Trevor Noah Tells Stephen Colbert Two-Party System is 'One of the Most Destructive Forces in America'

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS
Trevor Noah on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on June 20, 2018.

On a guest appearance on 'The Late Show,' the 'Daily Show' host offered his outsider's perspective on American politics: "It's weird to me that America is a country where you have like 16 cereals but two political parties."

Trevor Noah shared his view that the two-party system is "one of the most destructive forces in America right now" during his appearance on The Late Show on Wednesday night (June 20).

The comment took place as The Daily Show host made the case during a lively political discussion that his outside perspective on America as a native South African suited the era in which Americans are living. When asked what he thought of America's two-party system, he responded, "To be honest with you, I think that is one of the most destructive forces in America right now ... It's weird to me that America is a country where you have like 16 cereals but two political parties."

Colbert kicked off the conversation by asking if Noah, who took over The Daily Show in September 2015, had a better grasp on the U.S. in 2018 than he did previously. Noah demurred, saying he didn't, but that that was the appropriate response at this time. "I realize not understanding America right now is understanding America right now. You go, 'I don't understand all of it,' which is the right way to see America right now."

Noah also joked that his upbringing in South Africa gave him unique insight into President Donald Trump.  "If you come from an African nation, if you come from a developing nation, leaders like Trump are too familiar," he said, citing their policies, rhetoric and "not having a firm grasp of English."

In one case, however, he says he was not at all familiar with the U.S. administration: the family separation policy, ended Wednesday, which required adults who had entered the country illegally to be separated from their children as they waited to be criminally prosecuted. Several outlets reported that children were held for a time in "cages" in shelters, though immigration officials have disputed the term. Though Noah lived through South Africa's period of apartheid, he said, "Kids were separated but kids in cages is a completely separate idea for me as a human being." 

Colbert also asked the fellow late-night host how he digested the news every day without becoming hardened to it. "What I try to do is spend most of my day screaming and over time I get tired, and then I start thinking of the jokes," he said, explaining that in his writers' room writers often started by being outraged and then finding the jokes within their anger. He added that jokes were a great way to "numb the pain," at which point Colbert joked that he had always found drinking games to be most successful at accomplishing that.

Colbert ended the interview by asking about The Daily Show's upcoming book, The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, which will unpack all of Trump's tweets for readers and use them to find insight into the president.

"I have always believed that one of the greatest gifts that Donald Trump has given to us his tweets," Noah explained. "We break down the man," he added. "This is his 23andMe, basically." 

Colbert then joked, referring to Trump's 1987 business-advice book, "You know what I admire about it, is that you didn't write it, he did, and yet you'll make money off of it. That, my friend, is the art of the deal."

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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