As the world went into lockdowns and quarantines barely two months into 2020, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah was one of the first broadcasts to switch to an “at home” format featuring Noah on his couch wearing a comfortable hoodie. Jokingly rebranded as The Daily Social Distancing Show, Noah became a go-to for insightful commentary and information in the early days of the pandemic. His surprisingly no-nonsense and engaging interview with Dr. Fauci before he became a Saturday Night Live sketch, and political target, has been viewed over 11 million times.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus wasn’t the only major news event that broke during the spring. The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked nationwide and global Black Lives Matter protests in late May. At the time, The Daily Show was on a two-week hiatus, which Noah appreciated for a simple and insightful reason.
“I was glad that we weren’t on the air. I couldn’t speak. I had to listen,” Noah explained to Variety. The time absorbing the protests also caused Noah to rethink details like his wardrobe when the show returned to cover the growing movement. “I wore a black hoodie for a while. Not to build it up, but I just — I didn’t feel like color, you know? Every day, when I walked into the closet, it didn’t feel like a purple day; it didn’t feel like a green day; it didn’t feel like a red day. It felt like a black day.”
It’s that type of thinking that led Jon Stewart to recently praise The Daily Show for being “better” with Noah behind the desk, especially when it comes to bringing more diverse opinions to the show. While admitting his own failings at not making The Daily Show more inclusive, Stewart had nothing but praise for Noah while talking to Howard Stern. “It took 16 years to change it at a glacial pace. Because that kind of mindset to me, because I didn’t grow up in it… it’s not a part of me,” Stewart said. “For Trevor, it’s a part of him. It flows from him naturally… It makes it better. The show is better.”