100 World Class South Africans: Trevor Noah

Laughter in translation

Six years ago, when he was hosting local TV show Real Goboza, Trevor Noah tracked the lives of SA celebrities.

Today, he’s the celebrity being profiled by the international media.

A recent segment on CNN’s African Voices was dedicated to the comedian; in July last year, a Newsweek article asked: ‘Can Trevor Noah’s Comedy Jump from SA to the US?’

Earlier in 2012 Noah was the first African comic to appear on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show – one of the hardest gigs in comedy, but one that has launched careers.

That five-minute triumph on stage was a showcase of Noah’s funny, thought-provoking and disarmingly perceptive insights into social norms.

British comedy star Eddie Izzard invited him to perform at the biggest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe, and Noah had a successful four-week run of The Racist at London’s Soho Theatre.

Seeing the humour in being a mixed-race kid, he has found common ground with a diverse audience.

For instance, Noah toured the US with Latino comedian Gabriel Iglesias in 2012.

One of their venues was the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa – surely there can be no bigger jump than from Mzansi to the American Midwest?

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