“We are outside — meaning we get to enjoy the great Los Angeles air, which I know may be as dangerous as COVID, but we’re willing to take the risk,” Trevor Noah joked during his monologue at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Later in the hilarious opener, he declared: “Tonight is gonna be the biggest outdoor event this year besides the storming of the capital.”
With no elbow-to-elbow clips of star-studded seating, no roars of applause from a packed audience, and no gimmicky skits from the show’s host, the 63rd Grammy Awards obviously looked a little different last year. Despite the show’s stripped-down format, critics still praised the event as “the most enjoyable show in ages.”
Thanks in large part to Trevor Noah’s strong performance as host during a challenging year, music’s biggest night turned out to be an enjoyable watch for viewers at home. As plans for the 2022 Grammy Awards are underway, the Recording Academy has yet to confirm who their next host will be.
Here, we’ve rounded up the five reasons why Noah should be granted a Round Two.
1. The pandemic pivot
At the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14, Noah performers the pandemic pivot with grace as he rose to the challenge of hosting a COVID-safe Grammy show. Despite having a limited audience and fewer presenters to share the mic with, Noah handled the event seamlessly, as many critics pointed out.
With superstars such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift taking turns at the podium, Noah led the show with smooth transitions while interjecting Grammy history tidbits in between segments.
As the Recording Academy plans for a return to Staples Center, following March’s show in and around the adjoining Los Angeles Convention Center, it will be interesting to see how well Noah can perform on a more traditional Grammy telecast. Based on his positively-reviewed 2021 stint as host, viewers would have reason to expect a strong second outing.
2. Back-to-back bookings
The three previous Grammy hosts returned to the stage the following year. Starting in 2012, rap icon LL Cool J hosted the show until 2016. Late-night host James Corden followed up with back-to-back bookings in 2017 and 2018. Alicia Keys led the show in 2019, and returned in 2020, which coincided with Kobe Bryant’s tragic death on the same day – prompting Keys to deliver an impromptu tribute to the Lakers legend.
Given the Grammys’ pattern of repeat hosts, and Trevor Noah’s own strong performance in Year One, fans could reasonably expect Noah to return in January 2022.
3. Full circle with The Daily Show
Hosting the show in 2022 would enable Noah to follow in Jon Stewart’s footsteps in a potentially poetic moment. Stewart, Noah’s predecessor as host of The Daily Show, hosted the Grammy telecast in 2001 and 2002. If Noah were to take the Grammys stage next year, he would match Stewart exactly 20 years later.
4. Timely and topical
Simply put, Noah gets it. As many major awards — including the Grammys — spark cultural conversations on diversity, inclusion, and power structures, Noah has the talk show experience to tackle those issues with both humor and gravitas – a feat that can be difficult to pull off.
In an award show setting, monologues in between acts tend to address timely issues that the industry faces. As the country and the industry have reckoned with such issues as Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement, Noah’s training on his Comedy Central show, along with the experiences he outlines in his memoir Born a Crime, make him the ideal candidate to take on social issues in 2022.
5. Global reach
The Johannesburg-born emcee brings the global perspective that major awards shows have been aiming for in recent years. Similar to how the VMAs have courted international viewers, the Grammys have the potential to tap into a growing market in Africa with a big name from South Africa helming the ceremony. With Noah starting his career on a Johannesburg-based radio show titled Noah’s Ark in 2002, the host has grown his following from his native country as his success reaches new heights in the U.S.
With music executives looking to Africa for new talent, labels opening offices in various countries on the continent, and the Recording Academy adding a second category this year to its recently renamed global music field, capturing a new audience in an emerging market is a timely move that can start with re-hiring Noah as Grammys host.