Trevor Noah made his Daily Show debut Monday night (Sept. 28) and wasted no time doing what smart comedians do — address the audience’s preconceptions about you in your material… and then push on to make a risky crack joke about beloved late singer Whitney Houston.
In his opening monologue, Noah addressed the many critics who have blasted Comedy Central for giving yet another late night show to a man instead of a woman. Noah pointed out that the network had, in fact, tried to put a woman in his chair before hiring him.
“Why isn’t a woman hosting the show?” he asked. “Surely it’s about time. Well, Comedy Central did ask women to host, and the women hosts they asked turned it down, because they clearly had something better to do.” FYI, both Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer were reportedly approached about hosting the Daily Show after Jon Stewart’s absence.
He also addressed being, you know, not Jon Stewart. “Jon Stewart was our voice, our refuge, our political dad. And it’s weird because dad has left. Now it feels like the family has a new stepdad — and he’s black,” Noah said. “Which is not ideal.”
After his opening monologue, Noah moved on to running down the news. While talking about fleeing Speaker of the House John Boehner, who many Republicans don’t consider conservative enough, Noah drew a comparison between crack and meth.
“It’s like crack telling meth it’s not addictive enough,” he joked. “‘You make teeth fall out — big deal,'” he said, voicing crack. “‘I took down Whitney Houston.’ Too soon?”
The mixed gasps and laughs indicated that yeah, plenty of people aren’t ready to laugh about losing Whitney — but props to Noah for making a joke he knew was going to piss some people off.