Review: Trevor Noah Keeps ‘Daily Show’ DNA in Debut

Review: Trevor Noah Keeps ‘Daily Show’ DNA in Debut

The New York Times

James Poniewozik, Television Critic

The post-Jon Stewart version of “The Daily Show” that Trevor Noah and Comedy Central unveiled on Monday night was a bit like a new iPhone. It was sleeker, fresher and redesigned. There were tweaks here and there — look, even a new font!

But it still does essentially the same thing.

Sure, the 31-year-old, South African-born Mr. Noah is a new face and voice. Likening Mr. Stewart to a comedic father, he joked: “Now it feels like the family has a new stepdad. And he’s black.” Assured, handsome and with a crisp delivery, Mr. Noah was a smoother presenter than Mr. Stewart, who made an art form of sputtering and exasperated facepalming.

But if Mr. Noah’s debut was largely successful, it was also because of the operating system — the show’s writing — running under the surface. That algorithm, capable of processing a day’s media inputs into a satirically argued package, is what makes “The Daily Show” “The Daily Show.” This first outing was about proving that he could run the software without crashing…

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