After seven years behind the late-night desk, Trevor Noah is leaving The Daily Show. The comedian shared his intended departure from him during Thursday’s show, saying, “I feel like it’s time.”
The South African comedian was relatively unknown in the US before being tapped to replace longtime daily show host Jon Stewart in 2015, a choice which Noah called “a crazy bet to make” during his remarks on Thursday’s telecast. He went on to express his gratitude for having been chosen to man the daily show desk, and reflected about his tenure on the show. “I found myself thinking throughout the time, you know, everything we’ve gone through: the Trump presidency, the pandemic, just the journey of, you know … the more pandemic. And I realized that, after seven years, my time is up, but in the most beautiful way,” said Noah, eliciting audible gasps from the audience.
He continued: “Honestly, I’ve loved hosting the show. It’s been one of my greatest challenges. It’s been one of my greatest joys. I have loved trying to figure out how to make people laugh, even when the stories are particularly shitty on the worst days. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together. But after seven years, I feel like it’s time.”
As for the timing, Noah leaving the Comedy Central tentpole is not a complete surprise. In 2017, he signed a five-year contract with Comedy Central to host The Daily Show, which means his contract is up. per Matthew Belloni‘s puck newsletter, Noah makes an eight-figure salary, which would possibly be renegotiated if he were to extend his contract. “Noah is a huge draw in touring,” Belloni notes. “The Daily Show will continue, I’m told, but one thing’s for sure: His replacement isn’t getting anywhere near that money.”
Noah, who’s hosted the Grammys and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, revealed a bit of his own reasoning for leaving The Daily Show, signaling that he may, in fact, be hitting the road. He shared that after hosting the show from his home for two years during the pandemic, there’s “another part of my life that I want to carry on exploring.” “I miss learning other languages. I miss going to other countries and putting on shows,” he said. “I miss being everywhere and doing everything.”
Noah’s exit comes at a shifting time in the late night television landscape. In April, James Corden announced that he was leaving The Late Late Show in 2023. Late night television stalwart Conan O’Brien‘s long-running late night program conan cam to an end in 2021. daily show alum Samantha Bee‘s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee was canceled earlier this summer, while deus nice and The Kid Mero‘s late night show God and Mere abruptly announced the end of its run this summer, as well.
Comedy Central confirmed Noah’s exit in a statement. “We are grateful to Trevor for our amazing partnership over the past seven years. With no timetable for his departure, we’re working together on next steps, ”said the network. “As we look ahead, we’re excited for the next chapter in the 25+ year history of The Daily Show as it continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences make sense of the world around them.”