Trevor Noah, the NAACP Image Award Entertainer Of The Year nominee, is one of the most successful comedians in the world and is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
The 37-year-old native of Soweto, South Africa, was born to a Black Xhosa mother and a white Swiss-German father. Their relationship was illegal because of country’s apartheid system, which officially sponsored racial oppression and segregation, according to Biography.
As a result, his mother was routinely jailed, while a young Noah was hidden from authorities. His experiences growing up in South Africa, including his family’s abject poverty, later became the backdrop for his comedy, where he shined a light on the racial dynamics of his native country.
Noah’s comedic prowess propelled him to the international stage, including in the United States, where he made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show With David Letterman. He garnered a correspondent’s role on the popular Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and in 2015, he was named host of ‘The Daily Show’ after Stewart stepped down.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the nominee for entertainer of the year.
In his late teens, Noah had bit parts in soap operas. He took up comedy in his 20s on a dare from friends. To their surprise, however, his comedic skills took off and he became one of the leading figures of stand-up comedy in South Africa.
Noah, who became a leading stand-up comedian in his country, can speak several languages fluently and imitates accents flawlessly.
In 2009, Noah headed up his own one-man show, The Daywalker, which was filmed as a documentary. He then served as host of The South African Music Awards, according to Biography.
In 2010, his talk show, Tonight With Trevor Noah, debuted on M-Net and Mzansi Magic channels. After performing stand-up in the United States, he performed another one-man show, The Racist, at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe festival, notes Biography.
He also made his debut in the U.S. on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, becoming the first South African comedian to appear on the program. The next year Noah had his own comedy special on Showtime, Trevor Noah: African American.
In November 2016, he released his first book Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, which became an instant New York Times bestseller. His performance on the Born a Crime audiobook was Audible’s highest rated audiobook of 2016. The story was also nominated for two NAACP Image Awards, one for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author and another for Outstanding Literary Work in the Biography/Auto-Biography category.
In 2019, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah received two Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Interactive Program.
In 2019, he launched a new podcast series On Second Thought: The Trevor Noah Podcast exclusively on Luminary.
His production company, Day Zero Productions, recently partnered with Viacom and already has several projects in development, including the feature film adaptation of his bestselling autobiography.
Growing up in Soweto, his family had 14 dogs at the same time, he said in a 2016 interview on Live! With Kelly, according to News25. He had a funny system to keep track of their names. “At some point you just run out of names,” he said in the interview. “You’re very creative with the first two…and then some point you’re like ‘puppy, five, seven, dog, dog, two you just go down the line.”
Watch the 52nd Annual NAACP awards on BET on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 8/7C
(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central)