Nearly two weeks after confirming his departure, the South African-born comedian opened up about his decision on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The host called the announcement “shocking” and pressed Noah about why he chose to bow out after a seven-year run.
“Why not?” Noah responded. “People ask you this question as if you’re telling them bad news. I can understand that, but I think everybody has gone through a period of looking at their lives.”
Noah went on to reference the collective experience during the pandemic lockdowns, saying it completely changed his perspective.
“We were in our apartments for two years, the world changed ...” he explained. “I think, if you don’t look at your life and think about what you’d like to do differently, you haven’t experienced what we all experienced. And so I think [my exit] is a joyous thing.”
Fallon then asked Noah about what the future has in store, and if he has plans on what to do next.
“I’m so excited to do everything,” Noah replied. “I didn’t get to travel as much, doing stand up around the world. I’m excited to — I used to go to a country and I would be there for weeks on end. I would learn parts of the language or learn about the culture. I’m gonna get back to doing that. Producing, you know, like just working behind the camera again, working on different ideas. You know, going back home spending more time with family in South Africa. Everything is what I’m going to be doing.”
You can check out the full interview above. Noah’s last episode on the Daily Show will air on Dec. 8. The late-night talk show will return in January; however Comedy Central has yet to announce Noah’s potential replacement.