The 31-year-old comedian was born to a Black mother and a White father during the height of apartheid (his parents met during an underground meetup that gathered individuals of all races in secret). In a 2013 interview, he recalled growing up as a biracial child and having both of his parents fearful to claim him in public. Despite the tumultuous history, he gladly claims South Africa as his one and only home.
Though Trevor is just beginning to gain traction in the States, he is a seasoned comedian both in his home country of South Africa and across the world. He has embarked on multiple sold-out comedy tours and has earned the praise of comedians like British funnyman Eddie Izzard. He has even hosted his own late-night talk show—Tonight With Trevor Noah—in South Africa. Last December, he joined the cast of The Daily Show, where he showered us with jokes about Ebola and police brutality.
Trevor is constantly on the pursuit of education. Of the 11 national South African languages, he speaks six of them, and he taught himself German to better communicate with his father. Whew!
Who doesn’t love a roller coaster every now and then? Noah is a self-proclaimed “rollercoaster whore,” and he dreams of touring the best amusement parks in the United States. “If [ride operators] go ‘Your chair spins while it does a 360-degree loop going backwards through a sort of somersault’—that’s my ride,” he told Interview Magazine.
Every great artist needs a muse, right? In 2013, Trevor told ESSENCE.com that he looked to comedy greats like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle for inspiration. “Those are the guys that have laid the foundation and have moved the hard stick for all comedians, not just Black comedians.”
In 2012, Trevor became the first South African comedian to appear on The Tonight Show, and the following year, he earned the same honor on Late Night With David Letterman—two opportunities that he says he earned by tirelessly doing stand-up at small comedy clubs across the U.S. Respect the hustle!
Check out the latest teaser here, and catch Trevor Noah’s debut on Sept. 28 at 11/10c on Comedy Central.