In December, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian, made his debut as an on-air contributor on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” offering his outsider’s perspective, as a biracial South African, on the United States.
Now, after only three appearances on that Comedy Central show, Mr. Noah has gotten a huge and unexpected promotion. On Monday, Comedy Central announced that Mr. Noah would be the new host of “The Daily Show,” succeeding Mr. Stewart after he steps down
The network’s selection of Mr. Noah comes less than two months after Mr. Stewart, 52, revealed on Feb. 10 that he was leaving “The Daily Show” after a highly successful 16-year run that transformed the show into authoritative, satirical comedy on current events.
Mr. Noah, who spoke by phone from Dubai, where he is on a leg of a comedy tour, said he had been given a great opportunity, as well as a significant challenge.
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Mr. Noah said of learning about his new job. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”
“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Mr. Stewart said in a statement. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” Mr. Stewart added that he
But in his conversations with Mr. Stewart, Mr. Noah said that he had found a kindred spirit in a fellow comedian who was not much further along when he came to “The Daily Show.”
“He told me, ‘I was where you were when I took over the show,’ ” Mr. Noah said. “ ‘Nobody knew me. I was just starting out, finding my voice, and that’s when I was handed this seat.’ ”
“Now,” Mr. Noah added, “it’s my turn to steer the ship.”