Patterico's Pontifications


Jon Stewart’s Successor And The Jews: Yeah, I Know It’s Supposed To Be Funny …

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So 31-year old comedian Trevor Noah has been named heir to the Daily Show. Jon Stewart, who will officially leave the show later this year, is said to be thrilled at the selection of Noah.

Noah, himself, was also very excited upon being informed that he would succeed Stewart:

“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Noah told The New York Times while on the phone in Dubai, speaking about his first reactions to learning that he had been selected as the new “Daily Show” host. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”


With that, I’ve never really been a Stewart fan. Maybe I’m old and cranky, but it has never struck me as particularly original to be sarcastic and smarmy and belittling all in the same breath. That’s just called being a teenager. Oh sure, he has some some talent, but certainly that sort of humor is an acquired taste. And although I’ve tried, my taste buds have never cooperated where Stewart was concerned. And honestly, that clown nose business was so annoying: nose-on, nose-off. For god sake, you are a grown man – act like one!

Anyway, I wondered if Noah would be just another Stewart clone. Judge for yourself:

I know he’s supposed to be funny. I know that nothing is off limits for comedians. I know we are told to respect their art. Except, we are already witnessing not just the world, but Our. Very. Own. President. display such levels of intolerance and annoyance toward the Jewish people and Israel that the relationship with one of our greatest allies has been damaged as a result. So it’s a bit disappointing to see Trevor Noah, heir to pop-culture’s throne, use Jewish stereotypes for his punchlines. (…but, you know, it’s only Jews, so maybe I’m overreacting.)

Anyway, it doesn’t look like I’ll be tuning in anytime soon. It also doesn’t look like I’ll be missing much.

(h/t JWF)


63 Responses to “Jon Stewart’s Successor And The Jews: Yeah, I Know It’s Supposed To Be Funny …”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. Hi Dana:

    Well, like Lena Dunham he’s probably half-Jewish (or even The Full Morrey – see what I did there?) so he gets a pass. At least I think that’s how it works.

    What are his politics? Do we get smug and angry leftism like Stewart, angry and smug leftism like John Oliver, or smug angry smug leftism like Colbert?

    JVW (a1146f)

  3. i know next to nothing about him. does he make similar jokes about other creeds/religions? is he like Don Rickles?

    seeRpea (c1462d)

  4. hmm, he seems to be an equal opportunity kind of jokester, but doesn’t seem to be
    at the Don Rickles level. Definitely not a one note player:

    On Oscar Pistorius

    “And the Oscar goes to – jail.”

    On his Twitter bio

    “Are you really reading my Twitter bio? Why? Do you even believe these bios? Ok well I’m sorry I wasted your time not writing one…wow you’re still reading!?

    On Miley Cyrus

    “Ok, so, America is attacking Syria for the chemical gas thing, but who’s attacking America for the Miley Cyrus thing?”

    On terrorism

    “In France, 1.6 million people marched for 12 cartoonists, which is great. But, by that math, the whole world should be marching for Nigeria. Sometimes it just feels like Africa is the Vegas of Islamic terror: What happens in Africa, stays in Africa.”

    On his parents

    “My mom would be arrested; she would be fined and still she was like, ‘Ooh, I don’t care, I want a white man, ooh.’ And, my dad was also like, ‘Well, you know how the Swiss love chocolate.’”

    On white people

    “My father was white. So when I see a white person, I don’t automatically think, ‘Bad guy.’ I think, ‘He looks like my dad. Maybe he’ll buy me a bike.’”

    On Black Americans

    “Black Americans are so cool and confident; they’ll make you feel good about yourself just by asking if you are you. It’s magic. They just walk up to you and go, ‘That’s you? That’s you?’ And you’ll be like, ‘Yeah I think it is.’”

    On racism

    “You have to work a bit harder to offend me because I’m from the home of some of the best racism in the world. I’m a snob when it comes to racism.

    You gotta do your thing. Don’t just think you can throw a word at me and that’s it. No dogs? No tear gas? Nothing? Just a word? Come on, put your back into it! Give me something. I have no time for that.”

    and there was some flack he caught about a homosexual joke.

    seeRpea (c1462d)

  5. I wonder if he’s allowed to say “That’s so gay!”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  6. re #5: I don’t get it.

    seeRpea (c1462d)

  7. seaRpea- No one is like Don Rickles. Comedians today are a drag. Rickles had a few brethren who were funny, Hackett, Winters, Allen, Burns, Foxx. Todays comedians are so predictable and pathetic. And not funny.

    mg (31009b)

  8. As long as he hates Republicans and worships Obama, he’ll fit right in at TDS.

    V the K (89f088)

  9. Google “Trevor Noah politics” and you discover he’s a prog:

    AP: You have a much different background than Stewart. How will that affect the show?

    TN: One thing we both share: We are both progressives. Obviously where you’re from may inform a lot of your decisions. But traveling the world I’ve learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space. And although I happen to be a guy who’s not from the same place that Jon’s from, I’ve lived in America for years before I went back out on the road, and I’ve learned to love the place. I’ll bring something different because I am different, but because it’s a team, it’ll be the same as well.

    Dana (86e864)

  10. “My father was white. So when I see a white person, I don’t automatically think, ‘Bad guy.’ I think, ‘He looks like my dad. Maybe he’ll buy me a bike. Not steal it, like he would if he was black.’ “

    nk (dbc370)

  11. American Jews are watching the last real free space in the world get smaller. The Democrats are taking them for granted, just as they do blacks. The anti-Israel thing is said by the left to be ONLY about Israel. Don’t believe it.

    I’m not Jewish and have no Jewish relatives but I can smell the anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party and in Obama. And in Hillary.

    It’s amazing to see what is happening and see the Jews being oblivious. We’re a long way from Germany in the 1930s but the margin for error is getting smaller.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  12. If they didn’t have Teh Jooos or Republicans to ridicule it might for e them to look inward. They couldn’t withstand the scrutiny.

    Colonel Haiku (c1bfa3)

  13. Hey, Dana…

    When Mr. Noah actually intones that….

    “But traveling the world I’ve learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space.”

    …. I can overlook the weird neo-Leninist/prog-speak.

    But there is plenty of space between his ears, apparently. Perhaps that is what he means.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  14. he’s like the South African version of Russell Brand,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  15. “But traveling the world I’ve learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space.”

    That’s because progressives, regardless of their locations, have the logic, morals and maturity of a five year old. Unable to follow their policies to their final, tragic end. Unable to control their base desires and constantly in a state of grievance about some perceived offense or another.

    Hoagie (58a3ec)

  16. The old Jewish Borscht Belt comedians made fun of themselves and their people and were not afraid to dig into some of the stereotypes in a brutally funny way. This from Trevor Noah seems very different. Well, OK, maybe the Messi one one might have made it in the Catskills.

    elissa (45e520)

  17. Seriously, how can the guy drive a car with that shoulder all sprained from patting himself on the back for being so wise and well informed?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  18. re #11: do you realize how many Jews work for and support the PotUS? And I’m not just talking about secular Jews like the Rahm’s. And just take a look at J Street. It is not the Democratic Party doing it to the Jews, it is the Jews themselves.
    Well, at least the secular Jews are taking down secular society along with them.

    seeRpea (c1462d)

  19. The test is whether Trevor Noah will be as eager to take on and make fun of *his people*. If he can, as a black comic he could really help start to change conversation away from the PC era. But even if he does use equal opportunity comedy, will Black Americans and white liberals be willing to “take it” from a South African? I’m betting no.

    elissa (45e520)

  20. 11. “It’s amazing to see what is happening and see the Jews being oblivious. We’re a long way from Germany in the 1930s but the margin for error is getting smaller.” Mike K

    Read “IBM And The Holocaust,” peruse a copy of the “American Community Survey,” and then compare what’s occurring in both American culture and politics with what went on in Germany in the 1930s.

    History doesn’t repeat but it sure does rhyme.

    PPs43 (6fdef4)

  21. But the jokes are stupid and not funny. I can laugh at tasteless jokes…but Cheezit, He’s just lame.

    SarahW (6f3980)

  22. Dana, you’re not old and cranky. I never found Jon Stewart particularly funny, either. But his very predictable schtick is what passes for deep thinking with today’s young adults.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  23. I’m not worried about policing the success or failure of the daily show, but he’ll need a sidekick who says this all night:

    SarahW (6f3980)

  24. Apparently both Comedy Central and Trevor Noah are aware of the tweet controversy:

    Though a spokesperson for Comedy Central has not responded to a request for comment, Noah seemed to be addressing the controversy Tuesday morning in a quickly deleted tweet caught by MSNBC home page editor Anna Brand.

    “Twitter does not have enough characters to respond to all the characters on Twitter,” he wrote.

    Dana (86e864)

  25. “This from Trevor Noah seems very different.”

    I’ll be interested in his witticisms about Obama.

    Just kidding.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  26. Greetings:

    What no funny funny observations about his geographical neighbor to the North. it used to be called Rhodesia, then Zimbabwe, and now Mugabe, Inc.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  27. re #27: bad choice of target. He does make jokes/observations about them/it/him.

    seeRpea (c1462d)

  28. Since Starbucks failed so miserably in leading the Great American Discussion of Race, perhaps the burden falls upon a South African television comedian. Or maybe Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf will pick up the torch.

    JVW (a1146f)

  29. So are there any hilarious jokes about all the hatred and attacks on whites in South Africa? It’s interesting how the old South African government was evil because of poor treatment of black Africans, but now that it’s white Africans being mistreated, attacked, and killed, well, that’s no biggie. Obviously all the white people are automatically guilty because of what other white people did years ago, so it’s cool if black people destroy their property and kill them, it’s only fair.

    Being from South Africa could give a person a pretty useful perspective on American race issues (especially that having been mistreated doesn’t give you the moral high ground unless you actually act better than they did when you have the power they had) but I suspect he won’t see it that way.

    Eidolon (aefa16)

  30. Television: A medium. So called because it’s neither rare nor well done.

    Ernie Kovacs was right… this is just another reason to never turn on the vidiot.

    redc1c4 (589173)

  31. 30. Here’s a really excellent and authentic book about that which I highly recommend:

    Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight–An African Childhood.

    elissa (45e520)

  32. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”… I worked in Fujairah, the southernmost Emirate in the UAE that Dubai is part of for about two months, and I could get all the alcohol I wanted; the only thing special that I noticed was that the ham at the breakfast buffet had a warning sign “Pork!!!”… Guess that his standards for truth and accuracy in Media will be right up there with the rest of the MSM…

    Bruce Abbott (32869e)

  33. Funny or not (I vote not), this represent typical Leftism, and so Noah should not only host The Daily Show but have an additional half-hour on MSNBC.

    ErisGuy (76f8a7)

  34. re #33: are you really that humor impaired?
    Back in college I had a Professor inform me when i noted that a humor speech did not make me laugh, that humor is not the same of joking. You can be humorous without doing jokes.

    Later on I came across the book (interesting book, i recommend it)
    Not everything is going to make you laugh, you don’t the laugh in order to bring across the humor.

    seeRpea (181740)

  35. Dave Weigel just wrote a pretty amusing take on the liberal whipsaw related to Trevor.

    elissa (45e520)

  36. A favorite Weigel sentence from the Bloomberg piece:

    This has all led to some whipsawing in progressive media, from a Trevor Noah welcome wagon to a caravan of pitchfork-wielding villagers.

    elissa (45e520)

  37. “I’ll bring something different because I am different, but because it’s a team, it’ll be the same as well.”

    Oh, joy. The “same, but different” approach.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  38. re #37: my favorite part is right off the top

    Sonia Saraiya’s reaction to Trevor Noah, the new host of The Daily Show, has not even aged that well. A few hours after Comedy Central announced that the South African comic would replace Jon Stewart, Salon’s TV critic predicted a surge of “right-wing rage” because “conservative critics have a practiced, doublespeaking method of piling on the heat on figures who stand out because of their race or gender or sexuality,

    seeRpea (181740)

  39. was there any “right wing” reaction? aside from “Who?!?!?” 🙂

    seeRpea (181740)

  40. I used to watch web clips of the daily show on real player, always thought Stewart was funny.

    But once he started mindless Bush bashing, I found other things that I liked doing more.

    This new guy looks about as funny as a wet sock.

    scrubone (c3104f)

  41. My South African correspondent comments:

    He’s nothing special, I’ve seen his routine of TV and it’s largely based on racial and cultural differences. I think he’s going to struggle to grasp the nuances of American society, and his initial “foreign observer” role will get tiresome when he’s the regular host. It’s ironic that he’s referred to by some media as an African-American, as here he’s not regarded as being “African” due to having a white father. The one-drop rule works in reverse in the “new” South Africa.

    Dana (86e864)

  42. Managing to be sick, stupid, sexist, racist, and disgusting — without being funny; where’s the hook!

    htom (4ca1fa)

  43. Sonny Bunch at the Washington Free Beacon has a hilarious column about this in which he (she? forgive me if I’m being gender-normative) manages to sneak in pretty much all of the terminology popularized by the victimology crowd. He (she?) ends by noting the irony of a bunch of victimology white folks piling on an, um, African-American from Africa? — no, that’s not it — a Person of Color (or, not to be so American English spelling normative, a Person of Colour):

    We all know that negotiating the pyramid of grievances is a tricky endeavor. But intersectionality demands that we not give a pass to someone who fails to act as an ally to other marginalized groups.

    I give the transgression of making crude jokes three problematics.

    However! I also give the transgression of singling out Trevor Noah for criticism three problematics.

    Good stuff. Go there and read it.

    JVW (a1146f)

  44. Just looked it up: Sonny Bunch is indeed a “he,” but that does not excuse my automatic assumption that this would be his preferred gender. Checking my privilege.

    JVW (a1146f)

  45. Via Reason sometimes things just don’t pan out like you thought they would. :

    Vox: “The line between funny and offensive is thin. Trevor Noah is on the wrong side.”

    MSNBC: “New ‘Daily Show’ host has a history of offensive tweets.”

    Slate: “The Problem Isn’t That Trevor Noah Is Offensive. The Problem Is That He’s a Giant Dope.” (Note the URL, “offensive-yes-but-also.”)

    And astonishingly, Salon itself: “Did Trevor Noah’s Twitter history just kill ‘The Daily Show’?”

    Dana (86e864)

  46. what part of Trevor Noah is “American” in the term “African-American”? His mother is South African and his father is Swiss.
    we are not going back to that USA reporter in France using the term ‘French African-American’ again are we?

    seeRpea (181740)

  47. If his Tweets are any indication, he’s not funny at all. Compare him to somebody like Jim Norton who consistently nails it in the 140 character format.

    Funeral Guy (2b0c22)

  48. That’s just called being a teenager

    Or being a PostModern liberal…

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  49. Yeah. I mean, as long as they weren’t hiring somebody funny, anyway.

    Damn straight (can you say THAT?)!!

    Just think, they coulda had Kathy Griffin!!

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  50. Michael Richards, a Jewish comedian who was the best part of the best sitcom ever, was also only joking.

    Noah should be allowed to make jokes about what ever he wants. And we have the right not to watch. Never watched Lebowitz/Stewart even once.

    Let me understand; Viacom had to go all the way to Africa to get a black guy to replace Lebowitz. Off the top of my head, were Key and Peele’s phones not working that day?

    Bugg (bd9445)

  51. who told you Michael Richards is Jewish?

    seeRpea (c1462d)

  52. Correction-Richards is not Jewish.

    Bugg (bd9445)

  53. It wasn’t that long ago when comedians said they didn’t tell jokes about Obama because he wasn’t funny. Well, he is worthy of mockery and that is what they won’t do.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  54. Jews are not exempt to mockery. Get over yourself.

    Stop acting like intolerant muslims.

    Patrick in Michigan (db7042)

  55. have I been banned?

    I posted a comment over 24 hours ago and it still isn’t out of moderation.

    [JVW here: I found your comment where you gave us the info on Noah’s parents in the spam folder. I think that perhaps if you just copy-and-paste a section from Wikipedia, WordPress flags it as spam. Might be better to just summarize it and provide a link.]

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  56. Patrick in Michigan,

    Equal opportunity mockery is fine, but as stated in the post, I’m tired of open season on the Jews and Israel. Nowwe apparently can look forward to even more of it.

    With that , maybe if we see the president skewered or white privileged liberals taking the hits, I would might be less inclined to roll my eyes and think, yeah, just another progressive shill for the left flapping his gums.

    Dana (769669)

  57. Luckily for Trevor, The Daily Show has an entire staff of writers (at least one of which is probably Jewish) that will be providing him with material that comments on what people in the news actually say and do — and doesn’t depend on weak, offensive and pathetically predictable stereotypes.

    Since he is a professional comedian he will, no doubt, adjust to the change.

    Icy (5a3407)

  58. Comedy Central’s statement on the controversy: “To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair.”
    — Yeah, ya HATERS! How . . . . . DAAAAARE you judge a comedian by something so ethereal as his material?!?!11?!

    Icy (5a3407)

  59. Comedy Central’s statement on the controversy: “To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair.”

    But it’s totally fair to judge a politician on one single solitary position that they take like — oh I don’t know — a religious freedom law. Comedy Central’s PR department may be the funniest guys in that whole company’s org chart.

    JVW (a1146f)

  60. You know, I used to go to comedy clubs regularly and I realize that I rarely go any more. Comedians are not so funny lately. Even though the comics increasingly use profanity and vulgarity to keep it edgy, the thinking part of edgy is gone. In my opinion PC and the fact that somebody’s always going to be offended has killed comedy.

    Are any of you old enough to remember when comics used to go out in the audience and chat with, and make fun of people and they loved it? That doesn’t happen much anymore because who knows who’ll be the one to sue or pull a gun.

    elissa (501dd9)

  61. “The thinking part of edgy is gone”

    Good observation, elissa. It’s no longer ‘smart’, but pedestrian in its appeal to the lowest common denominator. Profanity and vulgarity might shock and grab one’s attention, but the question is, when you strip that away, what’s left?

    Dana (769669)

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