“Dad has left … and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad, and he’s black.”
With that, Trevor Noah kicked off his first show as the newly installed host of Comedy Central’s satirical news program “The Daily Show,” maintaining its same format tossed with the same biting jokes much to the relief of a worried public.
Acknowledging the massive shoes he has to fill following Jon Stewart’s 16-year reign as host, Noah paid tribute to him saying he was “our voice, our refuge, and in many ways, our political dad.”
With that out of the way, the crisply suited Noah seamlessly glided into a monologue mocking Pope Francis’ visit last week and the retirement of House speaker John Boehner. He ended the show with a weak interview with comedian Kevin Hart, who overpowered the host.
Overall, fears of Noah radically changing the show or appearing out of his league were unfounded.
Reviews from television critics were mixed, with the Daily Beast labeling Noah as “crude and clumsy,” and Time writing that it was “erratically scathing at times…and utterly toothless at others.” In a kinder review, the New York Times said it was “largely successful,” thanks in part from being buoyed by the same writing staff.
Those reviewers, however, don’t match the consensus on Twitter, which was overwhelmingly positive. Of the 95,000 tweets tracked by social measuring firm Brandwatch between yesterday and today, 93 percent of the tweets were in favor of Noah.
Positive sentiment never dipped below 75 percent despite a few clunker jokes. All in all, Noah’s warm reception from Twitter public was a remarkable feat.
“It is extremely rare to have such a dominatingly positive sentiment, especially when you consider how liked and respected the former host, Jon Stewart, is,” Kellan Terry, an analyst at Brandwatch, told Digiday.
It looks like the (daily) show will go on.
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