It’s hard to imagine a more nervous person than Trevor Noah right now. His tenure as the host of The Daily Show begins tonight after the very emotional retirement of Jon Stewart. Right after he was announced as a host, bored internet detectives dug deep to find something and found some lousy (but ancient) Twitter jokes in an attempt to cause controversy. But even if those tweets hadn’t been found, it’s very hard for anyone to imagine another host sitting behind that storied Daily Show desk. And Trevor Noah, a former correspondent for the show, was a barely-known quantity before he was announced. (At least he was in this country.)
Is he under pressure? Definitely. But in an interview with Vulture, Noah is definitely trying to play it cool ahead of his first show tonight. He isn’t in denial about his position as Jon Stewart’s successor, but he’s ready to prove that he’s prepared for this very huge gig and that “Jon’s confidence in [him] is justified.”
He also discussed how the first episode, even the first few episodes, won’t be perfect, but we should think of them like a first date:
It’s going to be very awkward because it’s a first date for many of us, isn’t it? It’s going to be my first date with the Daily Show audience — with a new Daily Show audience and an old one. And it’s going to be their first date with me. We’re going to spend that first episode really getting to know each other. And the best way to get to know each other on any date is to talk about things, and figure out how you feel about each other.
Noah also said that the hardest part of making his debut has been the short, five-week period he’s had with the staff to try and figure out how to approach this brand new show. While Stewart’s show put a big focus on cable news, Noah says that he and the writing staff will try to play off of that:
News comes from so many different sources now, and I have to expand my horizons in how I look at it and how the show looks at it. So, you know, cable news is not necessarily our focus anymore. I also have to find what separates this show from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
So, this is not going to be your father’s Daily Show. Actually, none of our fathers had a Daily Show, so the first Daily Show was our Daily Show. Trevor Noah’s Daily Show will be your kid’s Daily Show, making you, me, and everyone else wary of this new guy our collective father in this metaphor.
Basically, if you refuse to accept a new host, you’re old. So adapt or die (or, um, find something else to watch at 11 p.m.)!