Trevor Noah’s Las Vegas stand-up act revisits life before Trump

Trevor Noah had quite a life before the “The Daily Show.” Weekends help remind him.

The 33-year-old host of the satirical news show has been flying out on weekends to revisit the stand-up comedy career he had before taking over “The Daily Show” in 2015.

His Comedy Central gig has “a lot of preconceived notions that come with it,” he says. “I have people come to the (stand-up) shows for a multitude of reasons, so it’s nice to have that where people don’t know what to expect.”

But to see him live, he says, “you don’t have to know anything about politics. We may not even spend much time talking about politics. This is a show that looks at the world through a different lens, and I perform it in a way that’s designed for the stage. It’s where I came from.”

Noah’s often hair-raising memoir “Born a Crime” is another reminder of a life that didn’t revolve around Donald Trump jokes.

“I almost feel like there’s three different strains of thought that are always going through my head, and I’ve been able to divide them between book, show and stand-up,” Noah explained recently in a phone interview.

“Daily Show” fans had some catching up to do when Noah was tapped as a left-field choice to succeed Jon Stewart. The South African had been in the United States only three years. His lone Las Vegas performance, he remembers, was a friend dragging him up to do 10 minutes at the bygone Playboy Comedy Club at the Palms.

“A lot of people, rightfully so, had no clue who I was, where I was from, what my life was like. And I grew up in a world where a lot happened in a very short space of time. And not just for myself but for many South Africans,” he says of post-apartheid Johannesburg, and being among the first wave of comedians testing new boundaries for free speech.

Noah’s book stitches together a complicated society through details, but surprisingly few of them devoted to his rise as a comedian and TV personality. It’s more about his search for identity as he grew up the light-skinned product of a biracial marriage.

The title refers to the union of his black Xhosa mother and white Swiss-German father, which was still illegal in the final decade of apartheid. Noah could spend time with his father only indoors, and if the family left the house, his father would walk on the other side of the street.

His mother, a devout Christian who would drag him to three church services in one day, was unwavering in her aspirations for her son. She insisted he learn several languages and got him into private schools in white-majority neighborhoods.

Noah says “every single person” who reads the book tells him they want to meet his mother. “I don’t think I expected it, but I’m really happy that it happened,” he says. “It’s nice to know that your adoration for your parents is something that comes across without you specifically trying.”

The climactic story of his mother being shot in the head by her second husband and her miraculous recovery — the bullet missed her brain, spinal cord and eye — is balanced by the more comical trouble in young Noah’s life: starting a house fire with a magnifying glass; escaping a shoplifting arrest because the security camera made him look white compared to his darker-skinned accomplice; doing a jail stint at age 19 after getting pulled over in a car he borrowed from his stepfather’s garage.

“Everyone has a unique story if they dig in deep enough,” he says. “As much as my story for some may seem more exciting, I always think other people’s stories are more exciting because I’ve only lived my life. Getting to tell those stories is fun, and it adds a dimension of uniqueness to my shows and how I see the world and how I connect with an audience.”

Noah says he is still growing into “The Daily Show,” and he’s in no rush to reach that place where fans quit comparing him to Stewart.

“Luckily, Jon is still around,” popping up in cameos in the late-night TV world. “But also there’s still the DNA of the show that reminds you of Jon’s era. What’s nice is getting to grow something new, getting to change and evolve it,” he says.

“But I don’t realize it happening. It’s so gradual, every single day, like the progress of working out,” he adds. “You don’t necessarily appreciate it if you look at yourself every morning. But if you look at yourself a year later in photos, you go, ‘Wow, I’ve actually changed quite a bit.’ ”

Contact Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288. Follow @Mikeweatherford on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like