Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Some color on Comedy Central

Comedy Central shocked “The Daily Show” fans when it announced Monday that South African stand-up comedian Trevor Noah would succeed Jon Stewart on the nightly satirical news ?program.

The news comes as a surprise because Noah was hired on as senior international correspondent four months ago and has appeared on the show only three times.

Most fans seemed to expect that a woman would take over the show and even pushed for Jessica Williams on social media. But Comedy Central insisted after much vetting it chose Noah because it “found in Trevor the best person for the job,” as President of Comedy Central Michele Ganeless said.

I agree with Comedy?Central on this one.

With Larry Wilmore at the helm of “The Nightly Show,” in what has to be some kind of record, two people of color will now be hosting two of the most-watched nightly comedy news shows on the same network.

And not only is Noah a person of color, he’s also from South Africa, so he will bring a much-needed global perspective to nightly TV — a world known for being dominated by white, American men.

Much of Noah’s comedy is about his identity as an interracial man from South Africa with a black African mother and a white Swiss father.

His unique life story, one that includes growing up during apartheid when South Africans were not permitted to mingle with those of other races, will allow for a fresh perspective on world events.

Noah, at 31, is also 20 years younger than Stewart.

This is notable because Noah won’t be able to play the cynical old man card that seems to serve as a large part in the comedy of, well, the cynical old men that have dominated our TV screens for so long.

Comedy Central seems to be trying to shift its image to be less of a white man’s channel and more of a comedy channel independent of race or gender.

Shows such as “Broad City” and “Inside Amy Schumer,” for example, prove that, yes, women can be funny without the help ?of men.

And now by adding a South African man to the lineup, the network is showing it’s committed to not only reaching as wide an audience as possible but representing the same audience on its programming.

Comedy has always been a white man’s world. Just look at all the classic ’80s and ’90s comics Andrew Dice Clay, George Carlin or Bill Hicks — all white men.

But now, finally, people of color and women are entering the arena and proving they can be just as funny or even funnier than their white male counterparts.

Comedy Central is finally getting funny. And more ?diverse. There’s a correlation here that’s pretty obvious.

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