Trevor Noah heard screams of excitement and joy as he walked out onto the stage at his nearly sold-out performance in Millett Hall on Saturday evening. As part of Miami University’s annual Family Weekend, students and parents alike waited anxiously to see the young comedian, who has become a household name since his immigration to the United States in 2011.
Noah is a South African television host and comedian, most popular as the successor of Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.” After starting on a South African soap opera at the age of 18, Noah has gone on to add multiple television and radio hosting roles, nine comedy specials and countless live performances to his resume. Along with other late night hosts, Noah has gained a great deal of attention for his criticism of the Trump administration.
The topics covered in Noah’s performance ranged from his famous political satire of the president, to stories of his mother and his experiences as a mixed child in apartheid South Africa, to adjusting to his new life in America. As an experienced and talented comedian, he seamlessly interwove his tales, mixing serious topics with comedic relief, and keeping the audience laughing until they cried throughout the entire hour.
The themes of love and positivity were ever present in the routine, particularly when he discussed his mother. In a particularly heartwarming story, Noah recounted the lessons his mother taught him regarding racism. As a child of mixed descent in apartheid South Africa, Noah was exposed to a great deal of racism throughout his life, but, thanks to his mother, he doesn’t let ignorant people bring him down. Noah told the audience that his mother taught him that whenever someone spat a racist comment at him, he was to “shake it up with the love of Jesus and throw it back at them!”
Noah also spent time addressing the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, and questioned why many political officials refuse to debate gun control, even after such tragedies occur. He urged the audience to spread hope and positivity in the light of such tragic events, and to continue to work on bettering the country in the future.
Trevor Noah’s ingenious routine brings a refreshing feel to the comedy scene. While incorporating bits of crude humor, Noah’s routine was for the most part family-friendly, something which can be hard to find nowadays. He also used his platform as a way to spread awareness of serious issues. He found the perfect balance between serious discussions of politics or race, and fun stories of his friends and from his travels.