reasons I believe he has become such a beloved global icon:

Brilliant social commentary: Noah uses comedy as a tool to insightfully deconstruct complex issues like racism, inequality, politics and more. He makes hard conversations entertaining.

Trailblazing career: Noah has set records as an African performer, paving the way for greater representation. His groundbreaking hosting of The Daily Show was a cultural milestone.

Relatability as an outsider: Noah‘s unique background helps him connect as an ‘outsider’ across diverse audiences worldwide. He turns pain into humor flawlessly.

Magnificent stage presence: Whether stand-up, hosting, or acting, Noah inhabits any stage with infectious charisma and world-class comic timing.

Comedic versatility: Noah excels at observational, political, satirical, physical, deadpan, absurdist comedy – proof of his extensive comedic range.

Overall, through his multi-faceted career, Noah has broken boundaries for African comics on the global stage. He represents the pinnacle of modern comedy.

5 Surprising Facts About Trevor Noah

As a lifelong Trevor Noah aficionado, here are 5 interesting facts that casual fans may not know:

1. First ever tweet was about Apple

Noah‘s first ever tweet from 2009 was about the brand Apple. He wrote: "Apple has new status symbol! Blackberry is officially no longer cool :(."

2. Premiered a documentary series in South Africa

In 2017, Noah premiered The Racist – a documentary series exploring racism in South Africa. It was praised for sparking important discussions.

3. Has his own fast food burger…in South Africa

Trevor Noah collaborated with a restaurant chain in South Africa to create the ‘Trevor Noah Burger‘ in 2020.

4. Directed Ethiopian model Liya Kebede‘s film debut

Noah directed the short film Leah (2016) which marked Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede‘s acting debut.

5. First stand-up gig was impromptu

Noah‘s very first stand-up gig in 2002 happened by chance when a comedian at Johannesburg‘s Carlton Hotel failed to arrive. Noah seized the opportunity.

The Enduring Legacy of Trevor Noah

At just 38 years old, Trevor Noah boasts an extraordinary legacy as:

  • The trailblazer who ushered in a new era of diverse late night TV hosting.
  • A brilliant comedian who uses humor to inform on challenging themes like race, politics and privilege.
  • A global African icon who opened doors for Black comedians to gain wider recognition.
  • A multilingual performer capable of selling out shows worldwide, from New York to London to even rural South Africa where he returns frequently to give back.
  • An insightful interviewer and empathetic listener who engages guests and audiences alike.
  • A talented author, with two bestselling memoirs documenting his inspirational life journey.

Trevor Noah‘s career has been shaped by breaking boundaries – whether racial, cultural or linguistic. He has proven that the boldest comedy can come from the unlikeliest places.

It has been an absolute delight to watch Noah‘s rise from small South African comedy clubs to global phenomenon. I cannot wait to see the trails he blazes in not just comedy but cultural impact over what will undoubtedly be a stellar career spanning decades to come. Trevor Noah‘s enduring legacy will be that of Africa‘s greatest comedic export.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Trevor Noah‘s birthday?

Trevor Noah‘s birthday falls on February 20th. He was born in 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa and is currently 38 years old.

What is Trevor Noah‘s net worth?

According to sources, Trevor Noah‘s net worth is estimated to be around $40 million as of 2022. His wealth comes from lucrative comedy tours, book sales, production deals, and his contract as host of The Daily Show, where he reportedly earns $16 million annually.

What nationality is Trevor Noah?

Trevor Noah has legal citizenship from both South Africa, where he was born and grew up, and Switzerland through his father. But he identifies predominantly as South African, frequently references South Africa in his comedy, and has a foundation to empower South African youth.

Is Trevor Noah married or does he have kids?

No, Trevor Noah is not currently married and does not have children yet. He tends to keep his dating life private. In past interviews, Noah has expressed wanting to achieve more career goals before considering marriage or parenthood.

How tall is Trevor Noah?

Trevor Noah‘s listed height is 5 feet 11 inches or approximately 180 cm. His slender build makes him appear even taller on stage.