Comedian Trevor Noah has announced he is stepping down as host of The Daily Show after seven years.
Noah delivered the news at the end of his show on Thursday (September 29) night, saying he made the decision after realising his “time is up” and he wants to continue “exploring” other parts of his life.
He said: “I found myself filled with gratitude for the journey. It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s something I never expected.
“I found myself thinking throughout the time everything we have gone through - the Trump presidency, the pandemic…and I realise after seven years, my time is up - but in the most beautiful way.”
Noah’s announcement prompted shocked gasps from the audience, but he later stressed hosting the show was something that he loved doing.
The 38-year-old hosted the satirical news and talk show since taking over from Jon Stewart in 2015.
He said the timing of his departure would be announced later and that he would continue as host in the meantime.
A relative unknown figure
Noah began his career in his native South Africa, where he released a number of stand-up specials and hosted a late-night talk show before moving to the United States in 2011.
When he was chosen to take over the Daily Show on the Comedy Central network, he was still a relative unknown, but he has since become an internationally recognised personality and won multiple television awards.
He said: “I remember when we first started, there were so many people who didn’t believe in us, it was a crazy show, a random African springing and what a journey it’s been ..it’s grown all around the world.
"I realised 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. I miss just being everywhere and doing everything.
"I’m really grateful to a network who believed in this random comedian nobody knew on this side of the world.
"I never dreamed that I would be here. I sort of felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I came in for a tour of what the previous show was, and then the next thing I know I was handed the keys.
"All I can say is thank you very much."
Who might replace Trevor Noah as The Daily Show host?
Although it is still too early to tell, fans of the programme have begun to speculate on who might be the best candidate to replace the role.
A Reddit community has listed their favourites, including now-axed Netflix show, Patriot Act, host and comedian Hasan Minhaj.
There are also suggestions about replacing Noah with Jordan Klepper, a journalist and comedian, or Samantha Bee, a comedian and political commentator.
One said: “Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act held its own. Don’t know why it was ever cancelled. He’s a compelling orator who can still make you laugh through the bull***t and outrage. Hopefully he takes over.”
Another suggested: “I think Samantha Bee also did the best job in following up her work on TBS and making it her own, but I don’t think she was ever going to get much traction or support being on The Daily Show.”
A former correspondent on The Daily Show, Bee hosted Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, an American late-night talk and news satire television programme that aired on TBS from 2016 to 2022.
Meanwhile, Klepper, who was also a correspondent on The Daily Show, started his own satirical programme, The Opposition with Jordan Klepper which was cancelled in 2018.
He then starred in the 2019 docuseries, Klepper, before returning to The Daily Show later that year.