'The Daily Show' Introduces A New Host — And A Familiar Feel Longtime viewers didn't know what to expect of Trevor Noah's debut Monday night. What they got resembled the old show, perhaps because it kept a lot of writers and producers from Jon Stewart's era.
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'The Daily Show' Introduces A New Host — And A Familiar Feel

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'The Daily Show' Introduces A New Host — And A Familiar Feel

'The Daily Show' Introduces A New Host — And A Familiar Feel

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Trevor Noah took the anchor's chair on "The Daily Show" last night. He replaced Jon Stewart who just won an Emmy Award for his final season. And Stewart's replacement delivered a show that Stewart's fans found familiar. Here's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans who was watching.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: From its very first moments, it was "The Daily Show" fans knew and loved, but with a few changes.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

DREW BIRNS: From Comedy Central's World News Headquarters in New York, this is "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah.

DEGGANS: Debuting with new graphics, a new desk but the same old frat rock guitar music in the intro. Trevor Noah's "Daily Show" began with talk about the guy Noah was succeeding, departed host, Jon Stewart.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

TREVOR NOAH: He was often our voice, our refuge and in many ways our political dad. And now it feels like the family has a new step-dad.

(LAUGHTER)

NOAH: And he's black.

DEGGANS: Much of last night's show covered ground familiar to longtime viewers - maybe because the program kept a lot of writers and producers from Stewart's era. Noah even referenced Stewart's last "Daily Show" speech in promising to keep up his predecessor's struggle against hypocrisy.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

NOAH: Thank you for joining us as we continue the war on [expletive].

DEGGANS: Expectations were high for a more global view from Noah, the child of a white father and black mother born in apartheid-era South Africa. But the closest he came to an international perspective was this joke.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

NOAH: Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed that I would one day have, well, an indoor toilet.

(LAUGHTER)

NOAH: And a job as host of "The Daily Show."

DEGGANS: At times Noah played up his outsider status, giving the audience a primer on how outgoing House Speaker John Boehner's job really works.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

NOAH: You cannot make a law in America without the speaker's approval. John Boehner has final say about which laws come in and which laws don't. He's basically the bouncer at club Congress.

(LAUGHTER)

DEGGANS: And he joked with new correspondent, Roy Wood Jr., about the discovery of water on Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

NOAH: Think about this. Doesn't this raise the possibility that one day people could live on Mars?

ROY WOOD JR.: People like who?

(LAUGHTER)

WOOD: Like me and you?

(LAUGHTER)

WOOD: How am I going to get that - brother can't catch a cab and you think we can catch a spaceship?

(LAUGHTER)

DEGGANS: Rarely has Comedy Central's late-night featured so many non-white performers. Noah capped his show by interviewing African-American comic, Kevin Hart, which led into a new episode of "The Nightly Show" where host, Larry Wilmore, offered this welcome.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE NIGHTLY SHOW")

LARRY WILMORE: New "Daily Show" viewers don't be confused. I'm a different light-skinned brother late-night host.

(APPLAUSE)

WILMORE: That's right. That's right. It's the first time late-night's gone black to black.

DEGGANS: Despite its diversity, last night's "Daily Show" felt so similar to Stewart's era, it was like making the new host wear a suit tailor-made for someone else. It didn't fully play to Noah's strengths. I can't wait to see what the program will look like in a few months when Noah gets a chance to nip and tuck "The Daily Show" to fit his own style a little closer. I'm Eric Deggans.

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