Trevor Noah spent his last few moments behind the “Daily Show” desk reflecting. The comedian’s final episode as the host of Comedy Central’s flagship talk show was December 8. And rather than bring surprise cameo guests, the show opted for a low-key night looking back on Noah’s seven years leading the series.
The bulk of the episode was dedicated to a long segment featuring the current correspondents — Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Ronny Chieng, Roy Wood Jr, and Dulcé Sloan — saying goodbye to Noah. Kosta presented a stock market chart of his friendship with Noah, Lydic performed a fake exit interview asking what her best trait is, Sloan questioned Noah about his plans once he leaves the show, Chieng tried to secure the position as host, and Wood tried to make Noah “come clean” about not being from South Africa.
The episode also featured a segment from contributor Jordan Klepper, who does people-on-the-street interviews for the series. Klepper showed up at the studio to thank Noah for his time at the show and present a package where he asked people around New York City about the host’s departure. The segment playfully mixed apathetic responses — such as one man saying,g “Everything ends. Hopefully our buddy ends” — and more sincere reactions, including a man talking about how Noah continued the show during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the goodbyes from the correspondents, the rest of the episode was taken up by Noah discussing his tenure at “The Daily Show” and what he learned from his time at the program. Noah joined the series in 2014 as a correspondent before being picked as Jon Stewart’s successor the next year, catapulting him to stardom almost overnight and giving him the unenviable task of following one of the most successful late-night runs in recent memory.
Noah shared three lessons he learned from “The Daily Show” and making comedy out of the news: red-versus-blue politics is a construct and not inherently how the world works, context is everything, and it’s important to think more before reacting to information online.
“Please don’t forget the world is a friendlier place than the Internet or the news would make you think,” he said.
Noah also took a moment to express his gratitude to the Black women in his life, saying that if you want to learn about America, talk to Black women. He also thanked the audience and his fans for their support.
“I remember when we started the show, we couldn’t get enough people to fill the audience,” Noah said during his final address. “So I look at this now? I don’t take it for granted, ever. Every seat that has ever been filled to watch something I’ve been doing, I always appreciate, because I know the empty seat that sits behind it.”
When the “Daily Show” returns next January, Comedy Central will test various guest hosts and correspondents, who will lead the series in pairs, with an official permanent host expected to take over in fall 2023. Some of the guests booked for the week ahead include Al Franken, Chelsea Handler, D. L. Hughley, Leslie Jones, John Leguizamo, Hasan Minhaj, Kal Penn, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, and Marlon Wayans.
Watch the clips from Noah’s final episode below.