Comedy Central invited press to have a first look at Trevor Noah’s Daily Show set Friday morning, where Noah, flanked by the show’s executive producers, fielded questions about the show ahead of its September 28 premiere.
Right now, South African comedian Trevor Noah may be both the most and least envied man in show business.
Most of his peers would kill to get the platform he’ll officially command on Monday, when the first episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah debuts on Comedy Central. At the same time, they must be relieved that they won’t face Noah’s formidable challenge: winning over the same passionate audience that made former Daily Show host Jon Stewart the most trusted man in late-night — and maybe even across TV news itself.
“Of course there’s pressure,” Noah told a group of journalists who gathered for a Q&A session at The Daily Show’s studio Friday morning. “When it matters, there should always be pressure. If we didn’t have the pressure and we weren’t afraid, then I would think that there’s something wrong with us.
Accented in gray, brown, deep reds and blues, the set evokes his predecessor’s, albeit with some subtle tweaks — which seems to be Noah’s approach to the show itself.
Changes are coming to The Daily Show. But they’ll be gradual rather than sudden, as evidenced by the series’ set — not quite what we’re used to, but not a whole lot different, either.
In terms of guests, Noah seems to be aiming for a familiar mix of entertainers, politicians and cultural figures, although he says his show will include more musical performances.
For the first week’s lineup, Noah outlined how each guest was chosen to make a statement about the show’s revamped identity: Comedian Kevin Hart (“that’s what the show is, it is a comedy show first and foremost”), Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe (“like myself, a new voice in a space, but from a female side”), musician and Taylor Swift disrupter Ryan Adams (“he’s done in essence what we’ve done here: he’s taken something loved and cherished by many and created a new version”).
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie was picked to confirm that “the show is still going to be political; it’s still going to be American politics.”
“We’re definitely going to be going for more music,” he said. “It’s something I enjoy to break with at the end of the week.”
But don’t worry, Stewart fans, Noah also promised that as he finds his own style, the show won’t veer too far from its history.
“I look at The Daily Show as a beautiful house that I’ve inherited, and that I’m going to walk into,” he said. “I’m not going to break the house down and then start trying to build a house from there. This is a beautiful house that’s been here for many years, it’s a landmark. And so what I’ll do is try to create it into the home of my dreams using my new family.”