By Maddy Marcus
Trevor Noah, comedian and current host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, got real with Stony Brook students on Friday mixing some prevalent issues into his stand up.
The backbone of Noah’s routine was his experience in America. Noah was born and raised in South Africa. He moved here in 2014 and succeeded Jon Stewart as the new host of The Daily Show. The United States, he said, is like a whole different world.
“I’m coming from a third world country and you’re turning into one,” Noah said.
At this time of year, a comedian can’t get through a simple routine without mentioning the 2016 Presidential Race. Noah poked fun at both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, comparing Trump to African dictators and saying Sanders must have “nightmares about Wall Street.”
Noah flawlessly shifted gears from the Presidential Race to assimilating into American culture. But, among the jokes and comments, Noah slipped in a few words of advice to the students, which landed him a loud round of applause on several occasions.
“When you travel, you need to know the culture,” he said. “The more you travel, the more you learn.”
When Noah first moved to the States, he needed to learn a whole new way of language.
“You have no idea how hard it is to learn a language you already know,” he said.
He mentioned a few words and phrases that in America, have a totally different meaning than the same words in South Africa. Take for example a “wife-beater.” Here, it refers to a tank-top. The first time Noah heard the term, he said, was shocking.
“How many wives were beaten to have an article of clothing named after domestic violence?” Noah said.
Jokes like these showed how Noah uses his comedic powers to bring these issues to light. Domestic violence, feminism and immigration were only the tip of the iceberg. Noah ended the show with a spectacular segment on racism.
“Racism is an intent,” he said. “You look at the word, but not the meaning behind it.”
Noah said the easiest solution to racism is to just not be racist, adding that saying things like “black people” is not a racist term, unless someone makes it racist.
For Trevor Noah, comedy is something that can go “far beyond” jokes and laughter by using it as a gateway to reveal the truth behind the issues of today.