Trevor Noah has become the first comedian in 60 years to be the recipient of the Erasmus Prize; the last comedian to receive the award was Charlie Chaplin.
South Africa (22 March 2023) – Trevor Noah has been named the 2023 recipient of the Erasmus Prize. The prize, which forms part of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation, was founded by HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in 1958.
According to the foundation, he receives the prize for his inspired contribution to the 2023 theme ‘In Praise of Folly,’ named after Dutch humanist scholar Desiderius Erasmus’s (1466-1536) most famous book, which is filled with humour, social criticism and political satire. Not only is Noah the first comedian in 60 years to receive this award, he is also the first South African to earn the prestigious award.
The foundation shared that Trevor Noah’s sharp-minded, mocking yet inclusive political comedy upholds the ‘Erasmian Spirit.’. Noah made a name for himself both locally and internationally, for his take on politics and always points out the hilariously absurd intricacies of politics and politicians.
The Erasmus Prize is awarded annually to a person or institution that has made an exceptional contribution to the humanities, the social sciences or the arts, in Europe and beyond. The award also consists of a cash prize of €150,000, which today is around R3 million.
“Emphasizing the importance of tolerance, cultural pluriformity and non-dogmatic critical thinking, the Foundation endeavours to express these values in the choice of its laureates. The Erasmus Prize is awarded by the Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. His Majesty the King is Patron of the Foundation.”
The official award ceremony will take place later this year. They announced Noah as the winner of this year’s prize in Amsterdam on the 16th of March 2023.