With the recent departure of standout contributor Jessica Williams, the question of what exactly is going on with The Daily Show's still relatively fresh incarnation was raised once again. Under new host Trevor Noah, who took over hosting duties when Jon Stewart exited last year, the show has (mostly) failed to replicate the viral success of seasons past. But growing pains probably should have been expected, and no one knows that more than Noah himself.
In fact, as Noah revealed in an interview with Reuters Wednesday, he simply wasn't prepared. "I don't think I would ever have been ready," Noah said. "But that's when you must do it, you will not be ready. Sometimes you will wait your whole life to be ready and you'll never do something." He added, "I know there are moments where I feel like I have excelled or reached where I would like to be. But I'm far from, from where I would like to end up."
But that's not to say that Noah's Daily Show hasn't had its moments. Noah recently had his first widely shared segment, a bit that focused on dismantling the notion that anti-police brutality activism was an affront to law enforcement at large. "Whenever I see these shootings I realize how tough it is to be a black person in America, how tough it is to be a person living in a country that in many ways does not acknowledge your plight," Noah said. "That's something we have to continuously talk about while also acknowledging that there are people who are completely blind to what a black person lives through every day."
Noah now faces stiff competition from a variety of networks, each battling to be the leading voice in late-night subversion. John Oliver routinely hits all the right notes on HBO's Last Week Tonight, while Samantha Bee has carried that politically confrontational spirit to TBS with her show Full Frontal and what might very well be the strongest voice on TV.
The Daily Show returns to Comedy Central for some fresh episodes July 18.